WEEKLY RELEASE: Soccer Opens ACC Play At Home Friday Versus Maryland
Sept. 23, 2003
The Seminoles have won three of their last four games against the Terrapins, including their first ever ACC tournament victory in 2000 where FSU eventually advance to the championship game against UNC...this is the eighth time in 10 meetings in which the University of Maryland has been ranked in games versus the Seminoles...the Terps have been ranked the last five times the teams met...Florida State has been ranked the last two matches before the 2003 season...Maryland's highest ranking was in 1996 ranked 4th nationally...all four of the wins that FSU has had in the all-time series have come in upset fashion...the first victory came in 1998 as the Seminoles topped the #15 Terrapins in OT...No. 21 Maryland came to Tallahassee in November of 2001 only to be shutout 2-0 in front of a crowd of 825 Seminole fans...the Tribe repeated the feat a week later in a 7-2 blowout against the No. 21 Terrapins...In the first ever meeting with both squads ranked in the top 25, the 24th ranked Seminoles visited College Park and once again posted a shut out against the 16th ranked University of Maryland in a 1-0 win...senior co-captains Kristin Boyce and Amber Tollefson are the only current players to put the ball in the net against Maryland in the regular season...Camie Bybee, Jez Ratliff and Erica Lewis have scored versus the Terps in ACC Tournament action...Tollefson is also one of two Seminoles who have recorded an assist versus the Terrapins (3 assists), the other is Jez Ratliff (1 assist).
TOPPLING THE TOP 25
Florida State's first win over a top 25 team in 2003 came in a 2-1 OT thriller with No. 21 Ole Miss. The win was the school's 12th all-time against a ranked opponent and Baker's 10th since 2000. The win versus the 21st-ranked Rebels was only the third though that came via a golden goal. The first was a double overtime win over then-No. 2 North Carolina (3-2) in 2000. The second came last season when Leah Gallegos' hat trick versus Clemson gave the Tribe a 4-3 win. The Tribe will get another opportunity versus a ranked team as No. 14 Maryland rolls into town Friday night. The Tribe has never won back-to-back games versus Top 25 teams despite the amount of success the program has experienced since Patrick Baker took over.
THIRD STRAIGHT WILL BE TOUGH
When Maryland rolls into Tallahassee, FL this Friday for the conference opener, the Tribe will be looking for the third straight win in a conference opener. The last two conference openers have come at Clemson in 2001 and at home versus the Tigers in 2002. Both games were extremely tight with FSU winning the 2002 via a golden goal and the 2001 game on a last minute goal by Amber Tollefson.
Julia Schnugg's golden goal against the Rebels was just the third in Florida State history versus a non-conference opponent. Five of the eight golden goals in Seminole soccer history have come against conference opponents so Schnugg's was rare. In fact before her game-winner, the last four OT goals all came in ACC matches. Schnugg isn't alone though when it comes to game-winners by freshmen. This is the fourth straight year a Seminole freshman has recorded a golden goal. In 2000 it was Kristin Boyce for a win over North Carolina. In 2001 Jez Ratliff got an OT goal versus NCSU and last year it was Leah Gallegos' memorable Clemson OT goal. All four of those players are from the west side of the Mississippi as well with Gallegos and Schnugg from California, Ratliff from Oklahoma and Boyce from Texas.
THERE MAY BE A GOAL OR TWO
One thing you can expect to see at Friday's conference opener between FSU and Maryland is some scoring. In Florida State's eight previous ACC openers a total of 52 goals have been scored for an average of over six goals a game. Since 2000, Florida State's scoring in ACC openers has gone up every year as well. From two goals in 2000 to three goals in 2001 to four goals last season in a win over Clemson. Another indication that there might be some goals is the fact that FSU has averaged three goals a game versus the Terps in the last four meetings including a 7-2 win at the 2001 ACC Championships.
If you know anything about California, you know that the northern and southern parts of the state couldn't be any more different but that hasn't stopped Julia Schnugg (Alamo, CA just outside of San Francisco) and Leah Gallegos (Los Angeles, CA) from not only bonding off the field but also clicking up top in the Seminole offense. In fact, the two had eerily similar September 20 weekends during their respective freshman years. Last year, Gallegos scored three goals and had an assist in two games versus Clemson and South Florida. This year Schnugg had three goals and two assists in two games during the same weekend. Both players scored a golden goal versus a ranked team, Leah versus Clemson and Julia versus Ole Miss, which is especially creepy since the Tribe only has eight golden goals in program history. Gallegos went on to win ACC Player of the Week honors after her big weekend but the award eluded Schnugg despite the performance.
IT'S ALL IN THE NAME?
While Florida State made it back into the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) regional top 10 this week, the team is sitting in the tenth spot. A little surprising considering all four of Florida State's losses came to ranked teams and two to top 10 teams. On the other hand, Texas, which is also 4-4-0, is sitting at No. 2 in their region despite the fact they have yet to beat a ranked team this season and all four of their losses came to ranked opponents. The Tribe is coming off a win over No. 21, which is one more win over a ranked team than No. 16 Texas has this season. The good news for FSU is that they will have a chance to move up with five of the teams ranked ahead of them still on the Seminoles' schedule.
FOUR FOR THE FIRST TIME
The Tribe's victory in College Park over Maryland last season set a new gold standard as FSU now has four wins versus a conference opponent for the first time ever. With its two wins versus UMd in 2001 and regular season win in 2002, the Terps were the first ACC team Florida State ever recorded three consecutive wins against also.
BACK TO LIFE
The Seminole back line and goalkeeper Joy McKenzie have committed themselves to getting better after allowing an average of two goals after the first five matches of the season. The unit, which was being counted on to carry the team, has responded the last three games. The shift started with a new attitude and coincided with freshman Kelly Rowland's move from the right side into the center of the FSU defense. Since then the team has cut its goals allowed in half. The last three games, Florida State carried shutouts into the last seven minutes of blowout wins. With primarily back-ups on the field, the Tribe missed three shutouts by allowing goals with 6:45, 5:46 and 2:59 left on the clock. Joy McKenzie has also played a big role in the turnaround. She has not only been coming up with the big save but she is making more of an impact in organizing the defense too. McKenzie has posted a stellar 0.98 GAA the last three games and her overall GAA has fallen from a high of 2.15 to 1.54.
When the FSU soccer team defeated NC State, Maryland and Clemson in 2003, it marked the first time in program history that the Seminoles had won-back-to-back conference games versus an ACC opponent and they did it three times. After beating UMd in College Park last season, the 2002 squad became the first team to ever win three straight games versus an ACC foe. The streak versus Maryland ended in the ACC Tournament but those back-to-back conference wins tell you just how far FSU soccer has come since Patrick Baker took over the program just four years ago.
TAKE A SHOT
After being out shot by USC (13-12) and tying Penn State in the shot category (12-12), FSU has not been out shot for six straight games. In fact, the Tribe has almost a 100-shot advantage (135-56) in the last six games and a 4-2 record in that span. Florida State has also led every opponent except for Penn State when it comes to shots on goal. Overall, the Tribe has put 69 shots on frame compared to 40 for their opponents and FSU has put nine or more shots on goal in five of eight games this year.
TIME TO HIT THE ROAD
The Seminoles better enjoy their Friday night home game versus Maryland because it will be the last time they will see home turf in a while. Five of FSU's six games after the Terps will be away from home. This is the Tribe's longest road stretch since Baker's first year in Tallahassee when the 1999 team played six straight away from home and went 3-3-0. The Seminoles also played five of six away from home in 2001 and three of those six games were against the same three teams as the Tribe will face on this road stint (UCF, USF and Duke). In 2001 FSU finished that six game run with a stellar 4-2-0 record.
Florida State has had a complete reversal of fortune against Maryland, Duke, Clemson and NC State over the past two seasons. From 1995 to 2000 (six seasons), FSU recorded just three wins against this group in 25 meetings for a winning percentage of .107. During the last two seasons under head coach Patrick Baker, the Seminoles have almost tripled that ACC win total in 16 fewer games. Florida State has gone 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings with those ACC schools posting an amazing winning percentage of .850. Looking at those numbers, is it any wonder how the Seminoles have gone from perennial cellar dwellers to competing for a top spot in the ACC since Baker arrived?
WILL FRIDAY NIGHT STILL BE ALL RIGHT?
Since Patrick Baker took over the Seminole soccer program in 1999, FSU has lost just one home game on a Friday night (13-1-2) and is 4-1-0 versus ranked opponents on a Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The Seminoles are also 17-2-3 since 1999 at home under the lights and FSU is 8-2-0 at night against ranked teams at home. In his four plus seasons at FSU, Baker has recorded wins under the lights in Tallahassee versus No. 6 UF (2000), No. 7 Texas A&M (2000), No. 20 Wake Forest (2000), No. 2 UNC (2000), No. 21 Maryland (2001), No. 17 Clemson (2002) and No. 21 Florida (2002).
FREE KICKS COSTLY
Teams are starting to pay for recording a record number of fouls against the Tribe this year. The Seminoles have been fouled 136 times, which is the most since 2000. Katie Beal is collecting for FSU as she has cashed in on three free kick goals in the last three games. The former Parade high school All-America came into last week with no goals and four assists in 45 games. In the last three outings she has scored three goals, all on free kicks, and doubled her career total with eight points. She is threatening senior Kristin Boyce's reign as the defenses' top point producer over the last three years.
FILLING THE BALLOT BOX
After downing then-No.21 Ole Miss on the way to the 2003 Nike Seminole Classic championship, the Tribe was well represented on the All-Tournament team. The head coaches placed six Seminoles on the all-tournament team including offensive MVP Julia Schnugg and defensive MVP Katie Beal. While Schnugg was the lone FSU forward on the team, both Camie Bybee and India Trotter were singled out in the midfield. Katie Beal and Kristin Boyce were both included as defenders and Joy McKenzie was the tournament's top keeper.
LAST WEEK'S PEAK PERFORMERS
Freshman forward Julia Schnugg has been on fire as of late scoring four goals and recording three assists in her last three games and she made a huge impact in bringing Florida State back to .500 with two wins last week at the 2003 Nike Seminole Classic. The Alamo, CA native not only scored three goals and assisted two others in the two games but her golden goal versus No. 21 (SoccerBuzz) Ole Miss gave Florida State the tournament title. For her efforts she was named the tournament's offensive MVP with eight points. After her big weekend, the speedy freshman now leads the Tribe in goals (4), points (13) and assists (5). Schnugg started the tournament with a big game versus in-state rival Miami as she set the tone with two first half goals and an assist in the 7-1 rout. Her five first half points were the second-most ever scored by a Seminole in the first half of a game and her six total points were the third-highest single game total in FSU soccer history. Schnugg saved her best for last though against an Ole Miss team that came to Tallahassee tied for the nation's best record at 7-0-0. After giving up the equalizing goal to the Rebels with just 2:59 remaining in regulation, the Tribe was forced to go into overtime to try and get back to .500 for the first time in 2003. With just over six minutes gone in the first overtime period Schnugg fired a shot on frame that ricocheted to fellow freshman India Trotter. Trotter's shot was blocked right to the feet of Schnugg who turned and buried the game-winner. It was the first game-winner of the freshman's career and Florida State's first golden goal since Leah Gallegos' game-winner versus Clemson in 2002. That goal was the last in a hat trick for Gallegos, also a Californian, and resulted in her first-ever ACC Player of the Week honors.
Bybee started the 2003 Nike Seminole Classic by setting a new Florida State record for points in a half. The central midfielder scored two goals and recorded two assists within 21:03 as she paced Florida State to an opening round 7-1 rout of Miami. The six first half points were the most ever recorded by a Seminole player and marked the second career two goal game for the junior. She is just the second FSU player to ever record two first half goals in two games in her career. Then versus No. 21 Ole Miss, the junior pointed again as she helped stake Florida State to a 1-0 lead. Freshman Kelly Rowland sent a deep throw into the box where Bybee flicked the ball backwards to the far post. Senior co-captain Amber Tollefson then knocked a header over the top of Rebel goalkeeper Brittany Gillespie for the 1-0 lead. Bybee's seven points in the 2003 Nike Seminole Classic tournament landed her on the all-tournament team.
Junior Katie Beal was named the defensive MVP of the Nike Seminole Classic and for good reason but the center back was also a key part of the FSU attack last weekend. After scoring the first two goals of her career versus San Diego State, both on free kicks, the Virginia native got right back into the act in the tournament opener against Miami. In the 16th minute Beal made another team pay off a set piece. The junior, who had four career points and no goals before last week's game versus SDSU, has now scored three goals and posted eight points in the last two games. All three goals have come on free kicks but none like the one she scored Friday. The Alexandria, VA native sent a ball into the box from about 25 yards away and just a couple yards inside the left sideline. Her shot skipped through about 18 players in the box and wound up in the net at the back post. Versus No. 21 Ole Miss, Beal continued to be an offensive catalyst from her spot in the back. The Tribe's best early chance in the Ole Miss game came in the 26th minute. With Ole Miss expecting a long Beal set piece, the junior wisely played a short free kick across the field and wide to Kristin Boyce. The senior defender dribbled up the left sideline and swung a great cross into the box at the far post. The clearance ended up right at the feet of tournament offensive MVP Julia Schnugg a few yards in front of the goal at the near post. The Californian blasted the shot but keeper Brittany Gillespie made a huge save to preserve the tie. The Tribe went back to work in the 51st minute and once again put pressure on the Rebel defense. Beal and Boyce combined on another free kick; this one was sent down the left flank and onto an overlapping Boyce. The defender sent another brilliant cross into the center of the box and onto the head of Jez Ratliff. The midfielder's shot just missed the mark as it sailed over the crossbar. Gillespie made another huge save to keep Ole Miss in the game in the 58th minute. Beal played another great ball down a wing, this one to Gallegos. The Los Angeles, CA native collected the ball on the end line and dribbled a Rebel defender who was trying to mark the sophomore. Gallegos closed in on the end line and fired a blast to the near post, trying to squeeze one past Gillespie. The senior keeper was able to punch the shot out of bounds. Defensively, Beal limited Ole Miss to just one goal, their lowest output of the season and overall she and the Tribe defense allowed just two goals in over 186 minutes of play.
SCORING EARLY AND OFTEN
After scoring three first half goals in five games to start the season, the Florida State offense has really started to pour it on early and often as of late. The Seminoles started by scoring three first half goals versus San Diego State but that was nothing compared to the record-setting first half versus Miami. The Seminoles tallied a school record six first half goals versus the Canes and they came in a span of just 21:03, which is the most goals in the shortest span of time in FSU history. Florida State did score six goals in 26:02 versus Jacksonville in 1996 and six goals in 29:00 versus that same JU squad in 1995, but neither of those compare to what FSU did versus Miami.
Julia Schnugg's run at the FSU freshman assists record is not all that surprising. For one thing she is as talented a freshman as any FSU has ever landed and her pedigree might be the best ever for an FSU recruit but she is also just following tradition. For three straight years, an FSU freshman has tied the all-time freshman assist record with seven. Emma Breland set the mark in 2000. Camie Bybee tied the mark in 2001 and then Leah Gallegos equaled them both in 2002. Schnugg might break tradition though as she is just two away from tying the record with at least 11 games to go. Even if she does set a new standard, Schnugg looks like she will become the fourth consecutive freshman to move to the top of the list for assists.
THAT'S THE POINT
Comparing FSU's numbers through the first five games of the season in relation to the numbers in the Tribe's three game win streak, the comparisons are staggering. Florida State obviously hasn't played the likes of Florida, Penn State and USC in their last two games but the numbers put up in wins over Miami, San Diego State and Ole Miss are amazing. In the first five games of 2003, FSU players combined to post 17 points, in the last three they have tallied 43. In fact, Camie Bybee and Julia Schnugg alone have combined for 20 points in just the last three games. The Tribe has more than doubled their goals from six in the first five games to 15 in the last three. Assists have gone up as well as the Tribe has 13 in the last three games compared to five in the opening five matches. Only two Seminoles had more than two points after five games to start the year. In the last three games six players have posted at least three points each.
SHOOT MORE, SCORE MORE?
The reason for Florida State's offensive success the last three games has nothing to do with the quantity of shots. The Tribe averaged 21 shots a game in the last three wins compared to 19 shots per game in the first five. But the difference is the quality of the strikes. Florida State scored a goal on just 6% of their shots in the first five games but that number has jumped to 24% the last three outings. One of the reasons for that is the shots FSU has taken the last three games have been put on frame. Of the 63 shots FSU took in the last three outings, 52% (32) have been on goal. That is compared to just 38% (37 of 98) in the first five games of the year. The idea that you have to put the ball on frame to score has never been truer than when you look at those numbers. By increasing the amount of shots put on goal by 14%, the Seminoles goal production has risen from just over 1 goal/game to 5.0 goals/game.
SURPRISE AT THE TOP
Coming into 2003, the Tribe knew goal production was an area of concern due to the graduation of two-time, All-ACC forward Cindy Schofield. The Seminoles thought that sophomore Leah Gallegos would pick up the slack, and the LA native has. She is tied for the team lead with four goals but she isn't FSU's leader in points. That honor falls to highly recruited freshman Julia Schnugg. The 2003 Parade All-American and U-19 National Team member scored the first goal of her Seminole career versus San Diego State less than a week ago and now she is leading the team with 13 points, helped on by 11 points in her last three games. She is tied for first on the squad with four goals but her five assists in just eight games are extraordinary. The Seminoles have at least 11 games left (10 regular season and one at the ACC Tournament) and Schnugg is already just two assists away from setting the single season record for a freshman. She currently leads the team with five assists and is halfway to tying the all-time single season mark as well. With 13 points in eight games, Schnugg is just five points shy of moving into fifth place for points scored by an FSU freshman as well.
While Julia Schnugg has been the hottest FSU player in the last three games, junior Camie Bybee is right on her heels. The Oklahoman has nine points in the last two contests and is second on the team with three goals and they all came in the past three matches. Bybee set the record for the most first half points ever by a Seminole with six in the opening 45:00 versus Miami. She also tied the record for the most points in any half in Tribe soccer history. Between Schnugg and Bybee, the pair recorded 12 points in the first half of the Miami game, which is a school record for any half. The previous record was set in 1996 versus Jacksonville when Erin Grimsley and Kasey McCall combined for 10 points in a nine-goal second half.
DEUCES ARE WILD
Camie Bybee has broken out as of late and her two goals versus Miami were evidence of that. On top of tying the FSU record for most first half goals (set on eight separate occasions), she became just the second Seminole ever to record two first half goals on two separate occasions. The Oklahoman accomplished the feat as a freshman versus Maryland in the ACC Tournament as FSU downed the Terps 5-2. Cindy Schofield was the only Seminole to ever accomplish that before the Miami game. Bybee isn't only tracking that Schofield record. With her six first half points Friday, Bybee moved into third place all alone for career goals and points, Schofield owns both records. After her assist versus Ole Miss, the junior has a ways to go in goals (18 to 40) and points (51 to 102) but she did become just the third Seminole in school history to hit the 50-point plateau for her career.
Six seems to be a pretty popular number among FSU players lately. After junior defender Katie Beal recorded six points on two goals and two assists versus San Diego State, Julia Schnugg and Camie Bybee followed up with six point games of their own versus Miami. Florida State has never had two players record six points in consecutive games like they did versus SDSU and Miami. The Tribe has however played a game where more than one player has recorded six points. In 1995, three Seminoles recorded six points each in an 11-0 win over Jacksonville.