Aug. 31, 2003
Junior Jez Ratliff scored Florida State's only goal in the opener versus USC Friday night but that shouldn't have surprised anyone. Although it was her first-ever goal in a season opener, it was her fifth on a Friday night. Overall, Ratliff has scored 12 goals and 10 have come on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The only other day of the week she has ever scored was Tuesday where she has two goals. The Oklahoman now has 12 career goals and is closing on the career leaders list where 15 is good enough for fourth all-time.
Since Patrick Baker took over the Seminole program in 1999, FSU has played 92 games and the Tribe has lost two in a row on nine occasions. Four of those back-to-back losses came in Baker's first year on the job. The FSU head coach has seen his team drop two in a row just three times since 2000 in regular season games and only once ever when both games were played at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
DRINKING FROM THE COLLEGE CUP
Florida State's Patrick Baker has never shied away from playing the best and this year's opening weekend proves that. For the fourth time in five seasons, FSU will play two teams that played in the College Cup the year before (Penn State and North Carolina) and this is the ninth straight year the Seminoles have played a team from the previous season's College Cup. The Seminoles are 2-11 in those games with wins versus Florida and North Carolina.
When the Seminoles' Jez Ratliff tied Friday's opener versus USC in the 44th-minute, it marked the first Florida State goal in a season opener in almost 220 minutes. The Tribe won their 2001 opener but scored their last goal of that game in the 37th-minute. They then played 120 scoreless minutes in a double OT tie with Oregon State to open the 2002 season. To put that in perspective, since Baker took over in 1999, FSU had never gone more than 170 minutes without a goal in any consecutive game stretch.
Californian's Julia Schnugg and Leah Gallegos had a chance to see some familiar faces when they opened the season against Southern Cal Friday. Three more Seminoles will have a similar experience this afternoon as Pennsylvanian's Kelly Rowland, Toby Ranck and Ali Wean get see the Keystone state's most famous soccer program in the Nittany Lions. Ranck and Rowland were both recruited by Penn State.
NEW SYSTEM AND NEW FACES
Florida State opened the 2003 season with a new system tailored to the team's abundance of talented midfielders. Baker has moved from his traditional 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 allowing him to capitalize on the speed and athleticism of freshmen India Trotter, Toby Ranck and Julia Schnugg along with returners Camie Bybee, Amber Tollefson and Jez Ratliff. Also, he elected to start a new keeper in junior Joy McKenzie. That marked the first time in two years that Kerry York or Ali Mims didn't start a game in the net.