April 2, 2004
Tallahassee, FL - The 2004 spring campaign has been pretty successful for the fourth-ranked FSU soccer team. The Tribe has allowed just four goals all spring and they are undefeated for the second straight year. They have recorded wins against every college team they have faced (Florida, UCF and Georgia State) but there is still work to do and that process continues this weekend with two more home matches. These are the final spring games in Tallahassee and the last chance for fans to get a sneak peek into next year's Seminole Soccer team.
Florida Sate will face off with LSU tonight at 6:00 p.m. and then hold its annual alumna game Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. The games will continue to allow Baker and his staff to experiment with different line-ups and systems as they look to make another national championship run this fall.
"Playing a quality team from a conference like the SEC will be a huge challenge," said Baker. "LSU is well coached and they are a talented side. This will be another great test for our girls.
"Then Saturday night is a night we look forward to all year. The alumna game is our chance to see former Seminole greats and to allow them to stay connected to a program that many of them helped to build. It is a great night and allows current players to get a little sense of the history of FSU soccer."
The Tribe enters tonight's match missing a key piece from the 2003 season. Forward Julia Schnugg will not be playing tonight due to national team commitments. The U-19 National Team starter is heading to Carson, CA as the team hosts an International Tournament this week. This is the last camp before the squad begins CONCACAF World Championship qualifying in Canada May 26.
"Julia will not be available tonight but that is going to open the door for someone else to get more playing time and that is what the spring is all about," said Baker. "We are all excited that Julia has been called back once again for national team duty and it is a source of pride for our program that she is a member of the US U-19 National Team."
The absence of Schnugg will give Baker a great opportunity to experiment with Alli Ferreri up top and also move Jez Ratliff to forward and get a look at a lot of different options in the midfield. The graduation of Amber Tollefson has opened up a spot as a wide player for the Seminoles and the auditions to replace the four-year starter have been going on all spring. Sophomores to be Toby Ranck and Rachel McDowell along with veterans Sarah Rosseau and Erin Brown have all had long looks in the midfield so far in 2004.
The Seminole defense will also be a main area of focus as the spring season winds down as well. With the graduation of another four-year starter in Kristin Boyce and All-America Katie Beal still missing with an injury, Baker will have plenty of time to throw players into the fire and see how they respond.
Both games are scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. There will be Live Stats available for the LSU game tonight exclusively at www.seminoles.com.