Sept. 17, 2003
Florida State junior defender Katie Beal is having quite a week. First she scores her first collegiate goal in a game where she totaled six points. Then the Alexandria, VA native is named Florida State soccer's player of the week and to cap it all off she was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week Wednesday. This is Beal's first-ever national player of the week honor.
Beal had a career day as she helped Florida State to a much-needed blow out win over San Diego State at the KUStore.com Crimson & Blue Invitational. The defender scored the first two goals of her career, both off free kicks, and also assisted on two others as she tallied six points and played a role in four of FSU's six goals. Her six points in one game were two better than the four points she had accumulated in her previous 45 games combined. She also came within two points of setting the all-time FSU record for points in a game. Her six points were the third most ever recorded in a game by an FSU player and the most points in a game ever by a Seminole defender. The last Seminole to record six points in a game was Leah Gallegos who did it with a hat trick against Clemson last season. Beal was the first player since 1995 and just the second Seminole ever to get to six points with more than one assist.
"I thought she (Katie Beal) had a good start to the season. As we have stepped out, just like our team, Katie is getting better and better," said Baker. "We are asking her to do a lot. We are asking her to organize our defense, to make a lot of decisions on dead ball and set piece situations and we feel like she is doing a really nice job for us. I think people are seeing that she is more than just a good defender. She is a good passer, she has dimensions in going forward and I think we were able to see a little more of what we can become as a team when Katie plays the way she did this past weekend."
Beal assisted on FSU's first goal of the SDSU game as the defender played a perfect pass over the top of the defense to a streaking Julia Schnugg. The freshman took a touch wide of the keeper and buried the shot. Her first career goal came with just 44 seconds remaining in the first half when SDSU was whistled for a hand ball about 22 yards out from goal. Beal stepped up and bent the free kick around the wall and past Pearson for the first goal of her three-year Seminole career. Beal extended the FSU lead to 5-0 in the 62nd minute with another free kick goal. This one was from about 19 yards out. Beal put the shot right where she scored her first goal of the game, beating Pearson with a shot into the upper right corner. Less than six minutes later Beal racked up her sixth point of the game. This time she assisted Gallegos' third goal of the year. Her goal kick was played right onto the foot of a striding Gallegos in the final third on the left side. Gallegos dribbled the keeper and then fired into an empty net for a 6-0 FSU lead.
"She (Beal) played well against Kansas even though we gave up some goals," said Baker. "She did a nice job of receiving and playing balls, dealing with a lot of pressure and just making good decisions that allowed us to get forward. Her decisions allowed us to get into the attack with just one pass.
"Her service on the first goal versus San Diego State was just a wonderful ball to Julia (Schnugg). In my opinion Katie did the hard part by just getting the ball there and Julia finished it off with a great first touch. To have that vision and then be technical enough to get it down is special. She also scored on two set pieces for us and you could tell after the first one that she was going to be hitting them all morning."
You can Beal in action this weekend at the 2003 Nike Seminole Classic at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The Tribe is joined by 2002 NCAA Tournament team and 21st ranked Mississippi (6-0-0), Miami (4-3-0) and Jacksonville (2-3). Jacksonville and Mississippi kick the tournament off Friday, September 19 at 4:30 p.m. The Seminoles will renew their in-state rivalry with the Canes at 7:00 p.m. that evening. Sunday's games begin at 11:30 a.m. as the Canes and Dolphins square off before the re-match of last year's NCAA Tournament opener, between the Rebels and Seminoles. The Tribe won that first round game 2-0 last year.
All the tournament action is free and all the games will be played at the Seminole Soccer Complex. For more information on the Nike Seminole Classic or the Florida State soccer team, please logon to the official athletic website for FSU at www.seminoles.com.