Nov. 19, 2003
LIKE A DUCK TO WATER
Few teams have adjusted to life in the NCAA Tournament as well as the Seminoles have. This is just the squad's fourth ever trip to the NCAA Tournament and they are already heading to the Sweet 16 for the third time. Only eight of 297 schools have been to three of the last four Sweet 16's, which is amazing. Even more amazing though if you consider that FSU is the only school of the eight that made its first NCAA Tournament appearance during that four-year span. The Tribe under head coach Patrick Baker is one of the more remarkable postseason stories. The team is 7-3 all-time in their four NCAA Tournament appearances for a .700 winning percentage. That is the sixth-best winning percentage all-time in the tournament. The Tribe's first four NCAA trips have been special as they have averaged 1.75 wins per tournament appearance. That is the sixth-best average of wins per appearance in NCAA Tournament history. While all of that success is impressive, it isn't even close to the most astounding number when it comes to success at the NCAA Tournament. Florida State's seven wins in their first four trips ranks fourth all-time for wins in a team's first four trips to the NCAA's. Only North Carolina, Notre Dame and Florida have more victories in their first four postseason appearances than FSU. In every one of those categories FSU now joins the ranks of North Carolina, Portland, Santa Clara, Notre Dame and Florida when it comes to postseason success. The only thing FSU can't boast is a national title, yet.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Florida State's 5-0 opening round win over Dartmouth was the team's fourth consecutive win to open the NCAA Tournament. Only 12 teams in the nation have won the last four opening round games. That is impressive in but even more so when you look at the NCAA Tournament's history. Only six schools have ever won their opening game in the program's first four trips to the NCAA Tournament. Of that group of six only four have done it in consecutive seasons like Florida State has. The Seminoles join North Carolina, Nebraska and Massachusetts as the only Division I schools to win four straight tournament openers in their first four years of NCAA Tournament play.
NOTHING SWEET ABOUT 16 YET
Making it to the program's third Sweet 16 in the last four years is a huge accomplishment and is a really big deal for the FSU program but it isn't the last goal for the 2003 squad. This year's team knows advancing to the school's first-ever Elite Eight will be tough especially versus a great West Virginia side. They won't only be fighting the Mountaineers but they will be fighting history. On top of being 0-2 in the third round, FSU has yet to score a goal in a Sweet 16 game. They have gotten progressively closer each time out. In 2000 they fell to the Tigers 2-0 in Clemson. Last season it was a 1-0 loss to UConn in Storrs, CT.
BUT 15 ON THE OTHER HAND
The win over Auburn was big because it sent FSU to its third Sweet 16 in four years but it was monumental in another way as well. The victory was the 15th of the year for FSU, which tied the record for victories is a single season. The record was set in 2001 when FSU went 15-8-1. That team also played in the ACC Championship final but didn't make the Sweet 16 after falling to Clemson 1-0 in the second round. Baker's last four teams have all won 13 or more games. Amazing since the program had never won 13 games in a season before he arrived in 1999.
FITTING RIGHT IN
Every freshman of FSU's 2003 roster has played in an NCAA Tournament game this year with most of the minutes coming against Dartmouth. The 5-0 win allowed head coach Patrick Baker to remove some starters and get some experience for his first year players, not that they need it. Of the six players that have scored goals for FSU in this year's NCAA's, three are freshmen. India Trotter, Rachel McDowell and Julia Schnugg have all scored their first ever NCAA Tournament goals this season.
KEEPING 'EM OUT AND PUTTING 'EM IN
With seven goals in the first two games of the NCAA Tournament, the 2003 Seminoles tied the team record for single-season goals. The Tribe has scored 55 goals this year marking just the third time in team history that a Seminole squad has surpassed 50 goals in a season. The team is also currently tied for the fewest goals allowed in a season with 23. No team in FSU history has ever possessed the goal scoring prowess and as stingy a defense as this year's squad. Florida State is a plus 32 in goals scored versus goals allowed. That is nine goals better than the previous record of 23 set by the 1996 squad. Florida State had just one season in the first four were they scored more goals than they allowed but since head coach Patrick Baker took over FSU has done it every year and has been at least a plus 15 for four consecutive seasons.
A SHOCKING TURN OF EVENTS
You can't blame FSU for being a little shocked when Auburn jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 29:08 into the second round NCAA game. In 23 games this season, FSU has trailed in the first half on just six occasions. Even more amazingly, of the 1035 first half minutes played by the Tribe they have only been behind for 71:12. That means they have trailed in the first half just 6.8% of the season. On three of those six occasions FSU has trailed for five minutes or less and five of the six times they have been behind for 16:00 or less. Almost half of that 71:12 came in one game versus Florida (33:38). In fact, in the last 18 games, FSU has been trailing in the first half for just over 21 of 810 minutes or 2.5% of the time. One of the reasons FSU has been behind so little in the first half is because of their stellar defensive play in the first 45:00. The Seminoles have allowed just nine first half goals in 2003, which is five fewer than the record 14 first half goals they allowed in 2002. The team's first half GAA is a miniscule 0.39. If you want just one example of how well FSU has played defensively in the first half you just need to look to the two games versus No. 1 North Carolina and the nation's top scoring offense where the Seminoles gave up just one goal in 90 first half minutes. The Seminoles will be challenged by a West Virginia squad, which has been more productive in the first half scoring 26 of their 49 goals in the first period.
SECOND TO ONE
Nobody really likes to come in second but when the team you are finishing behind is 17-time National Champion North Carolina, its not so bad. Last year was the first time Florida State ever finished second in the region behind North Carolina. A big accomplishment for a young program. Some may have written that off to one good year or other teams in the southeast having off seasons. If there were any doubts about FSU being right behind Carolina in the ACC, they have been erased this year. Florida State finished second in the ACC regular season, they finished second in the conference tournament and FSU and UNC are the last two teams from the ACC still playing in the Sweet 16. This is the first time ever FSU has played in the NCAA Tournament when every other ACC school except for UNC was knocked out. Last season FSU was one of three still playing this year one of just two.
SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES AGAIN
Anybody else noticing a pattern when it comes to the Tribe's Sweet 16 games the last two years? For the second consecutive season the Seminoles will have to travel north to face a BIG EAST school in an attempt to secure their first-ever Sweet 16 victory against a team they have never faced before. Last season FSU had to bring winter coats with them as they faced Connecticut in Storrs while braving 40-degree temperatures. This year's Sweet 16 also finds the Tribe heading north to face a BIG EAST school in West Virginia. While the temperatures won't be as low (predicted to be around 60 degrees) the team will be just as tough. The Mountaineers are a national No. 6 seed while UConn was the fourth-seed in last year's tourney. It will once again be a tall order on the road to say the least.
THIS WILL BE NO. 7
When you play one of the two toughest schedules in the nation you are going to see great players but this is getting a little out of hand. West Virginia's Chrissie Abbott is the seventh Hermann Award semifinalist the Seminoles will see this season. If you include the two games versus Carolina, FSU has played a Hermann semifinalist 10 times this season. In those 10 meetings, FSU has allowed just three of the Hermann semifinalists to score a goal and one of the goals came via a Cat Reddick penalty kick. Overall, FSU allowed five goals to that group but three came in one game against Kansas' Caroline Smith.
SPEAKING OF THE HERMANN
If you live in Tallahassee or follow Seminole soccer, it is hard to understand how Leah Gallegos was passed over for Hermann recognition. The super sophomore is having a remarkable season where she has tied the record for single season goals (17), game-winning goals in a season (6) and multi-goal games in a career (6). She has also set the record for multi-goal games in a season (5), shots (97) and shots on goal (53). In less than two seasons she has moved within two goals of the career mark for game-winners at FSU and at her current pace she is a season away from the career goals, points, shots, shots on goal and game-winning goal records with two years still to play. When you look at Gallegos' numbers compared to the nine goal scorers up for the Hermann Award, the Heisman of soccer, it is hard to argue Gallegos didn't deserve a nod. She is fifth among the group in goals, fifth in points and third in game-winning goals. So there is no argument as far as her stats go. She was an All-ACC first team selection just like Carolina's Lindsay Tarpley, Lori Chalupny and Cat Reddick so that can't be the reason. Her team has gone as far as anyone on the list and farther than Texas (Kelly Wilson) and Notre Dame (Amy Warner & Melissa Tancredi). She didn't put up big numbers against weak teams as FSU not only played in the ACC they went to the tournament championship and played one of the two toughest schedules in America this year. She also recorded at least one point in 11 of FSU's 23 games so her numbers weren't based on a few good weeks. She also has points against five NCAA Tournament teams Duke, Wake Forest, Maryland, Dartmouth and Auburn. She leads the ACC in game-winning goals and is second in the ACC in goals, goals per game, points, points per game, shots and shots per game.
ANOTHER GAME AND MORE RECORDS FALL
In it's 5-0 win over Dartmouth, FSU either set or tied 10 records. Sunday's second round win over Auburn wasn't as historic as far as records go but there were a few milestones reached in the game. Leah Gallegos' goal was her 17th of the year, which tied the single season record at Florida State. The goal came in dramatic fashion, as it was a 102nd minute golden goal, which led to another record. Gallegos is now the only Seminole to ever record two golden goals in her career and the first to ever score a golden goal in back to back seasons. It was also her record-tying sixth game-winner of the season. Amber Tollefson's game-winning assist gave her 24 in her illustrious career as she now holds the career assists record all by herself. The assist was her 10th of the season, which ties freshman Julia Schnugg and alumna Maren Vik Edvardsen for the single season record. The game was the first ever OT game for Florida State in the NCAA Tournament and obviously the first ever OT win in the tournament as well. It was also the first come-from-behind win for FSU in NCAA Tournament play.
IF YOU HOST IT THEY WILL COME
The opening round of the NCAA Tournament wasn't only record-breaking on the pitch but also in the stands for FSU. The Tribe drew back-to-back 1000+ crowds, which put the Tallahassee regional fifth of the 16 regionals for overall attendance at 2009. It was the fifth time in the last six games that FSU has played at home in front of more than 1000 fans and five crowds of more than 1000 fans in a single season is a new Seminole Soccer Complex record. The 2009 fans that showed up not only helped cheer FSU to two wins but they were part of setting the all-time single season record for average attendance (865) as well. In the last two seasons FSU has drawn over 21,000 fans, which is more than the first five years in program history combined. Sunday's crowd for the Auburn game (1006) was the largest daytime crowd in Seminole Soccer Complex history.
PICK YOUR POISON
Florida State proved against Dartmouth that they are capable of winning even when top scorer Leah Gallegos is held without a goal. To Gallegos' credit she came up with two assists in that game but it was four other Seminoles that tallied the five goals. The 2003 edition of Seminole soccer is the most balanced group when it comes to scoring. They are the first Florida State team ever to have seven players with four or more goals, five players with 15 or more points and three players with 20 or more points. Each one of those marks is an FSU record. The seven players with four or more goals sets a new mark and the five players with 15 or more points and two players with 20 or more points ties the record set in 2001.
Florida State in the NCAA Tournament (Team Records)
Most goals scored: 5 vs. Dartmouth (2003)
Most goals allowed: 2 vs. Clemson (2000)
Least goals scored: 0 (three times) vs. UCONN (2002), Clemson (2001, 2000)
Least goals allowed: 0 (three times) vs. Dartmouth (2003), Ole Miss (2002), Auburn (2001)
Most shots taken: 20 vs. Jacksonville (2000)
Most shots allowed: 21 vs. Clemson (2001)
Least shots taken: 2 vs. Clemson (2000)
Least shots allowed: 3 vs. Auburn (2002)
Most corner kicks: 8 (twice) vs. Auburn (2001), Jacksonville (2000)
Most corner kicks allowed: 8 vs. Clemson (2000)
Least corner kicks: 1 (twice) vs. Ole Miss (2002), Clemson (2000)
Least corner kicks allowed: 2 (five times) vs. Dartmouth (2003), Auburn (2003, 2001), UCONN (2002), Florida (2000)
Most saves: 9 vs. Clemson (2000)
Least saves: 1 vs. Auburn (2002)
Most fouls committed: 15 (twice) vs. Auburn (2001), Florida (2000)
Least fouls committed: 6 vs. Jacksonville (2000)
Consecutive minutes without allowing a goal: 90:00 (three times) vs. UCONN (2002), Clemson (2001, 2000)
Most shots in 1st half: 12 vs. Jacksonville (2000)
Least shots in 1st half: 1 (twice) vs. Clemson (2000), UCONN (2003)
Most shots in 2nd half: 10 (twice) vs. Auburn (2003), Dartmouth (2003)
Least shots in 2nd half: 1 vs. Clemson
Most goals in overtime periods: 1 vs. Auburn (2003)
Most goals scored in 1st half: 1 (four times) vs. Dartmouth (2003), Auburn (2002), Ole Miss (2002), Florida (2000)
Most goals allowed in 1st half: 1 (four times) vs. Auburn (2003), UCONN (2002), Florida (2000), Clemson (2000)
Most goals scored in 2nd half: 4 vs. Dartmouth (2003)
Most goals allowed in 2nd half: 1 (four times) vs. Auburn (2002), Clemson (2001, 2000), Jacksonville (2000)
Least goals scored in 1st half: 0 (six times) vs. Auburn (2003, 2001), UCONN (2002), Clemson (2001, 2000), Jacksonville (2000)
Least goals allowed in 1st half: 0 (six times) vs. Dartmouth (2003), Ole Miss (2002), Auburn (2002, 2001), Clemson (2001), Jacksonville (2000)
Least goals scored in 2nd half: 0 (three times) vs. UCONN (2002), Clemson (2001, 2000)
Least goals allowed in 2nd half: 0 (six times) vs. Dartmouth (2003), Auburn (2003, 2001), UCONN (2002), Ole Miss (2002), Florida (2000)
Most goals scored, defeat: 0 (three times) vs. UCONN (2002), Clemson (2001, 2000)
Most goals allowed, victory: 1 (four times) vs. Auburn (2003, 2002), Jacksonville (2000), Florida (2000)
Largest margin of victory: 5 vs. Dartmouth (2003)
Largest margin of defeat: 2 vs. Clemson (2000)
Quickest goal 1st half: 4:55 vs. Florida (2000)
Quickest goal allowed 1st half: 1:10 vs. UCONN (2002)
Quickest goal 2nd half: 45:34 vs. Auburn (2003)
Quickest goal allowed 2nd half: 63:34 vs. Auburn (2002)
Quickest time answered opponent's goal: 16:26 vs. Auburn (2003)
Quickest time in between FSU goals: 3:27 vs. Dartmouth (2003)
Quickest time in between opponent goals: 24:37 vs. Clemson (2000)
Consecutive minutes without allowing a goal in overtime: 11:04 vs. Auburn (2003)
Record when scoring first: 6-0
Record when opponents score first: 1-3
Record in overtime games: 1-0
Record in overtime P.K.'s: 000
Record when out shooting opponents: 5-2
Record when opponents out shoot FSU: 2-1