Nov. 4, 2003
Cary, NC - On the eve of the Seminoles' first-ever game as a two-seed in the ACC Championships, the Tribe made a little history off the field Tuesday night. For the first time in the history of the program, Florida State placed two players on the All-ACC first team. Striker Leah Gallegos (Los Angeles, CA) and senior defender Kristin Boyce (Austin, TX) both took home the first All-ACC honors of their careers. Two other Seminoles were honored as well as midfielder India Trotter (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and forward Julia Schnugg (Alamo, CA) was each named to the ACC's All-Freshman team.
The selection of Gallegos and Boyce doubled the amount of Florida State players to ever garner first team honors. Emma Breland (2000) and Cindy Schofield (2001 & 2002) were the only Seminoles before this season to ever be named to the first team in the nation's top soccer conference. This is the second time in the last three seasons that FSU has placed multiple players on the ACC All-Freshman team. Since 2000, seven FSU rookies have garnered freshman team honors.
"I am excited that we had two first team members in Leah Gallegos and Kristin Boyce," said head coach Patrick Baker. "Leah has been one of our identity players. She is a terrific player, very skillful and is becoming a consistent goal scorer for us. She is a go to player in the clutch and is a big reason we are in the position we are in."
Gallegos is the first Seminole to ever be named to the ACC All-Freshman team and then garner All-ACC honors the following year. She leads No. 9 FSU in every category except for assists and is currently second in the ACC in goals, goals per game, shots and shots per game. She is also third in the conference in points, points per game and game-winning goals.
The striker was equally effective in games versus conference opponents. This season she moved into second place at Florida State for career goals in ACC contests and is third all-time for points in conference play. She is fourth in the ACC in goals, goals per game and game-winning goals in matches versus other ACC squads.
"I was really surprised to hear my name called," said Gallegos. "This conference and this team is filled with so many great players and I never thought that I could ever be put in the same category as them. It feels good that I was able to take a step up from what I did as a freshman and improve my level of play this year but I would never be here without the help of the 21 other players on this team."
The selection of Boyce to the first team has been long deserved as the senior has often flown under the ACC radar. She joins 2003 US National Team player Cat Reddick as the only two defenders on the first team. After this year's FSU defense allowed the third-fewest goals in an ACC season since the league expanded to eight teams in 1995, the captain of the defense earned the first conference honors of her career.
The left back was an integral part of an FSU defense that is in the midst of the best statistical season in school history. Although she saw her career come to an end after scoring the game-winning goal versus Clemson October 14, the ACC coaches still saw fit to reward the senior for her stellar play.
"This is a great honor for me. It is special to be named among the best 10 field players in the ACC this year," said Boyce. "It is nice to be thought of in the same sense as the other players on the team even though I am not sure I belong in the same class as them. It is an awesome accomplishment.
"When I came here four years ago, I never thought something like this would happen to me. It was always in the back of my mind like I think it is for almost all players at this level. It is something I have never strived to accomplish because individual awards aren't a motivator for me but it something that I am proud of."
Boyce was not only a mainstay in the Tribe's back four before her injury but she was also an offensive threat. She is FSU's all-time points leader for defenders and this year she ranked among the top 10 at FSU in points and goals and was tied for the team lead in game-winners. Her eight points this season were the second most of her career and she also set a new personal best with two assists.
"It is especially gratifying to make it as a defender," said Boyce. "Usually you get one defender on the first team and if you are lucky you get two. It means something because it is harder to make it from the back. We aren't in the position to put up the numbers forwards do so we aren't always recognized."
"Boyce was playing as well as anyone on our team or anyone in the conference before she was injured," said Baker. "She missed a couple of games down the stretch but I am thankful the coaches that did see her play felt she merited this much deserved honor. She has meant so much to this team over the years and especially this season. We are playing for her a lot of the time and we miss her in our line-up."
Schnugg is the second consecutive forward and second straight Californian from Florida State to make the ACC All-Freshman team after Gallegos earned those honors last year. The freshman was the ACC's second-highest scoring rookie in 2003 and led the entire ACC in assists by a newcomer. Her 10 assists shattered the FSU rookie record and tied the single season record at FSU. She is the fifth highest scoring freshman in Tribe history and she led all Seminole rookies in goals, points, assists, shots and shots on goal.
"Julia has complimented Leah so well up top and they are an exciting 1-2 punch," said Baker. "She tied the single season assist record as a freshman and that says so much about her game to be able to come in and do that."
"I am just so surprised and honored. I am happy the coaches of this conference feel I am worthy of meeting that standard," said Schnugg. "I never thought I would end up on that team. I am happy everything I have done up to this point has brought me to where I am right now and I like where I am. It feels great that people recognized that."
Trotter, the second central midfielder to make the team in FSU history, is second amongst FSU freshmen in goals, third in points and third in assists and helped turn FSU's season around by recording four points in the Tribe's record-tying five-game winning streak. What the midfielder does best though rarely shows up in box scores. Her tenacious play on defense in the middle of the pitch is complimented by her dangerous runs at opposing defenses. She is in charge of running an FSU offense that scored six or more goals on three occasions, a program first.
"Between India and Camie (Bybee), those two players run our midfield. India holds the midfield, play makes, defends and as a freshman, she has displayed her wonderful talent. Like the other three players recognized tonight, she is a big reason we finished second in the ACC and one of the reasons we have aspirations of doing well here this week in Cary and through the NCAA Tournament."
"I am honored that I was selected to the ACC All-Freshman team and am thrilled Julia and I get a chance to represent an amazing freshman class and an awesome team," said Trotter. "It is always an honor to have nice things said about you and it means a lot to keep my play at a consistently high level and meet expectations."
The Seminoles return to action Wednesday at noon when they open the ACC Championships versus seventh-seeded Wake Forest (10-5-3, 1-4-2). The tournament will be played at SAS Soccer Complex in Cary, NC. More information on the 2003 ACC Championships is available at www.seminoles.com, the official athletic department website for Florida State University.