Sept. 30, 2003
@USF (4-3-1) Wednesday, October 1, 7:00 p.m. @ No. 4 UVA (7-1-1) Saturday, October 4, 7:00 p.m.
LAST WEEK'S PEAK PERFORMERS
Junior, Oklahoma City, OK
The junior scored the seventh game-winning goal of her career and her first ever in ACC play as her header goal in the 70th minute sent FSU to 1-0-0 in the ACC. Her goal was the difference in a 2-1 win over No. 14 Maryland that gave the Seminoles their third straight win in a conference opener. The victory was the Tribe's third straight ACC win over UMD, a school record, and second consecutive win over an top 25 team, also a school first. Bybee is now second in FSU history for career game-winning goals. The victory also extended Florida State's current winning streak to four games, the second longest winning streak in team history. Bybee has now scored four goals and recorded three assists in her last four matches. After Maryland took a 1-0 lead on a header goal off a long throw-in, Bybee and FSU scored the game-winner in similar fashion. Kelly Rowland's long throw-in from the far sideline was sent into the middle of a group of players. Bybee rose above the pack and knocked her header shot to the back post past Kristen Barnhill for the 2-1 lead. For the game, Bybee took two shots, both headers and both on goal.
Freshman, Wallingford, PA
The freshman has been stellar since moving in to the middle of the Tribe defense, a move that has coincided with FSU's four game win streak. Played a huge game defensively in the middle in FSU's 2-1 win over No. 14 Maryland and also assisted on the game-winning goal. Her long throw-in to Camie Bybee in the box scored the Tribe's second goal in the 70th minute. It was her third assist of the year, which is second on the team. Rowland also played a key role in the equalizer as her header off a corner kick surprised UMd keeper Kristen Barnhill. The goalie was able to just clear the ball out but Gallegos pounded the clearance into the left side of the net for the FSU equalizer. Defensively, she helped limit Maryland to a season-low 11 shots and she held reigning ACC Player of the Week Kimmy Francis without a shot for just the second time in eight games this season. Francis came into the game averaging almost 3.5 shots per game. Overall, playing center back in the FSU back line, Rowland and her defensive teammates limited the Terps five leading shooters to just five shots. That group came into Tallahassee averaging 15 shots per game.
Sophomore, Los Angeles, CA
The Seminole sophomore tormented the Maryland defense all night in a 2-1, conferencing opening win. Gallegos led the team in shots (7), shots on goal (4) and was tied for the team lead in goals (1). After seeing Maryland steal the momentum in front of over 1,100 fans with a goal just five minutes in, Gallegos brought the Seminoles and their fans back to life less than five minutes later. Her goal came off a corner kick clearance. Senior Amber Tollefson found Kelly Rowland in the center of the Terp box. The freshman blasted a header that seemed to catch starting keeper Kristen Barnhill by surprise. Barnhill punched the ball out and the Maryland defense then sent a slow clearance that came rolling out to Gallegos. The Los Angeles, CA native one-timed the shot through Camie Bybee's legs and past the Terp keeper for her team-leading fifth goal of the year. Gallegos now has 12 career goals but her four ACC goals are the third-most in FSU history and they have come in just eight conference matches. She is also already tied for the career lead at FSU for game-winning goals in ACC matches.
The Seminoles have never lost tot the Bulls posting a series record of 5-0-1...odd years and away games equal 1-0 shutouts for the Seminoles...FSU has shutout South Florida every other year (1997, 1999 and 2001) and have beat the Bulls by an exact score of 1-0 in all three games...FSU has outscored USF 9-4 in the all-time series dating back to 1997...the Seminoles have edged out the Bulls 4-2 in the first half of play all-time and 4-2 in the second half of play all-time; the only other goal came in double overtime in 2000...USF did not score a single goal in the 2nd half of competition through the first five years of the series...their first and second goals of the 2nd half came in last year's match up...the Vik Edvarsen sisters alone have three goals in the series compared to the Bulls' four goals in six years...the number of shots the Tribe has taken is almost twice as much as the Bulls' total (117-64) ...in 2001, Kristin Boyce and Cindy Schofield individually matched the total number of shots that South Florida took as a team (6) in that game...six different players have scored for the Seminoles, but this year's squad is still looking for their first player to put the ball in the net against the Bulls...FSU leads the assist category 8-2 with eight different players recording an assist versus USF including current Seminoles Amber Tollefson, Leah Gallegos, Marion Cagle and Katie Beal...FSU has 47 total corner kicks compared to 19 for USF and Florida State has never allowed South Florida more than four corner kicks in a game...the Tribe has not had to recorded a save in the last two meetings against the Bulls. One reason may be that in the last two years USF has only put up a total of two shots on goal compared to FSU's 25.
A CAVALIER ATTITUDE
Don't be surprised if Virginia isn't that concerned with FSU's visit to Charlottesville this Saturday considering their gaudy No. 5 ranking and 9-0-1 record versus FSU. The Cavaliers are the only team in the Atlantic Coast Conference that Florida State has never beaten. Since Patrick Baker took over the program, the Seminoles have recorded their first-ever victory against three different ACC schools but not UVA. The Tribe advanced past the Cavs in a shootout at the 2001 ACC Championships but that game was officially a tie. The Tribe has been close to breaking through versus UVA losing the last six conference meetings by just one goal each time including an overtime loss in 1998. In five of FSU's nine losses to Virginia, the Cavs have either tied or won the game with less than 10:00 on the clock and on three occasions the goal came with under two minutes remaining in the match.
During the regular season in 2001, FSU held a 2-1 lead over the Cavs in Charlottesville before Virginia evened the match with just over 20:00 remaining. The Cavaliers then got the game-winner with less than two minutes left in regulation. In 2000, FSU and UVA were tied at 0-0 before the Cavaliers scored another 89th-minute goal to record a 1-0 win. The meeting between the two schools in 1999 was another tough one for the Tribe. Once again the game was scoreless going into the final 10:00 before UVA scored to win 1-0. The regular season meeting in 1998 might have been the most heartbreaking of all the losses FSU has suffered at the hands of the Cavs. The Garnet and Gold took a 3-2 lead in to the 89th-minute before UVA once again tied the match and won the game just six minutes in to OT. In 1997 Virginia used another 809th-minute goal to beat Florida State. With the game tied 1-1, UVA got the game-winner in the 85th-minute of the game.
STREAK ON THE LINE
With the Seminoles 2-1 win over then-No. 14 Maryland, the Seminoles equaled the second-longest winning streak in program history. This is the seventh four-game win streak in school history. The Tribe had two four-game win streaks last year but was unable to extend either streak to five. Both winning streaks came to an end versus ACC teams. One ended with a 1-1 tie at Duke and the other with a 2-1 loss to Virginia. The five game winning streak came in 2000 and included wins over UCF, FIU, Oregon State, Oregon and Wake Forest. Overall, FSU was unbeaten for seven games during that streak with a tie versus Duke and a 3-2 win over North Carolina.
STREAK ON THE LINE II
The Seminoles won't only be looking to tie the school record five-game winning streak in Tampa Wednesday but they will also be looking to extend their six-game unbeaten streak and four game winning streak versus the Bulls. The Tribe has never lost to USF in six meetings and is undefeated all-time (3-0-0) in Tampa. While those streaks are impressive, every game in the series has been close. The Seminoles have never beaten USF by more than one goal and in four of the six games the USF defense has limited FSU to just one goal. Last year's 3-2 win marked the most goals scored by FSU versus USF and the most goals ever scored by USF versus FSU. The Bulls are on a streak of their own. Coming off a 2-0 win over Cincinnati, USF will enter the game Wednesday night on a three game win streak.
JUST WHEN WE NEEDED IT MOST
The Tribe couldn't have responded any better to a 1-3-0 start this year than they have in the last four games. During its four game win streak, the Seminoles have defeated two top 25 teams, out scored their opponents 17-4 and won an overtime game as they have moved above .500 (5-4) for the first time in 2003. The run really shouldn't have surprised anyone. Since Baker took over the FSU program in 1999, the Tribe has consistently responded to adversity with long win streaks. In 1999, FSU started 0-2 and then reeled off four consecutive wins. In 2000, after a 5-4-0 start, the Garnet & Gold went 7-1-1 in its next nine matches. Same story in 2001 as the Tribe won seven of eight that year after starting out 2-2. Last season it was a 1-1-2 start that was followed by a streak that saw the team win six of seven games. Since 1999, FSU has gone 33-4-1 after reaching a season low as far as winning percentage is concerned.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT 2000
Amber Tollefson and Kristin Boyce are the only two current Seminoles who played on the 2000 team and they might want to give their younger teammates a history lesson. That team, the first NCAA Tournament team and Sweet 16 squad in school history, is remembered for wins over North Carolina, Texas A&M, Wake Forest and two victories over the Gators but few probably remember that the 2000 team started the year at 5-4-0 just like the 2003 squad. The 2000 team even fell to 5-5-0 before making its magical run to the NCAA Tournament. In 2000, the Seminoles played just three ranked teams in the first nine games; this year's squad has already played six. That team started 0-2-0 in the ACC, this year's squad is already 1-0-0.
EVEN AT HOME
With FSU's 2-1 win over No. 14 Maryland, the Tribe is now .500 (7-7-1) at home against ACC teams, which is a remarkable stat. Before Baker came to FSU, the Seminoles were 2-11-0 all time in conference games played in Tallahassee. Since his arrival, FSU's winning percentage in home ACC games has gone from .154 to .500 and if you remove 1999 (0-2-1), the winning percentage jumps to .583.
Californian's Leah Gallegos and Julia Schnugg are off to incredibly hot starts. The two have combined for nine goals, six assists and 24 points. That is 37% of the entire team's point total and 39% of the goal production but there numbers are more than good, they are historic. Schnugg's five assists in nine games are the most through the first nine games ever in FSU soccer history. She is also second-ever in points through nine games with 13. No FSU player has ever had more points and more assists through nine games than Schnugg. Gallegos leads the team with five goals and is just the second FSU player ever to lead the team in goals through nine games in back-to-back seasons (Maren Vik Edvardsen 1998 and 1999). Her five goals in nine games rank second all-time for goals scored through the first nine games of the year. What makes their feats even more impressive is that they have done it versus six ranked opponents. No team in FSU soccer history has ever started against such a tough schedule.
FRESHMEN LEND A HELPING HAND
Freshmen Kelly Rowland and Julia Schnugg have been making their presence felt all over the field. Schnugg is producing up top as she leads the team in points and Rowland has been dominant defensively. The two are also first and second on the team in assists. Both are on pace to shatter the freshman record for assists (seven, set by three separate players). They are even going to challenge the record 13 assists set by freshman teammates Jez Ratliff and Camie Bybee in 2001. Two rookies have never finished a season amongst the single-season record holders for assists, but Schnugg is just two away and Rowland four shy of becoming the first pair to do so.
The win over then-No. 14 Maryland was big in so many ways for Florida State. It was the fourth in a row for FSU, it was the team's third straight over an ACC opponent in conference play (a first), it was the Tribe's fifth victory over an ACC team (a first), it was the Tribe's third straight conference opening win (a first) and it marked the first time ever the Seminoles have defeated top 25 teams in back-to-back games. Surprisingly, head coach Patrick Baker and the Tribe has defeated 10 ranked teams since 2000 but never in back-to-back games. It is just another record or first that has fallen since Baker took over the program.
Firsts In Win Over Maryland
First time FSU has ever defeated a team three straight times in ACC play.
First time the Tribe has won back-to-back games over Top 25 teams.
First time FSU has ever won three straight conference openers.
First time FSU has ever recorded five wins over an ACC opponent.
A FIRST WHEN FIRST
Besides the four other firsts the Seminoles recorded in their win over Maryland, FSU became the first team this season to beat the Terps when Maryland scored the first goal of the game. The Terrapins scored the first goal of the game five times before the FSU game and were 4-0-1 in those contests. Despite recording its fourth goal in the first five minutes of a game, Maryland was unable to hold on versus the upset-minded Tribe.
SHOOTING FROM THE HIP
The Florida State defense has done its best job since Patrick Baker took over of limiting shots and shots on goal early in the season. In the previous three seasons, FSU opponents averaged 62 shots on goal and 120 shots through the first nine matches of the year. Those numbers have dropped considerably in 2003. Teams have taken just 45 shots on frame in nine games this year and have combined for just 92 shots overall. That is compared to 77 shots on goal for the Tribe and 145 all together. The best example of the defense clamping down on opponent shots came against then-No. 14 Maryland. The Tribe limited Maryland to a season-low 11 shots and held reigning ACC Player of the Week Kimmy Francis without a shot for just the second time in eight games this season. Francis came into the game averaging almost 3.5 shots per game. Overall, FSU's defense limited the Terps five leading shooters to just five shots. That group came into Tallahassee averaging 15 shots per game.
Junior Camie Bybee is having a renaissance season in 2003. After bursting on to the scene in 2001 with 10 goals and five assists and an All-ACC rookie team award, the Oklahoma City, OK native was a little disappointed in her production as a sophomore. Her goals dropped to five and her points fell from 27 to 15. This year she is producing with big time numbers once again. The midfielder is leading the team in game-winning goals and she is second on the team in goals, assists and points. With her dominant start this season, she is continuing to etch her name in the FSU record books. Her game-winning goal against Maryland was the seventh of her career and moved her into second place all time in that category and into a tie for first place for game-winners in ACC matches. She is third all-time in career points and goals and is now second in FSU history in career shots on goal. Bybee has also moved into fourth place for career assists. With a year and a half still remaining in her career, Bybee seems destined to leave FSU as one of the most productive players in program history.
PLAYING THE BEST PAYING OFF?
After playing a brutal schedule through nine games, Florida State returned to the Top 25 this week at No. 21 in the Soccer America poll. It is the only poll that has the Tribe ranked among the nation's 25 best teams. Last season Florida didn't make the NCAA Tournament after finishing .500 but playing probably the most difficult regular season schedule in the nation. So is it worth playing difficult competition?
When it comes to preparing your team for ACC play, the Seminole soccer staff would probably say yes and the team's 2-1 win over No. 14 Maryland would be proof of that. But when it comes to national polls, that is a different story. Below is a list of every team that is ranked by the four major polls and the number of games they have played versus the top 12 and top 25. The team's record in those games is in parenthesis.
No team ranked in a top 25 poll has played as many games versus Top 25 competition as FSU has in 2003. Only North Carolina, Santa Clara and Texas have played a more difficult schedule when you take into account total games versus Top 25 teams and games versus the Top 12. The Tribe is also just one of 15 ranked teams that has at least two wins versus Top 25 competition. There are even eight ranked teams that have no wins versus Top 25 teams and four squads that have played one or no games versus a ranked opponent.
TEAM TOP 12 TOP 25GAMES VS. TOP 25
FLORIDA STATE (2-4-0) 2 4 North Carolina (6-0-0) 5 1 Notre Dame (4-0-1) 1 4 Texas A&M (3-1-0) 1 3 UCLA (2-1-1) 2 2 Florida (3-1-0) 1 3 Virginia (3-1-0) 2 2 Pepperdine (2-2-0) 2 2 Washington (2-2-1) 3 2 West Virginia (2-1) 1 3 Portland (4-2-0) 1 5 Penn State (3-2-1) 1 5 Duke (2-1-0) 1 2 UConn (1-1-2) 4 0 Santa Clara (0-3-3) 3 3 Cal (1-1-1) 1 2 Wake Forest (2-1-1) 2 2 Colorado (1-1-0) 1 1 Ohio State (2-1-0) 2 1 Nebraska (0-2-0) 1 1 Utah (1-1-0) 2 0 Boston College (0-0-0) 0 0 Southern Cal (2-3-0) 2 3 Arizona State (0-1-0) 1 0 Auburn (0-1-0) 1 0 Purdue (1-1-0) 1 1 Princeton (0-0-1) 0 1 Stanford (0-2-1) 3 0 Oklahoma (1-2-0) 2 1 Maryland (1-3-0) 1 3 Denver (1-1-0) 1 1 Mississippi (0-2-0) 0 2 Texas (1-5-0) 3 3
1) North Carolina 6 FLORIDA STATE 6 Portland 6 Penn State 6 Texas 6 Santa Clara 6 2) Notre Dame 5 Washington 5 Southern Cal 5ROAD WINS RARE IN ACC PLAY
After a mid-week game versus USF, the Seminoles will head to Charlottesville, VA for their second ACC game of the year. Playing on the road in the conference is always a difficult proposition. Florida State is 4-27-4 all-time on the road in the conference and three of those wins and three of the ties have come since Baker took over the program. Florida State did however win its last ACC road game and is undefeated in its last three conference road matches. Last season FSU recorded back-to-back ACC road wins versus Maryland and NC State and those wins were preceded by a tie at Duke. That is the longest undefeated streak of road ACC games in school history. Extending that will be tough considering FSU has never won at Klockner Stadium and the Cavaliers enter the match in the top 10.
SEMINOLE UPRISING IN THE ACC
There are so many stats that put into perspective just how far the Seminole soccer program has come under Patrick Baker. You could talk about the three straight NCAA Tournaments, the two Sweet 16's, the ACC Championships final appearance in 2001 or the success recruiting, which has brought the eight-best haul in the land since 2000. Nothing really captures what Baker has done in Tallahassee though like the complete turnaround in ACC play. From 1995 to 1999, the Seminoles posted a 3-30-2 record in regular season conference games, a winning percentage of .114. Since then, the Seminoles are 10-10-2 in just three conference seasons. The .500 winning percentage is a huge increase and during that span FSU has defeated every ACC squad in a conference game except for Virginia. Against Clemson, Maryland and NC State, the Tribe is an amazing 7-2-1 and overall in that span, Florida State is at .500 or above against four of the seven ACC schools since 2000.
RANKING WITH THE NATION'S BEST
After the first five games of the 2003 season, Florida State was sitting at 1-4-0 and was averaging just a goal per game. In just four games so much has changed. On top of climbing over .500 during their four game winning streak, the Seminole offense has exploded. So much so that the team now ranks as one of the highest scoring squads in the nation. In four games the Tribe has increased their season average for scoring from 1.00 to 2.56, a 256% increase. That average landed the Seminoles at No. 30 in the nation for scoring offense in the latest NCAA stats released 9/28/03.
SUN SHINE, SUNSHINE ON ME
Thanks to the effort of the FSU administration and the good people at the Sunshine Network, FSU soccer fans have been treated to 10 Seminole soccer broadcasts in just over two seasons (since 2001). In those 10 Sunshine games, FSU has fared very well posting a 7-3-0 record. If you take out two road losses at Florida, that number looks even better as the Tribe has gone 7-1-0 at home on Sunshine since 2001. The only loss came against Maryland in the 2002 ACC Tournament. So FSU is actually in the midst of a seven game home, regular season winning streak in Sunshine games. Florida State has played to overtime in three of those games and has won all three, including a 2-1 win over Ole Miss. FSU is also 3-0-0 in ACC contests broadcast by Sunshine with wins over Maryland, Duke and NC State, both in overtime and both in 2001.
AS SCHNUGG AS A BUG IN A RUG
The third week of her college career was pretty special for freshman Julia Schnugg. Starting with her goal and assist versus SDSU and then her three goal, two assist performance at the Nike Seminole Classic, the Alamo, CA native was named to the SoccerBuzz National Team of the Week on top of the Nike Seminole Classic All-Tournament team, the Nike Seminole Classic Offensive MVP and the FSU Rookie of the Week. Not too bad.
COMEBACK AND SEE US AGAIN
Florida State's come from behind victory over then-No. 14 Maryland was the 13th comeback win in program history and the fifth against a ranked team. Before Patrick Baker's arrival, FSU had just three come from behind wins in five years and none against ranked opponents. In the last three years alone, not only have Baker led squads staged 10 come from behind wins but also half have come against ranked opponents. In fact, the last four comeback wins for FSU have all been against top 25 teams (No. 7 Clemson, No. 21 Florida, No. 17 Clemson and No. 14 Maryland).
NO END IN SIGHT
Florida State just completed a stretch pf playing six opponents in nine games who are currently ranked or who were ranked at the time of the game. Few teams in the nation have played the schedule FSU has, which included games against No. 7 Florida, No. 11 Penn State, No. 22 Maryland, then-No. 19 Kansas, then-No. 19 USC and No. 23 Ole Miss. Things aren't going to get any easier though. Two of FSU's next three games are against top 10 teams in No. 4 Virginia and No. 10 Duke. That will make eight top 25 opponents in 12 games with consensus No. 1 North Carolina, No. 9 Wake Forest and Clemson still looming on the horizon.
Julia Schnugg's golden goal against the Rebels was just the third in Florida State history versus a non-conference opponent. Five of the eight golden goals in Seminole soccer history have come against conference opponents so Schnugg's was rare. In fact before her game-winner, the last four OT goals all came in ACC matches. Schnugg isn't alone though when it comes to game-winners by freshmen. This is the fourth straight year a Seminole freshman has recorded a golden goal. In 2000 it was Kristin Boyce for a win over North Carolina. In 2001 Jez Ratliff got an OT goal versus NCSU and last year it was Leah Gallegos' memorable Clemson OT goal. All four of those players are from the west side of the Mississippi as well with Gallegos and Schnugg from California, Ratliff from Oklahoma and Boyce from Texas.
If you know anything about California, you know that the northern and southern parts of the state couldn't be any more different but that hasn't stopped Julia Schnugg (Alamo, CA just outside of San Francisco) and Leah Gallegos (Los Angeles, CA) from not only bonding off the field but also clicking up top in the Seminole offense. In fact, the two had eerily similar September 20 weekends during their respective freshman years. Last year, Gallegos scored three goals and had an assist in two games versus Clemson and South Florida. This year Schnugg had three goals and two assists in two games during the same weekend. Both players scored a golden goal versus a ranked team, Leah versus Clemson and Julia versus Ole Miss, which is especially creepy since the Tribe only has eight golden goals in program history. Gallegos went on to make SoccerBuzz's National Team of the Week, as did Schnugg.
BACK TO LIFE
The Seminole back line and goalkeeper Joy McKenzie have committed themselves to getting better after allowing an average of two goals after the first five matches of the season. The unit, which was being counted on to carry the team, has responded the last four games. The shift started with a new attitude and coincided with freshman Kelly Rowland's move from the right side into the center of the FSU defense. Since then the team has cut its goals allowed in half. In three of the last four games, Florida State carried shutouts into the last seven minutes of wins. With primarily back-ups on the field, the Tribe missed two shutouts by allowing goals with 6:45 and 5:46 remaining and lost a shutout to a ranked Ole Miss team with just 2:59 left on the clock. Joy McKenzie has also played a big role in the turnaround. She has not only been coming up with the big save but she is making more of an impact in organizing the defense too. McKenzie has posted a stellar 0.98 GAA the last three games and her overall GAA has fallen from a high of 2.15 to 1.46.
TAKE A SHOT
After being out shot by USC (13-12) and tying Penn State in the shot category (12-12), FSU has not been out shot for seven straight games. In fact, the Tribe has almost a 100-shot advantage (151-67) in the last seven games and a 5-2 record in that span. Florida State has also led every opponent except for Penn State when it comes to shots on goal. Overall, the Tribe has put 77 shots on frame compared to 45 for their opponents and FSU has put eight or more shots on goal in six of nine games this year. The same is holding true when it comes to corner kicks. After setting records in 2002 for the most corners taken and fewest allowed, the Tribe is back at it in 2003. Since starting 0-2, FSU has out cornered every opponent and has a 58-15 advantage in the last seven matches. Only one opponent in that stretch has taken more than three corners versus the Tribe (San Diego State took six in a 7-1 loss).
TIME TO HIT THE ROAD
The Seminoles certainly enjoyed their Friday night home game versus Maryland but it will be the last time they will see home turf in a while. Five of FSU's next six games will be away from home. This is the Tribe's longest road stretch since Baker's first year in Tallahassee when the 1999 team played six straight away from home and went 3-3-0. The Seminoles also played five of six away from home in 2001 and three of those six games were against the same three teams as the Tribe will face on this road stint (UCF, USF and Duke). In 2001 FSU finished that six game run with a stellar 4-2-0 record.
Florida State has had a complete reversal of fortune against Maryland, Duke, Clemson and NC State over the past two-plus seasons. From 1995 to 2000 (six seasons), FSU recorded just three wins against this group in 25 meetings for a winning percentage of .107. Since then under head coach Patrick Baker, the Seminoles have tripled that ACC win total in 15 fewer games. Florida State has gone 9-1-1 in the last 10 meetings with those ACC schools posting an amazing winning percentage of .864. Looking at those numbers, is it any wonder how the Seminoles have gone from perennial cellar dwellers to competing for a top spot in the ACC since Baker arrived?
WILL FRIDAY NIGHT STILL BE ALL RIGHT?
Since Patrick Baker took over the Seminole soccer program in 1999, FSU has lost just one home game on a Friday night (14-1-2) and is 5-1-0 versus ranked opponents on a Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The Seminoles are also 18-2-3 since 1999 at home under the lights and FSU is 9-2-0 at night against ranked teams at home. In his four plus seasons at FSU, Baker has recorded wins under the lights in Tallahassee versus No. 6 UF (2000), No. 7 Texas A&M (2000), No. 20 Wake Forest (2000), No. 2 UNC (2000), No. 21 Maryland (2001), No. 17 Clemson (2002) and No. 21 Florida (2002). This season FSU improved that total with a big Friday night win over No. 14 Maryland (2003). The Tribe will need to continue that success with Duke and NC State the last two Friday night visitors this season.
FREE KICKS COSTLY
Teams are starting to pay for recording a record number of fouls against the Tribe this year. The Seminoles have been fouled 145 times so far this year. Katie Beal is collecting for FSU as she has cashed in on three free kick goals in the last four games. The former Parade high school All-America came into the KU.Store Crimson & Blue Invitational September 12 with no goals and four assists in 45 games. In her last four outings she has scored three goals, all on free kicks, and doubled her career total with eight points. She is threatening senior Kristin Boyce's reign as the defenses' top point producer over the last three years.
SCORING EARLY AND OFTEN
After scoring three first half goals in five games to start the season, the Florida State offense has really started to pour it on early and often as of late. The Seminoles started by scoring three first half goals versus San Diego State but that was nothing compared to the record-setting first half versus Miami. The Seminoles tallied a school record six first half goals versus the Canes and they came in a span of just 21:03, which is the most goals in the shortest span of time in FSU history. Florida State did score six goals in 26:02 versus Jacksonville in 1996 and six goals in 29:00 versus that same JU squad in 1995, but neither of those compare to what FSU did versus Miami.
Julia Schnugg's run at the FSU freshman assists record is not all that surprising. For one thing she is as talented a freshman as any FSU has ever landed and her pedigree might be the best ever for an FSU recruit but she is also just following tradition. For three straight years, an FSU freshman has tied the all-time freshman assist record with seven. Emma Breland set the mark in 2000. Camie Bybee tied the mark in 2001 and then Leah Gallegos equaled them both in 2002. Schnugg might break tradition though as she is just two away from tying the record with at least 10 games to go. Even if she does set a new standard, Schnugg looks like she will become the fourth consecutive freshman to move to the top of the list for assists.
THAT'S THE POINT
Comparing FSU's numbers through the first five games of the season in relation to the numbers in the Tribe's four game win streak, the comparisons are staggering. In the first five games, FSU faced four ranked teams compared to two Top 25 teams in the last four. In the first five games of 2003, FSU players combined to post 17 points, in the last four they have tallied 48. In fact, Camie Bybee and Julia Schnugg alone have combined for 22 points in just the last four games. The Tribe has more than doubled their goals from six in the first five games to 15 in the last three. Assists have gone up as well as the Tribe has 13 in the last three games compared to five in the opening five matches. Only two Seminoles had more than two points after five games to start the year. In the last four games seven players have posted at least three points each. The Seminoles are also limiting their opponent's points as well. After giving up 27 points in the first five games, FSU has allowed opponents to record just 10 points in the last four contests.
SHOOT MORE, SCORE MORE?
The reason for Florida State's offensive success the last four games has nothing to do with the quantity of shots. The Tribe has averaged 19 shots a game in the last four wins, which is the identical amount they took in their first five games when they went 1-4-0. But the difference is the quality of the strikes. Florida State scored a goal on just 6% of their shots in the first five games but that number has jumped to 22% the last four outings. One of the reasons for that are the shots FSU has taken the last four games have been put on frame. Of the 77 shots FSU took in the last three outings, 52% (40) have been on goal. That is compared to just 38% (37 of 98) in the first five games of the year. The idea that you have to put the ball on frame to score has never been truer than when you look at those numbers. By increasing the amount of shots put on goal by 14%, the Seminoles goal production has risen from just over 1 goal/game to 4.2 goals/game during the winning streak.
DEUCES ARE WILD
Camie Bybee has broken out as of late and her two goals versus Miami were evidence of that. On top of tying the FSU record for most first half goals (set on eight separate occasions), she became just the second Seminole ever to record two first half goals on two separate occasions. The Oklahoman accomplished the feat as a freshman versus Maryland in the ACC Tournament as FSU downed the Terps 7-2. Cindy Schofield was the only Seminole to ever accomplish that before the Miami game. Bybee isn't only tracking that Schofield record. This season Bybee has moved into third place all alone for career goals and points, Schofield owns both records. The junior has a ways to go in goals (19 to 40) and points (531 to 102) but she did become just the third Seminole in school history to hit the 50-point plateau for her career.
Six seems to be a pretty popular number among FSU players lately. After junior defender Katie Beal recorded six points on two goals and two assists versus San Diego State, Julia Schnugg and Camie Bybee followed up with six point games of their own versus Miami. Florida State has never had two players record six points in consecutive games like they did versus SDSU and Miami. The Tribe has however played a game where more than one player has recorded six points. In 1995, three Seminoles recorded six points each in an 11-0 win over Jacksonville.
SURPRISE AT THE TOP
Coming into 2003, the Tribe knew goal production was an area of concern due to the graduation of two-time, All-ACC forward Cindy Schofield. The Seminoles thought that sophomore Leah Gallegos would pick up the slack, and the LA native has. She is leading the team with five goals but she isn't FSU's leader in points. That honor falls to highly recruited freshman Julia Schnugg. The 2003 Parade All-American and U-19 National Team member scored the first goal of her Seminole career versus San Diego State two weeks ago and now she is leading the team with 13 points, helped on by 11 points in her last four games. She is second on the squad with four goals but her five assists in just nine games are extraordinary. The Seminoles have at least 10 games left (nine regular season and one at the ACC Tournament) and Schnugg is already just two assists away from setting the single season record for a freshman. She currently leads the team with five assists and is halfway to tying the all-time single season mark as well. With 13 points in nine games, Schnugg is just five points shy of moving into fifth place for points scored by an FSU freshman as well.
FILLING THE BALLOT BOX
After downing then-No.21 Ole Miss on the way to the 2003 Nike Seminole Classic championship, the Tribe was well represented on the All-Tournament team. The head coaches placed six Seminoles on the all-tournament team including offensive MVP Julia Schnugg and defensive MVP Katie Beal. While Schnugg was the lone FSU forward on the team, both Camie Bybee and India Trotter were singled out in the midfield. Katie Beal and Kristin Boyce were both included as defenders and Joy McKenzie was the tournament's top keeper.