WEEKLY RELEASE: FSU Soccer Hosts Nike Seminole Classic
Sept. 17, 2003
THIS WEEK'S ACTION
Friday, September 19 Florida State vs. Miami (4-3-0) 7:00 pm
Sunday, September 21 Florida State vs. #21 Mississippi (6-0-0) 2:00 pm
The Seminoles have won the last three games versus the Canes...during their three-game winning streak coming into their sixth meeting versus Miami, the Seminoles have eight total goals averaging over two goals per game and only allowing one goal in each of the last three matches...FSU has recorded eight assists in the last three matches compared to one for UM (2000)... Leah Gallegos is the only current player to put the ball in the net against Miami. That goal came last year and marked the first goal of her FSU career...Amber Tollefson and Jez Ratliff are the only current players to record an assist versus the Canes. Tollefson had hers last year, which was a game winner in the 55 minute mark...Ratliff's came as a freshman in 2001as she assisted Cindy Schofield on a record-setting night. Schofield scored three goals in the second half of that game, which still stands as a Seminole record for second half goals.
TAKING CARE OF STATE BUSINESS
When Patrick Baker arrived in 1999, he made winning games versus in-state teams a priority and it has paid off. Despite the loss to UF earlier this year, FSU is 20-2-0 against Florida schools since 2000. The Seminoles are undefeated at home against teams from Florida (11-0-0) and have outscored those opponents 33-12 in Tallahassee. The last time FSU walked off the Seminole Soccer Complex field with a loss against a Florida team was August 29, 1999 in a 3-0 loss to Miami, which was just the second game of head coach Patrick Baker's FSU career. The only road losses in that span came in Gainesville to the Gators.
Overall since Baker arrived in 1999, the Seminoles have posted a .857 winning percentage against their in-state rivals, going 24-4-0 and Baker has a winning record versus every in-state team he has faced in his four years. During those four seasons, FSU posted undefeated records against Jacksonville (5-0-0), South Florida (4-0-0), Florida International (3-0-0), UCF (4-0-0), and Stetson (1-0-0). The Seminoles only blemishes came against Florida (3-3-0) and Miami (3-1-0). Before Baker's arrival, the Seminoles posted a 9-7-1 record against teams from the Sunshine State. That is an increase of 329 percentage points since he was hired.
TALE OF TWO SEC-EASONS
The Seminoles are very familiar with playing SEC teams despite the fact that this is only the schools second-ever meeting with Ole Miss. Overall, FSU is 11-12-2 all-time versus Southeastern Conference squads but without Florida in the mix (3-7-0), the Tribe's record jumps to 8-5-2. Interestingly, half of FSU's eight NCAA Tournament games have come against SEC schools and the Seminoles are 4-0 in those contests. Last year the Tribe defeated Ole Miss and Auburn at the Seminole Soccer Complex on their way to the Sweet 16. Without those four NCAA Tournament wins, the Tribe's record versus SEC teams in the regular season drops to 7-12-2.
DOUBLE POINTS ON SUNDAYS
The Florida State offense has been close to breaking out all season. The timing between the six starters with less than a year of experience and the five veterans was just off and that resulted in quite a few missed opportunities. It all seemed to come together versus San Diego State at the KUStore.com Crimson & Blue Invitational in Lawrence, KS as the Seminoles exploded for six goals in the lopsided 6-1 win. After scoring six goals in their first five games of the season, the Seminole offense doubled that total in just one outing versus San Diego State. The Tribe's six goals were the most scored in a regular season game since November 1, 1998 when FSU downed Auburn 6-1. The last time Florida State eclipsed six goals in a game was 2001 when they blasted Maryland 7-2 at the ACC Tournament. The most goals FSU ever scored in a game was 11 and that happened on two occasions versus Jacksonville (1995 and 1996).
Three Seminoles were named to the KUStore.com Crimson & Blue Invitational All-Tournament team following FSU's second place finish. Katie Beal, India Trotter and Leah Gallegos all garnered honors after an impressive showing individually in the two games. Beal's performance versus San Diego State was the best of her career from an offensive stand point. The junior exceeded her point total in one game as she recorded two goals and registered two assists. Gallegos racked up her third goal of the season and Trotter also had an assist. Trotter's play in the midfield was one of the highlights of the weekend for FSU.
The Florida State offense broke out with one of its best performances in years with six goals versus San Diego State. While they have scored more total goals in other games, the performance was record setting in one way. Julia Schnugg's first career goal put FSU in front 1-0 but it was Amber Tollefson's goal, just 38 seconds later that was the record setter. The senior's goal was the quickest back-to-back goal ever scored in FSU history. The Tribe has allowed a team to score back-to-back goals in 18 seconds (1997) and answered an opponent's in 17 seconds (2000) but scoring two goals in :38 has never been done before.
SCORING ON SUNSHINE
If you want to look for a couple of FSU players that might have big games against Ole Miss, look no further than Jez Ratliff and Camie Bybee. The two Oklahomans have been extremely productive in games televised by the Sunshine Network. The two have combined to score seven goals and record seven assists in just seven games. They have combined to average 3.0 points per game and three of the seven goals they have scored in Sunshine Network games have been game-winners. In their other 53 games, the two combine to average .63 points per game. The two were however shutout in the team's last Sunshine appearance in Gainesville versus the Florida Gators.
BEND IT LIKE BEAL
Junior Katie 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.
Beal assisted on FSU's first goal of the 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.
In Florida State soccer's eight-plus year history, eight players have scored six or more points in a game, a club Katie Beal just joined after the San Diego State game. Every single one of those six point plus games came during the month of September except for one. Cindy Schofield is the only Seminole that has ever scored six or more points in a game that wasn't played in September and that came October 25 versus Miami.
HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY, JOY
After sitting out a 3-1 loss to Kansas due to an injury suffered in the Florida game, junior keeper Joy McKenzie returned to action with a huge game against San Diego State at the KUStore.com Crimson & Blue Invitational. The Seminoles, looking to get off to a fast start, almost fell behind early but McKenzie was there to bail the team out. Nine minutes in the Aztecs sent a 25-yard free kick around the wall and onto frame. McKenzie's diving save opened the door for freshman Julia Schnugg to put FSU on top seven minutes later. McKenzie came up with another big save in the 25th minute. San Diego State looked to capitalize off a corner kick clearance. The Aztecs sent another dangerous shot on frame that McKenzie once again was able to get a hand on and fist over the crossbar. For the game, she saved four of the nine shots she faced and the only goal she allowed came in the waning moments with just one starter on the field in front of her. In her last two starts Joy has made at least five highlight reel saves against Florida and SDSU.
Although goals were tough to come by at the start of the season for FSU, it wasn't due to a lack of shots. The Seminoles have taken 118 shots through six games this season, the second-highest total in school history. Only the 2000 team took more shots in the first six games of the year as they fired away 125 times. Leah Gallegos leads the way with 29 after setting the freshman record last year with 64 shots. No player at FSU has ever taken more shots to start a season than the sophomore from LA. She is averaging almost five a game and is easily on pace to break the record of 75 set by Cindy Schofield in 2002.
CAGLE'S FIRST START
After two full seasons and appearing in 43 games, junior Marion Cagle made her first career start for the Seminoles versus San Diego State. The Tallahassee native started at right back for the Tribe after spending much of her first two seasons splitting time in the back and out wide in the midfield. With both Cagle and Joy McKenzie getting the first starts of their careers in 2003, every upper classman on the Florida State roster has now contributed with a start.
A lot was expected of Californian Julia Schnugg when she committed to Florida State. The forward is just the third Parade All-American to ever play at FSU and she was also coming in after stints with the US U-19 National Team. The speedy Norcal kid hasn't disappointed. Schnugg has started five games this season and is currently third on the team with five points. She leads all Seminoles with three assists and is almost half way to the freshman assist record just six games into the year.
FLEXING OUR STATS
You may have done a double take when you looked at the box score from FSU's 3-1 win over JU Sunday. The numbers just don't seem right. The Tribe dominated the game on the scoreboard and statistically. They put up the most one-sided numbers since a 2001 win over Loyola (Md). Florida State out shot the Dolphins 37-4, held a 14-0 edge in corner kicks and had a 13-1 edge in shots on goal. Jacksonville didn't even launch its first shot of the game until the 53rd minute. The Seminoles' 37 shots were four short of tying a school record and their 33 shot advantage was the third highest in school history. This is the second time FSU has out shot JU by 33 shots. In 1995, the Seminoles out shot Jacksonville 36-3.
D?J? VU ALL OVER AGAIN
The Seminoles statistical dominance against Jacksonville is nothing new. On top of winning the last six meetings by a combined score of 22-5, the last two times FSU held a team to no corner kicks came against JU. In the team's 2001 meeting, FSU had a 17-0 edge in corners and that was the last time the Tribe shut out a team as far as corners go before Sunday's match. Overall, FSU has held an opponent without a corner kick 15 times and on four of those occasions the opponent was JU. The Seminoles also held a large edge in shots (27-5) and shots on goal (12-4) in the 2001 game but nothing compared to what they did Sunday.
Leah Gallegos, a 2002 All-ACC rookie team member, got her first two goals of the season in FSU's dominating 3-1 win over Jacksonville Sunday. The sophomore from Los Angeles, CA was second on the team in game-winning goals last year and led the squad in assists but had been held without a point through three games. That all changed in Jacksonville. On top of her two goals, which led the team, she took 10 of the team's 37 shots and almost half of the Tribe's shots on goal (6 of 13). Her 10 shots tied the all-time FSU record for shots in a game and were the most by an individual player since 1997.
GOOD GRACIOUS, SHE'S BODACIOUS
In a tough opening weekend as far as results go versus two Top 20 teams, Florida State's Jez Ratliff was a bright spot. The junior wide midfielder scored back-to-back goals in the games and accounted for all of FSU's goal scoring opening weekend. Since then she has picked up another goal and an assist as she leads the team with seven points. The Oklahoman has gotten off to hot starts the last two years now. In 2002, she scored two goals and recorded an assist in the first three games of the year and after four games, she led the team with five points, two goals and was tied for the top spot with one assist. This is the first time she has ever scored a goal in her first two games of a season though. She is just the fourth Seminole to ever accomplish that feat. With three strikes through six games, Ratliff already has half of the goals she recorded in all of the 2002 season. It also moved her just one goal away from moving into fifth place on to the all-time goal-scoring list.
In 2002, Ratliff was dominant opening weekend for FSU as she scored a goal, recorded a game-winning assist and put four of her six shots on frame at the Nike/FSU Invitational. At the Seminole Invitational in week two, she recorded the game-tying goal in the 79th minute that allowed FSU to comeback and even the score at 2-2 with Mizzou.
Junior Jez Ratliff scored Florida State's only goals in the weekend openers versus USC Friday night and Penn State Sunday. Her two weekend goals shouldn't have surprised anyone. Although her goal versus USC was her first-ever goal in a season opener, it was her fifth on a Friday night. She then added another goal on Sunday, her fourth on that day of the week. Overall, Ratliff has scored 14 goals and 12 have come on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The only other day of the week she has ever scored was Tuesday where she has two goals. The Oklahoman now has 14 career goals and is closing on the career leaders list where 15 is good enough for fourth all-time.
Florida State's openers versus USC and Penn State easily made up the most difficult opening weekend ever at FSU. The Seminoles have never opened the season with back-to-back games versus Top 20 teams like they did this year. Throw in No. 7 Florida, FSU's third game, and the first eight days of the soccer season was a huge challenge for the 2003 Seminoles. The only time FSU has faced two higher ranked non-conference opponents was when they faced eventual College Cup teams Santa Clara and Portland in one weekend. This is the second year in a row that FSU has faced ranked teams in three straight games but the first time in the Baker era that the Tribe has played three straight games versus ranked, non-conference foes.
Florida State left Kansas with just the program's second regular season road loss since falling to Virginia 3-2 November 9, 2001. With Sunday's win over SDSU, the Tribe is back to .500 on the road, which is important with 10 road games this season. For the first time ever, FSU finished a regular season undefeated on the road (4-0-1) in 2002. Before Patrick Baker's arrival, the Seminole soccer program had posted an all-time road record of 13-23-2 for a winning percentage of just .368. In those four seasons, FSU was .500 or above on the road just once. Since Baker came to FSU in 1999, Florida State has been at .500 or above in road games for three straight seasons, has posted a .562 road winning percentage and has increased its winning percentage every season.
ROAD RECORDS UNDER BAKER 1999 5-6-0 .455 2000 3-3-1 .500 2001 5-4-0 .555 2002 4-0-1 .900 2003 2-2-0 .500
THE POWER OF TWO
Kristin Boyce and Amber Tollefson are the only two seniors on the 2003 team and they have a chance to do some things that has never been done in program history. If the co-captains can lead the team to the NCAA Tournament this season, they will be the only class to graduate with four straight trips to the postseason. They also have the opportunity to be the first class with four consecutive winning seasons and they could leave Tallahassee with the best career winning percentage ever. They are currently 43-26-6 for a .613 winning percentage. The previous best wining percentage by a class belonged to last year's seniors who graduated with a 51-33-8 (.598).Boyce and Tollefson also have the opportunity to be the first class to register 10 or more wins every year of their four year career. The seniors posted 14 wins in 2000, 15 wins in 2001 and 13 wins in 2002. This year's class will try to become the second-ever to leave FSU with a winning record against Florida and they could even graduate with a 4-1 record against UF, the best in school history.
Florida State is continuing to fight for and gain respect in the nation's toughest soccer conference. After being picked to finish dead last for its first five years of existence, FSU was pegged fifth in the annual preseason coaches' poll in 2001. The Seminoles exceeded those expectations and finished third in the regular season and advanced to the ACC Championship finals. Last year the ACC head honchos tabbed the Tribe fourth in the preseason poll and FSU lived up to advanced billing again as they finished the season 3-3-1 and in fourth place. For the third year in a row FSU has set a new high in the preseason ACC coaches' poll as they were picked third this year. If FSU can meet those expectations, they would equal their best-ever conference finish set in 2001.
ACC PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
1 North Carolina 63 2 Virginia 52 3 Florida State 37 4 Clemson 36 5 Maryland 34 6 Duke 32 7 Wake Forest 20 8 NC State 14
BATTLING THE BEST
The 2003 FSU soccer schedule could easily be the toughest ever played in Seminole soccer history. More than half (9 of 17) of the scheduled matches are against 2002 NCAA Tournament teams including two College Cup participants (Penn State and North Carolina). Not one team on the schedule posted a losing record last season and FSU's opponents went a combined 226-114-24 (.654). Eleven of the teams had 13 or more wins and six won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament. The Tribe's out of conference slate (Southern California, Penn State, Florida, Jacksonville, Kansas, San Diego State, Miami, Ole Miss, FAU and UCF) is easily the toughest ever assembled at FSU. In 2001, FSU played Santa Clara and Portland but from top to bottom the 2003 group seems to be more daunting.
Since starting the soccer program at FSU in 1995, the Seminoles have established quite a legacy for competing against the best in the nation. That point has never been as clear as when you look at just the amount of games they have played against recent National Champions and College Cup teams. The Seminoles have faced a defending National Champion in six of the last seven seasons and faced the eventual National Champion six times in a row from 1996-2001. Since 1996, FSU has played 11 games in seven years versus College Cup teams. The Tribe has played nine games against six National Champions and has faced every National Champion but one over that span. This year, the Tribe will face two College Cup teams from 2002 in North Carolina and Penn State.
Year College Cup National Champion Games versus FSU 1996 One Team North Carolina Two games 1997 One Team North Carolina Two games 1998 Two Teams Florida One game 1999 One Team North Carolina One game 2000 One Team North Carolina Two games 2001 Four Teams Santa Clara One game 2002 One Team Portland None in 2002
DRINKING FROM THE COLLEGE CUP
Florida State's Patrick Baker has never shied away from playing the best and this year's opening weekend proved that. For the fourth time in five seasons, FSU will play two teams that played in the College Cup the year before (Penn State and North Carolina) and this is the ninth straight year the Seminoles have played a team from the previous season's College Cup. The Seminoles are 2-12 in those games with wins versus Florida and North Carolina.
BRAGGING ON OURSELVES
The Florida State Sports Information office received a couple of accolades this week. The team's 2002 soccer media guide was named the seventh-best book in the nation by Internet soccer magazine SoccerBuzz. This was the second consecutive year the Seminole media guide received national honors from SoccerBuzz. The book was named second best in the Southeast (behind Tennessee) and second best in the ACC (behind Maryland). The 2002 soccer media guide won its first-ever national award earlier this year when the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) named the media guide the fourth-best book in the nation. The Tribe soccer website at www.seminoles.com was also singled out and named one of 20 national top website winners.
Before 2002, FSU had never had a player from California on its roster but opening night; the Tribe started a duo of California kids. 2002 All-ACC Rookie Team member Leah Gallegos and U-19 National Team member Julia Schnugg started for Florida State against Southern California and Penn State. Schnugg is a Norcal kid but USC is right in Gallegos' neighborhood. The striker is from the Los Angeles area and played her high school soccer at LA's Franklin High, which is 10 minutes from USC. While the two may be from opposite ends of the state, they are forming a potent scoring combination for FSU. The two have combined for four goals and 11 points in the first six games of the year.
SMART AND GIVING
Florida State soccer is in the midst of a renaissance under head coach Patrick Baker but he hasn't just turned the Tribe's fortunes around on the playing field. Baker's teams have accomplished a rare feat in which they have achieved unprecedented success on the field, in the community and in the classroom. Last year, FSU soccer went to the Sweet 16, donated more community service hours than any Florida State team and 11 of 27 players made the ACC Academic Honor Roll. Since his arrival, Baker's soccer teams have won an Athletic Director's Cup for Community Service, posted a .599 winning percentage, been to three straight NCAA Tournaments, two Sweet 16's and an ACC Championship game.
WE KNEW THEY WERE GOOD
Although they have played just two regular season games, the 2003 freshman class is living up to its advanced billing with three players starting the first two games and five playing extended minutes. The 2003 recruiting class came to Florida State as the most highly ranked and decorated in school history. SoccerBuzz tabbed the group as the seventh-best class in the nation, the highest ranking ever for an FSU class. They were also ranked the 10th-best recruiting class in the nation by Soccer America magazine, which is a first for FSU. This is the Baker's fourth consecutive Top 25 recruiting class and his third in the top 12. Individually, Californian Julia Schnugg was named a 2003 Parade All-American, just the third FSU player (Katie Beal & Camie Bybee) ever to garner that honor. Schnugg has also been called up to the U-19 U.S. National side on two occasions. Midfielder/defender India Trotter has also been on the U-19 National Team roster on numerous occasions. Trotter was named the 21st-best recruit in the country by Soccer America magazine. Both players, Trotter and Schnugg, were among the original 36 players invited to participate in the McDonald's All-America High School game.
Since his arrival, Patrick Baker has experienced unprecedented recruiting success at FSU. The Tribe's head coach has done a remarkable job of attracting the state's best talent to Tallahassee as was the case with Amber Tollefson, Cindy Schofield, Teresa Rivera, India Trotter and many more. The last two years, Baker has had more Florida players on his roster than he had in his first three years combined but now he is also bringing in some of the best recruits from across the country and they are coming in pairs. While the Cali combo (Leah Gallegos and Julia Schnugg) came in a year apart, the first pair of out of starters to come to FSU were Oklahoman's Camie Bybee and Jez Ratliff, both All-ACC Rookie Team members. Gallegos came in with Californian Shannon Coe last year and now a trio of Pennsylvania players joins the elite group. Kelly Rowland and Ali Wean both played for the same high school (Strath Haven in Wallingford) and their FSU teammate Toby Ranck played for Radnor in near-by Wayne.
THE CUPBOARD ISN'T BARE
Although Florida State lost the most productive player in the history of the program when Cindy Schofield graduated, that doesn't mean the FSU offense will be lacking this year. The Seminoles return four of their top five point scorers from 2002 and seven of the top nine point scorers. Four of the team's top five goal scorers are back and four of the top six players when it comes to game-winning goals return this season. FSU also returns five of its six leaders when it comes to assists.
Defensively, this may be the best group in the history of the program. All three keepers are returning and the backline is set with established stars. Senior Kristin Boyce is probably the most unsung player since Baker took over but the All-Southeast region selection has had a stellar four-year career as a starter. Junior Katie Beal, a 2001 1st Team freshman All-American, missed much of 2002 but is ready to step back into the starting line-up and re-establish herself as one of the best defenders in the nation.
Kelly Rowland IS A CHILD OF DESTINY
Freshman Kelly Rowland is opening eyes on the FSU practice field and is vying for a starting spot as the Tribe's right back. As good as she has been throughout the preseason, her play isn't the reason she is going to appear in the inaugural issue of Sports Illustrated's On Campus magazine. The new SI is featuring athletes who share names with famous people like FSU's Kelly Rowland who shares a name with the Destiny's Child singer. Rowland was interviewed by SI and will have her picture in one of the first issues.
FINISH UP STRONG
The 2003 Seminole soccer season hasn't started the way any of the coaches or players hoped but it isn't all that different than the beginning of the previous three seasons, which all ended with FSU in the NCAA Tournament. In both 2000 and 2001, the Seminoles lost back-to-back games within the first month of the season. Last year, the Tribe scored just five goals in starting the year 1-1-2. This year they also had five goals in the first four games. The offense has improved every week and the best sign of all was seeing the team explode for six goals in their last outing versus San Diego State. Leah Gallegos has also scored three goals in three games, which is a great sign for the Seminole attack.