Jan. 30, 2004
Tallahassee, FL - The most honored soccer team in Florida State history has a handful of more awards to add to their mantle as of Friday when Soccer America and SoccerBuzz released more postseason honors. Headlining the recent round of awards was Leah Gallegos who was named to her fourth All-America team as SoccerBuzz named her a first team All-American. The forward from Los Angeles, CA is the first-ever FSU soccer player to garner first team All-American honors.
Kelly Rowland, Julia Schnugg and India Trotter also had big days as well as all three were named freshmen All-Americans by either Soccer America or SoccerBuzz. Trotter and Rowland are just the second and third Seminoles ever to be named freshmen All-Americans by America's oldest soccer publication. Katie Beal picked up the second All-America honors of her career as SoccerBuzz named her a third team All-American and head coach Patrick Baker was named runner-up national coach of the year for the second time in four years by SoccerBuzz. Buzz also named Trotter and Julia Schnugg first team freshman All-Americans.
"I am so excited for Leah because she had an absolutely wonderful year," said Baker. "She showed me what kind of year you have to have to warrant this type of recognition. It couldn't happen to a better person or a better player. She was consistent through out the season and although she scored big goals in the NCAA Tournament versus Auburn and West Virginia, she was a threat every time we stepped out on the field. She didn't hide in any game.
"I am also thrilled that Katie Beal got recognized. Defenders as a whole go overlooked so many times and we experienced that with Kristin Boyce in the past. For someone that has played so well, organized our defense and allowed our team to be successful with great defending, it is great to see her recognized. And for three of our freshmen to be named freshman All-Americans is a remarkable compliment for them. I don't think there were three freshmen that impacted their college team more than Julia, India and Kelly."
The Tribe picked up eight other regional awards when SoccerBuzz's all-region selections were announced earlier this week. For the first time in program history four Seminoles were named either first or second team all-region and three freshmen were named to the all-region freshman team. Florida State was the only team in the southeast to place three players on the all-freshman team and nationally, only Santa Clara had more freshmen named all-region. Baker was also honored as he was named the southeast region's runner-up coach of the year.
Gallegos, who has been named an All-American three times already this postseason, has now reached rarified air for a Seminole soccer player with her first team All-American honors despite the fact she is only a sophomore. Earlier this week the forward was named to SoccerBuzz's All-Region first team along with junior defender Beal. After never garnering All-America honors in her first two seasons, Beal has now been named an All-American twice this year. She was named a second team all-region selection by the NSCAA earlier this year and in 2001 she was named all-region third team and to the all-region freshman team by SoccerBuzz. Goalkeeper Joy McKenzie and Trotter were also named second team all-region by SoccerBuzz marking the first award from the Internet magazine for each player. McKenzie, coming off a breakout season, was already named a third team all-region selection by the NSCAA.
"Regionally I am so proud of our group as well," said Baker. "To have three freshman named first team all-region is amazing. They came in as a highly touted group and they have produced. They weren't just great youth players who didn't translate to the college game. Each one of those young ladies, although very different, had a huge impact on our success. When you can have three freshmen perform at a consistent basis right down the middle of the field and they do that in the ACC Tournament and all the way through the final four, it says a lot about them."
Florida State has now picked up 26 postseason honors since their run to the 2003 College Cup ended in the nation semifinals. Gallegos, Trotter and Beal have been the most honored. Gallegos has been named a SoccerBuzz first team All-American, a College Sports Television (CSTV) second team All-American and a third team All-American by both Soccer Times and the NSCAA. She has also been named first team all-region by the NSCAA and SoccerBuzz. Beal, who labored in anonymity for far too long, has been named a SoccerBuzz third team All-American, an honorable mention All-American by Soccer Times, a first team all-region selection by Soccer America and Soccer Buzz and a second team all-region player by the NSCAA.
Trotter has led a freshman class that has received 10 honors including six on a national level. The midfielder has been named to the All-NCAA Tournament team, a freshman All-American by Soccer America and SoccerBuzz, honorable mention All-American by Soccer Times and an all-region and freshman all-region selection by Soccer Buzz. Rowland has received freshman All-American honors from Soccer America and she and Julia Schnugg were both named all-region freshmen by Soccer Buzz as well. Schnugg was also named a freshman All-American by SoccerBuzz.
For McKenzie, her dream season has resulted in all-region honors from the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz. Senior defender Kristin Boyce was also named an NSCAA all-region selection. Baker didn't escape the spotlight either as Soccer America named him their national coach of the year on top of being named a regional coach of the year runner-up by Soccer Buzz.
"I do think that Joy was one of the best stories in women's college soccer this year," said Baker. "She went from a recruited walk-on to the starting goalkeeper of a top five team. I felt like her confidence grew as the year progressed and in turn the team's confidence in her grew as well. She allowed us to reach the ACC final and she allowed us to reach the final four. There is nothing better than having a terrific goalkeeper and I thought it was a shame she was left off the All-ACC team. The more people saw her the more they realized what a terrific goalkeeper she was and it is great she is receiving this recognition."
For more information on the 2003 Seminole soccer team, please log on to the official Internet home for FSU athletics at www.seminoles.com.