GAME NOTES: FSU And Florida Meet Friday Night With College Cup On The Line
Nov. 25, 2003
RANDOM NOTES FROM THE UF/FSU SERIES
Florida State is 3-7 all-time versus the Gators with all three wins for the Seminoles coming since head coach Patrick Baker took over in 1999...one of those three wins came in the one and only NCAA Tournament game between the two squads as Florida State beat the University of Florida 2-1 in Gainesville on November 12 of 2000 in front of 1,763 fans... Florida State never trailed in that game... in fact, the Seminoles held the Gators scoreless for the final 83 and a half minutes of play to advance to their first-ever tournament Sweet 16...the other two wins have been come-from-behind victories while their two losses have been 2-0 shutouts... the last time Florida State was shut-out by UF (2001), they rebounded to beat Florida 2-1 in 2002...every time FSU has scored at least one goal since 2000, they have gone on to win the match...all three of the Tribe's wins have been by exactly one goal... Since Baker arrived to Tallahassee in 1999, the Seminoles and Gators have alternated regular season wins every year...Baker has not had a losing record against UF since 1999, which marked his first ever game against the Gators...Leah Gallegos and Jez Ratliff are the only current Seminoles to score a goal against the Gators...Camie Bybee, Amber Tollefson and Teresa Rivera each have an assist on the board... Bybee also leads all current players with 10 shots in the series... all three of Florida State's goalies have seen action versus Florida...Kerry York, Ali Mims and Joy McKenzie have managed exactly four saves a piece in the series.
COMPLETE TURN AROUND
Seminole head coach Patrick Baker has completely re-invented Seminole Soccer since being hired in 1999 and that goes for turning around FSU's fortunes against the Gators. It is hard to imagine that FSU was 0-4 versus UF and had never scored a goal against the Gators before Baker came to Tallahassee. Since then, the Tribe has a .500 (3-3) record versus Florida and if you take away a 5-1 loss in Baker's first year against the defending National Champions, FSU holds a 3-2 edge. In the five years under Baker compared to the four years before he arrived, the Seminoles have three more wins...one fewer loss...are perfect at home...have eight more goals scored...two less goals given up...taken 48 more shots...given up five fewer shots...have taken 8 more corner kicks.
UNDERDOG IS THE FAVORITE
Coming into the opening weekend of 2003, it looked like the Gators and Seminoles were heading towards the fourth straight meeting between ranked teams but after the Tribe's 0-2 start, FSU headed in to Gainesville as a heavy underdog versus a Top 10 UF squad. The lower ranked team or unranked team has won the game four of the last five times the teams have played. Last season, the 25th-ranked Seminoles downed No. 21 UF 2-1. In 2001, 20th ranked Florida beat the 12th ranked Tribe 2-0 in Gainesville. In the 2000 NCAA Tournament, FSU came in No. 14 and UF was No. 11 but the Tribe won the only ever postseason meeting and only ever Top 15 showdown between the teams 2-1. The biggest win was probably in 2000 when an unranked Seminole squad opened the season in front of almost 1,300 fans with a 3-2, come from behind win. That season-opening win started three straight years of unprecedented success for the Seminole soccer program. After that game, FSU went on to win 10 more games over teams ranked by the NSCAA, made four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to two Sweet 16's and an Elite Eight.
FIGHTING BACK VERSUS FLORIDA
Since 2000, the Florida State/Florida series has been highlighted by great comebacks by FSU. Two of the Seminoles three wins have come due to three comebacks. In 2000, the Seminoles showed incredible resiliency in recording their first ever win versus UF. Not only did the Tribe stage two comebacks but also it was the way they came back against a team they had never defeated at that point. When Florida took its first lead of the game at 76:49, FSU didn't hang their heads after playing the sixth-ranked Gators even for almost 77 minutes. They answered that goal just 24 seconds later. When UF went up 2-1 the Seminoles did it again answering the goal in just 1:06 before going on to the 3-2 win. In 2002, Crystal Frimpong staked the Gators to an early 1-0 lead just 7:00 into the game. Florida State once again staged a comeback as they tied the game in the 22nd minute and then got the game winner in the 36th minute.
THE BIGGEST OF 'EM ALL
While the Elite Eight meeting between the Seminoles and Gators won't match the 1997 Sugar Bowl where the two schools played for the national title in football, it will easily be one of the biggest meetings between the schools outside of the football world. Despite being just a few hours away, the teams haven't met that many times in the NCAA Tournament. Florida State played Florida in the opening round on the 1992 NCAA Volleyball Tournament and the two teams met early on in the 2001 NCAA Softball Tournament in the Tallahassee Regional. The most important postseason meeting between the schools probably came in 1996 when UF downed FSU twice at the College World Series. That was the only time before this Friday that the two schools ever played in an NCAA Tournament at the level of an Elite Eight. All eyes in the state of Florida will be turned toward Gainesville Friday as another huge chapter is written in the storied rivalry between the schools.
With a game as big as the one in Gainesville Friday night, you can expect a huge crowd despite the fact there is an admission charge to get in. The Seminoles and Gators are used to playing one another in front of huge crowds. In 10 all-time meetings, there has never been an FSU/UF game played in front of less than 1000 fans. In fact, the average crowd when FSU and Florida meet is 2,219. The last six times the teams have played, over 1280 fans showed up for each games. The biggest sign of how huge this game has always been is when you look at the all-time top crowds for each team. Three of Florida's top four all-time crowds have come when the Seminoles are in town and four of FSU's top 10 all-time largest crowds are in games versus the Gators. The largest crowd to ever watch a game at the Seminole Soccer Complex was in 2002 when 1,603 showed up to see FSU down UF 2-1. Florida State should feel as comfortable as they can Friday night after what they experienced at the ACC Championships. The Seminoles played in front of 4,461 fans when they beat Maryland 1-0 and then saw the SAS Soccer Complex filled with 3,687 pro-Carolina fans in a 3-2 loss to the Heels in the ACC Championship.
LARGEST FSU/UF SOCCER CROWDS
1999 @UF 4745 1995 @UF 4442 2001 @UF 3472 2000 @UF 1763 2002 @FSU 1603 1997 @UF 1433 2000 @FSU 1282 2003 @UF 1281 1996 @FSU 1123 1998 @FSU 1046TAKING 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. With a 7-0 win over FAU, FSU is 25-2-0 against Florida schools since 2000. The Seminoles are undefeated at home against teams from Florida (13-0-0) and have outscored those opponents 47-13 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 .875 winning percentage against their in-state rivals, going 28-4-0 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), FAU (1-0), South Florida (5-0-0), Florida International (3-0-0), UCF (5-0-0), and Stetson (1-0-0). The Seminoles only blemishes came against Florida (3-3-0) and Miami (4-1-0). Before Baker's arrival, the Seminoles posted a 9-7-1 record against teams from the Sunshine State. That is an increase of 316 percentage points since he was hired.
SHUTTING OUT THE SUN
The Seminoles recorded their seventh shutout of the season versus FAU in Tallahassee. Florida State has nine all-time shutouts against Florida schools. They have three versus Jacksonville, two versus UCF and Stetson and one versus FAU and USF. Oddly enough, four of those six shutouts have come on the road. Florida State has never shutout the Gators and considering UF has only been shutout six times ever at Percy Beard Stadium, the Seminoles would be happy just advancing to the school's first ever College Cup.
EIGHT IS ENOUGH
Now that the NCAA quarterfinals are set, the names seem kind of familiar to Seminole fans. None of the Elite Eight teams played more games against NCAA quarterfinalists than Florida State. The Seminoles (Penn State, Florida, North Carolina and North Carolina) played four games against the seven other members of the Elite Eight. Florida (Penn State, Florida State and BYU), North Carolina (UCLA, Florida State and Florida State) and Penn State (Florida, Florida State and Santa Clara) each played three. Santa Clara (Penn State and UCLA) and UCLA (Santa Clara and North Carolina) played two while Brigham Young (Florida) played one. The only team not to play a single game against this group was Connecticut. Florida State went 0-4 in those matches but lost three of the four by just one goal.
RUNNING WITH THE BIG BOYS
Florida State has earned its way into the NCAA quarterfinals and they are there with a who's who of college soccer. Over the last four years this group of eight has won two national titles, been to 22 Elite Eights, nine College Cups and played for the championship five times. You have 17-time National Champion North Carolina along with Santa Clara who was the 2001 National Champion and been to two Elite 8's and Final Four in the last four years. Connecticut is making its third Elite Eight appearance in the last four years and Penn State is making its third Elite Eight appearance and has been to a College Cup since 2000. Florida and UCLA have each been to a College Cup since 2000 and they have combined for three Elite Eight appearances. Brigham Young has been in the NCAA Tournament seven consecutive seasons and is making its first NCAA quarterfinal appearance along with FSU.
When you have scored a school record 18 goals and have 25 goals in your first two seasons like Leah Gallegos, there are going to be a few big goals mixed in. None was bigger than the sophomore's overtime game-winner with just 21 second left before heading to a shootout in the Sweet 16 win over West Virginia. The goal put FSU into the Elite Eight for the first-time ever and was her second straight golden goal in the NCAA Tournament. It was also the 10th game-winner of her career and also the second-latest goal ever scored in FSU history. Only Kristin Boyce's game-winner in the 114th minute versus North Carolina in 2000 was scored later in a game. She is just the second Seminole to ever score double digit game-winners in a career and she now holds the single-season record with seven. Most amazingly, Gallegos is now just one GWG away from tying the career record as a sophomore. Cindy Schofield holds the record with 11 game-winning goals in 89 game appearances. She scored 40 goals in her career so one of every 3.6 goals was a game-winner. Gallegos is just one away from tying that record in just over half as many games and one of every 2.5 goals from Gallegos has been the game-winner for FSU.
BIGGEST GWG's IN FSU HISTORY
Lauren Lynch (1996) No. 10 Clemson First ACC win and first win over ranked team April Murphy (2000) No. 6 Florida First-ever win over the Gators Kristin Boyce (2000) No. 2 North Carolina Double-OT win over defending champions Emma Breland (2000) Jacksonville First-ever NCAA Tournament win Summer Corum (2000) No.11 Florida Win sent FSU to first-ever Sweet 16 Kelly Rowland (2003) No. 25 Maryland Sends FSU to second ACC Championship game Leah Gallegos (2003) No. 16 Auburn First-ever NCAA Tournament golden goal Leah Gallegos (2003) No. 9 West Virginia Golden goal sends FSU to first-ever Elite EightSECOND TIME IS A CHARM
Leah Gallegos' run in the 2003 NCAA Tournament has been remarkable. After recording just one point in her first-ever NCAA's last season, she has adjusted quite nicely in 2003. The sophomore is leading FSU in goals, points, shots, shots on goal and game-winning goals. With her production in the tournament, the sophomore has closed the gap on the ACC's top goal scorer and likely national player of the year Lindsay Tarpley. Gallegos is just two goals behind the brilliant UNC forward for the conference lead. On top of her ranking in the top two in the ACC for goals per game and shots per game, the Los Angeles, CA native is also third in the conference in points per game. Her two golden goals vaulted her into the lead for game-winning goals in the conference and put her back among the nation's elite statistically. Gallegos is now 30th in the nation in goals per game at 0.75. If you consider that almost 6,000 women play Division I soccer, to be in the top 5% for goals is pretty amazing.
CENTER OF ATTENTION
There really aren't enough words to describe just how amazing freshman center back Kelly Rowland has been for FSU this season. The Wallingford, PA native scored another goal in the postseason, this one putting FSU on top of West Virginia 1-0. It was her fifth goal of the season, which shatters the rookie record for goals by a defender. In fact, only one FSU defender in school history has ever scored more goals than Rowland and that is her backline teammate Katie Beal who has six goals and six assists this season. Combined with her four assists, Rowland has not only set the freshman record for points by a defender but she is already second on the list for most points by an FSU defender in a single season ever. Combined with Beal's six goals and six assists, FSU's two center backs have 11 goals and 10 assists for 32 points, easily the most productive combination ever at FSU. Rowland came into the ACC Tournament with just one goal but scored the game-winner versus Maryland and then both goals against UNC to tie her for the ACC Tournament scoring title. She has now scored four of her five goals since the regular season ended. Rowland's offensive production is just an added bonus to what she brings to the table defensively. Since Rowland was slipped into the middle of the FSU defense after a 1-4 start, the FSU defense went from allowing an average of two goals a game to an average of 0.76 goals per game. She started every game for FSU including all seven times FSU played versus a Hermann Award semifinalist. She is also a huge reason FSU allowed just five goals all season in ACC play, which is the third fewest in conference history.
SHE'S THE REAL BEAL
With all the national attention her fellow center back Kelly Rowland is receiving, junior Katie Beal is sometimes over looked. The Alexandria, VA native is fully healthy and having the season of her life. The junior came into the 2003 with four career assists and no goals. In 2003 she has bested her career assist total with six and she not only recorded her first ever goal, she now has six. Beal is third on the team in goals and assists and fourth in overall points. She is in the midst of the most productive offensive season ever for a defender at Florida State with 18 points. What she has done from an offensive standpoint is amazing but it is still her defense that makes her one of the nations best. She is the leader of a back four that has seen its four-year starter at left back go down for the season, a rookie slid into the middle next to her and a junior right back become a regular starter after never starting a game before this season. Despite the turmoil and change, this FSU defense will go down as the best ever and she has been the glue holding it together. Even though his year's defense has allowed the second fewest goals per game, the 2000 squad didn't play the type of schedule the 2003 team has. This year's defense has set record for goals allowed in ACC play (5), consecutive shutouts (6), consecutive ACC shutouts (4), shutout streak (637:34) and ACC shutout streak (437:34) . Beal and the FSU defense were also the only group that recorded a shutout at the 2003 ACC Tournament.
FALLING IN RANK
Before head coach Patrick Baker took over the Seminole soccer program, FSU had defeated two teams ranked by the NSCAA in four years and both of those wins came in 1996. With the Sweet 16 victory over No. 10 West Virginia, FSU has now knocked off 11 teams in the NSCAA poll since 2000. Even more amazingly half of those 11 wins have come against top 10 teams. The Seminoles have won three games this season against teams ranked by the NSCAA at the time of the game, which is the second-most in school history and equals the amount from the 2001 and 2002 seasons combined. The most wins over NSCAA ranked teams in a season came in 2000 when the Tribe knocked off five in one year. The win over the Mountaineers was FSU's first-ever win over a Top 10 team in the NCAA Tournament. The highest-ranked team FSU had ever beat before WVU was No. 11 Florida in 2000 when the Seminoles advanced to their first-ever Sweet 16 with a 2-1 win. Overall, FSU is 2-3 all-time in the tournament versus ranked teams with both of those wins coming on the road. A good omen considering they are facing No. 8 Florida in Gainesville Friday night.
16 WAS SO SWEET
There were so many reasons the win over No. 9 West Virginia was sweet for the Seminoles. The obvious reason was it sent Florida State to its first-ever NCAA Quarterfinal. The win came in dramatic fashion with just 21 seconds before a shootout and was the first ever for FSU over a Top 10 team in the NCAA Tournament. Another reason the win was so important was because it set a new standard for wins in a season at FSU. The victory was the 16th of the year for the Tribe, which is the most ever and it guaranteed the 2003 team the record for the best single season winning percentage. This is FSU's third straight season with 13 or more wins.
SHUT ME OUT ONCE, SHAME ON YOU. SHUT ME OUT TWICE...
Only three teams have shutout the 2003 Seminole offense, which is the most prolific in school history. The Tribe's 58 goals are more than the record 55 scored in 2001 and they have really turned it on in the postseason. After averaging 2.29 goals per game in the regular season, the Seminoles' scoring production is up over a goal a game in the NCAA Tournament (3.33) . Against some of the best teams in the nation, the FSU offense is producing in a big way. They will need to keep that up against a Florida defense that has allowed just 25 goals and shutout seven opponents including FSU. After playing UF Friday night, the Tribe will have faced all three teams that shut them out during the regular season for a second time. After losing to UNC 1-0 in the regular season, FSU scored two goals against the Tar Heels in the teams' second meeting. The Tribe was held scoreless in a 0-0 tie with Wake Forest in the regular season but came back to beat them the second time around 2-1. It says a lot about the FSU coaching staff that they could turn around and get two goals in both games versus a team that shut them out in the first match of the season. Florida State will see if that theory holds true Friday night against the third team that held FSU without a goal in the regular season.
BLUE COLLAR WIN IN MORGANTOWN
Florida State knew it was going to be tough to beat No. 9 West Virginia in Morgantown, WV. The weather could be bad and the environment was expected to be hostile but more than any of that the Mountaineers are just really good. They are also almost unbeatable at home. Before fellow Elite Eight member Penn State downed WVU October 27, the Mountaineers had won 18 consecutive home games. Coming into the FSU match they were 19-1 at the Mountaineer Soccer Complex in their last 20 matches. West Virginia has been dominant at home and that makes FSU's Sweet 16 win just that much more impressive.
After taking a 2-0 lead over No. 9 West Virginia in the Sweet 16, the Tribe couldn't hold on and the Mountaineers eventually tied the game with less than three minutes remaining in overtime. It was just the fourth time in FSU soccer history the Seminoles allowed a team to tie the game after taking a 2-0 lead. While head coach Patrick Baker wasn't happy about that, he had to be thrilled with the way his team responded. The last time a Baker led team was up 2-0 they ended up losing. That was last season when Charlotte tied the game at 2-2 before FSU went back in front 3-2. The 49ers scored back-to-back goals again to win 4-3. The other two times FSU gave up a 2-0 lead the games finished in a tie versus NC State in 1999 (2-2) and Ole Miss in 1995 (2-2). Sunday's OT win was the first time FSU has ever won a game when they have allowed a team to come back from a 2-0 deficit.
DOUBLING UP AT THE RIGHT TIME
Heading into the 2003 NCAA Tournament, Seminole wide midfielder Jez Ratliff had never recorded two assists in a single game in her career (68 matches). In the opening game of the 2003 NCAA Tournament she assisted on FSU's fourth and fifth goals for the first multi-assist game of her career. It was also just the second time ever a Seminole had two assists in a single postseason match. Just two games later the junior was at it again but on an even bigger stage. Her header back into the box setup Kelly Rowland goal putting FSU up 1-0 over No. 9 West Virginia in the Sweet 16. She then recorded assist number two in the 110th minute of overtime on Leah Gallegos' golden goal. That was the seventh game-winning assist of Ratliff's career moving her into fourth place all-time on the career list for GWA's.
When you are facing a team as good as Florida in the Elite Eight, you can't look ahead or you'll get left behind. Any team that is 90 minutes away from getting to the College Cup can't help but let their mind wander a little bit. As an SID, your allowed to let your mind wander to what milestones would be set. Florida State's win over West Virginia was the 98th win in program history and if FSU advanced to the National Championship game it would be win No. 100 that got them there. A pretty sweet way to notch a special mark. Of Florida State's 98 victories, 67 can be attributed to Patrick Baker. In just one more season than his predecessor, Baker has recorded more than twice as many wins as FSU's first coach.