Sept. 20, 2001
Monday’s 3-2 win in Clemson, SC was the biggest regular season road win in Florida State history. The Seminoles will look to build on that momentum when they face Kansas and NC State at home this weekend. Florida State was 9-2 at home in 2000 and is already 2-0 at the Seminole Soccer Complex in 2001. FSU has the opportunity to improve to 2-0 in conference play for the first time in seven seasons of playing soccer. Sunday’s game against NC State also marks FSU’s first regionally televised game of the season as the Sunshine Network provides live coverage for the first of three Seminole soccer games this season.
Kansas is off to a great start in 2001 with their only loss coming in double overtime to No. 23 Illinois 4-3…senior forward Hilla Rantala, a transfer student from the University of South Alabama, is leading the Jayhawks with nine points on the season (4G, 1A)…Rantala’s counterpart up front, Natalie Hoogveld isn’t far behind KU’s senior newcomer with six points on three goals…freshman keeper Meghan Miller is off to a great start for KU. The Seattle, WA native is 2-1, has a GAA of just 1.57, has recorded a shutout and has played almost 345:00 already this season…the Jayhawks are proving to be an explosive offensive team in 2001. They have scored 12 goals in four games and have scored four goals on two occasions (North Texas 4-2 and UNLV 4-2)…Melanie Schroeder, a senior midfielder, leads the team with four assists, three of which came against UNLV.
NC STATE UNIVERSITY
NC State is coming off of its best season since 1995. In 2000, the Wolfpack posted a 10-7-3 record and a 2-3-2 conference mark…NC State soccer was a road warrior in 2000. The squad posted a 5-2-1 mark away from Method Road and two of the squads biggest wins came away from home. The Wolfpack went into Maryland and downed the Terps 1-0 and then recorded probably the biggest win of the season in a 3-1 victory at Durham over Duke…Katherine Warman is one of NC State’s top returnees after garnering second-team All-ACC honors and being named to the 2000 ACC All-Freshman team…NC State’s 2001 recruiting class was ranked the nation’s 12th-best by SoccerBuzz magazine and the Pack look to be an ACC contender for years to come with just one senior on its 2001 roster…the Wolfpack have a reason to be optimistic in 2001 since they return 10 starters from a team that had its best season in five years…NC State returns it top two scorers in Warman and Lindsey Underwood who were both freshmen last season…NC State led the ACC in overtime contests seeing five of their matches extend into extra time in 2000 with four of those games going into double overtime. The Pack posted a 1-1-3 record in those five matches…NSCU gets top keeper Gretchen Lear back after missing the first half of the 2000 season due to injury. In her 11 starts, she posted an unbelievable 1.01 GAA and a 5-4-2 record.
LIVE STATS FOR ALL HOME GAMES
Every Seminole home game throughout the 2001 season will be broadcast live over the Internet with live stats. Fans and media can watch play-by-play coverage as the Seminoles battle in the nation’s toughest soccer conference. Live stats will be available for all eight home games. Just log on to www.seminoles.com and head to the soccer page and click on the live stats button.
AGAINST ALL ODDS
Florida State’s ACC opening win versus Clemson was a huge victory on many levels. The Seminoles have never started a season with a 1-0 conference record and the best start to an ACC campaign came in 2000 when FSU began 1-2 and went on to even their record at 2-2-1. The victory was Clemson’s first-ever loss on a Monday and the Tigers came into the match with a record of 73-11-4 at Riggs Field.
What is even more amazing about the victory was the amount of statistical trends the Seminoles bucked to get the 3-2 win. Entering the Clemson game, FSU’s combined all-time record on the road (25-37-4), outside of the state of Florida (16-32-4), when an opponent scores first (8-56-2), when the Seminoles take fewer shots (10-54-2), when FSU allows two goals (7-19-2) and when facing a ranked opponent (6-43-1) was 72-241-15. Despite the heavy odds, Florida State not only played even with a Tiger team that was a top four seed in last season’s NCAA Tournament but dictated play for large stretches of the match. Amber Tollefson’s game-winning goal with less than five minutes remaining, her second of the day, came in the face of all the previously mentioned trends and helped FSU avenge a 2-0 loss to the Tiger’s in the 2000 Sweet 16.
IT’S BEEN AWHILE
After facing two of the country’s best squads at the Wake Forest/Nike Invitational, the Seminoles record stood at 2-2 with No. 7 Clemson looming on the horizon. The Tiger’s came into the match undefeated, hadn’t allowed a goal in 2001 and were fresh off of a berth in the Elite 8 after posting a 5-1-1 record in ACC play so even the most positive Seminole fan had to think about the possibility of FSU falling to 2-3 on the 2001 season. Florida State’s upset of the Tigers kept the Seminoles above the .500 mark and it has now been almost two years since Florida State had a losing record. That is a huge change for a team that finished with a sub-.500 record three of the four years before Patrick Baker’s arrival. Under Baker, the last time the Seminoles had a losing record was in 1999 when a season-ending loss left FSU at 9-10-1 for the season.
Since head coach Patrick Baker took over the program, the Seminoles winning percentage against ranked teams has increased by an amazing 273 percentage points coming into 2001 but what his teams have done against opponents ranked in the Top 7 in 2000 and 2001 is amazing. In the four seasons before Baker’s arrival, the Seminoles had never defeated a team in the Top 7 but over the last two seasons FSU has four wins against the nation’s best teams. The Seminoles downed No. 6 Florida twice (3-2 and 2-1 in 2000), No. 7 Texas A&M (4-1 in 2000), No. 2 North Carolina (3-2 in 2000) and then No. 7 Clemson (3-2 in 2001). It seems that FSU will get a chance to add to that total with North Carolina a consensus No. 1 and Virginia inching it’s way up the rankings each week and both still on the schedule.
Fifth-year senior and Seminole captain Heather Dyche has started her final season on a memorable note. After too many ankle surgeries to count and just eight starts in three years since transferring from Nebraska, the center back from Albuquerque, NM is off to a fantastic start. She won a starting spot in the preseason and has already started five matches, matching her career high set during the 2000 season. She entered the season with three goals but without a single assist in her career. All that changed at the Wake Forest/Nike Invitational where she recorded the first two assists of her career off of set pieces against Santa Clara and Portland. She then took the team lead in assists against Clemson when she sent a corner kick to the far post, which resulted in FSU’s second goal of the game brining Florida State even with Clemson at 2-2. She now has half as many points as she posted in her entire three-year career with the Seminoles.
TOUGH PLACE TO PLAY
Under Baker, the Seminole Soccer Complex has all of a sudden become a very tough place to play. Besides a program-best 9-2-0 record in 2000 and a 2-0 start in 2001 it has been 13 straight games since a non-conference opponent came to Tallahassee and defeated FSU. The last team to accomplish that feat was Miami who downed FSU 3-0 August 29, 1999.
IT IS A THIN LINE
When Florida State beat Clemson 3-2 in its conference opener, it brought Baker’s record in one-goal games to 9-9. That is a major accomplishment for a team that was 11-14 in similar situations before his arrival. Many of FSU’s one-goal wins have come in the biggest games in program history. The Seminoles recorded a one goal win over No. 7 Clemson in South Carolina this year, over No. 2 North Carolina in 2000, two one goal victories over Florida last season and two huge one goal wins on a road trip through Oregon downing the Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers.
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLL-EFSONS
Sophomore Amber Tollefson had a huge day against No. 7 Clemson. After falling behind the Tigers 1-0 after just two minutes, the Seminoles had a long road ahead of them against a Tiger team that was 73-11-4 at home. In the 30th-minute, Tollefson collected a pass from freshman Camie Bybee just outside the Clemson 18-yard box and beat a couple of Tiger defenders. The Boca Raton native then launched a blast from the far edge of the box about 16 yards out. The shot found its way into the upper corner at the far post beating first team All-ACC keeper Katie Carson and marked the first goal scored against Clemson in 2001.
Tollefson wasn’t done yet. After FSU fell behind 2-1 and once again fought back to tie the contest at 2-2, it seemed the match was headed for overtime. A beautiful piece of combination play at the top of Clemson’s 18-yard box between Marte and Maren Vik Edvardesen sent Tollefson in behind the Clemson defense where she launched a dangerous cross in front of the Tiger’s net. The ball was headed for a waiting Jez Ratliff in the six-yard box before Tiger defender Sarah Turner came running back to clear the cross and ended up deflecting the ball past Carson into the Clemson net. Tollefson was credited with the goal, the second game-winner of her career, and FSU recorded its first-ever win in an ACC opener. Tollefson’s two goals nearly equaled her total of three from the entire 2000 season and her four points were a single game high for FSU in 2001.
It is hard not to notice how similar the start of the 2001 season is to the beginning of FSU’s historic 2000 campaign. In the first five games in 2000, FSU recorded a win over a Top 7 team (No. 6 Florida 3-2), lost two games on the road at the Ellis Copy/Missouri Tiger Invitational (Missouri 2-1 and Ohio State 2-1) and won two games in the Seminole Soccer Tournament (South Florida 2-1 and Jacksonville 3-0). In 2001, the Seminoles downed a team ranked No. 7 (Clemson 3-2), lost to games at another tournament, the Wake Forest Nike Invitational (Portland 3-1 and Santa Clara 4-1) and beat both teams at their own Seminole Soccer Tournament (George Mason 3-2 and Loyola 2-0). In 2000, the Seminoles sixth and seventh games were against a non-conference opponent from the Big 12 (Texas A&M 4-1) and their second conference game of the year (Clemson 2-3). This season, FSU’s sixth and seventh games are against a non-conference foe from the Big 12 (Kansas) and their second ACC opponent of the year (NC State). If that wasn’t strange enough, look at the Seminoles conference opener against Clemson in 2000 and in 2001. In both games, Clemson took 1-0 and 2-1 leads and in both games FSU came back on two occasions to tie both matches at 2-2. In the 2000 game, the Tigers got the game-winner with less than 3:00 on the clock while FSU scored the game-winner in 2001 with just over 4:00 remaining. Based on the success of the 2000 season, FSU hopes the trend continues.
NOTES FROM THE PITCH
While it is never easy to score three goals in a game, that does seem to be a magic number for FSU. The Seminoles, after a 3-2 win over Clemson, moved to 17-0-0 under Baker when they score three times in a game…FSU has its best ACC record against NC State (1-3-2)…Florida State is 2-3 all-time against teams from the Big 12…the Seminoles are currently third in the ACC in scoring offense with 2.00 goals per game. FSU averaged 1.9 goals per game in 2000…Florida State recorded a team high 37 shots against Loyola (Md) during the opening weekend of the 2001 season.
More notes available in pdf format at the link above.