Sept. 17, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – For the fourth straight season the fifth-ranked FSU soccer team (6-1-0, 1-0-0) opened ACC play with a win. The Tribe extended the longest active win streak in ACC openers to four and also downed No. 7 Clemson (5-3-0, 0-1-0) for the fourth straight year in conference play. The Tribe set a record for first half, second half and total shots versus the Tigers as they banged out 25 shots to just six for Clemson. The win puts FSU at 6-1 which equals the best start in school history and the team has now beaten a top 10 team for the eighth time in school history and the seventh time under head coach Patrick Baker.
“I am pleased with how we played,” said Baker. “I thought we did a good job of limiting a tremendous attack, not only in the midfield but also against their plethora of front runners they can keep throwing at you. I thought we did a great job. With 10:00 left we got a little panicked but give Clemson credit. They are going to continue to press and they made it interesting at the end.
“We are so excited to be 1-0 in the ACC. We are excited to be 6-1. It was a huge ACC win, a huge regional win and a huge national win. We’ve been doing some good things and it was nice to see it continue. It was great our California connection up top could manufacture two goals for us.”
Leah Gallegos (Los Angeles, CA) recorded a point in her seventh straight game, an FSU record to open a season, as she put the Tribe up 1-0 after beating five Clemson defenders for her third goal of the year. The longest streak at FSU for consecutive games with a point is eight set by Cindy Schofield. Julia Schnugg (Alamo, CA) then recorded the eventual game-winner as her third goal extended the Seminole lead to 2-0. The Tigers added a late goal at 85:45 to narrow the end result.
The win gives the FSU seniors an undefeated record versus Clemson in regular season play. This class is the first in FSU history to sweep a team in all four conference meetings in their career. The 2004 seniors will have a chance to do that on two other occasions as they are currently 3-0 versus Maryland and NC State in ACC play.
“I think for this senior class to go 4-0 versus any ACC team is a big accomplishment but especially versus Clemson,” said senior captain Katie Beal (Alexandria, VA). “We should all be proud of this because Clemson is an amazing program. What we are most excited about is getting to 1-0 in the ACC.”
“I never thought one of our classes would ever be able to go 4-0 in ACC play versus a team as good as Clemson,” said Baker. “When (former Clemson coaches) Ray and Tracy (Leone) were there they taught me so much during my first ACC game about what it was going to take to win in this conference. The intensity and focus they had an hour and a half before kick off was amazing. It had nothing to do with friendship and everything to do with lets prepare to be successful and I learned from that.”
Florida State opened the game with 10 shots in the first half, setting the record for the most first half shots the team had ever taken versus the Tigers. The team then broke the record for the most shots taken in any half versus the CU with 15 in the second period. The 25 total shots were the second-most taken by FSU versus an ACC team just seven short of the record set versus NC State in 2003. Much like the game versus Stetson, the Tribe had numerous scoring chances but struggled in the final attempt to even get the ball on frame at times or test the Clemson keeper.
“I don’t think we had that many shots on the face of the goal in the first half,” said Baker. “We hadn’t really tested the keeper. At halftime I told the team we created great chances and put our personality players in position to be successful and we just weren’t making things happen. The difference was they made things happen in the second half.”
Florida State was all over the Clemson defense all night and it started early on when just seven minutes in Schnugg had her first opportunity of the match. Florida State cleared a Clemson corner to Schnugg and she ran the length of the field as three Tiger defender back peddled the entire way. She got to the top of the 18 and fired just over the crossbar.
In the 18th minute FSU had another opportunity and it was Schnugg again who had the chance to put the Tribe in front. Beal served a great free kick to the back post were Schnugg latched on to it but the header went just wide.
One minute later a Clemson turnover put their defense back on its heels again. The ball landed right in front of Schnugg and she went right in 1-v-1 with the keeper. She chipped her shot over the sliding Lauren Johnston but the freshman just got a piece of it and to knock it wide. The resulting corner was sent right onto the head of Beal but a diving save by Johnston kept the Tigers in a 0-0 game.
Schnugg almost figured in another goal in the 36th minute. This time it was her picture perfect service down the far flank to Toby Ranck (Wayne, PA). The sophomore ran down the wing, cut to goal and played a perfect ball back into the box and right onto the foot of Gallegos. The junior All-American was about 10 yards out but mistimed the shot as FSU once again did not capitalize on a golden opportunity.
The Seminoles had a 10-3 shot advantage at half yet still found themselves in a 0-0 game. Knowing the longer they let a dangerous Clemson team stay in the game, the greater the chance they would take advantage and steal a win, the Seminoles came out on fire in the second 45:00.
Not even one minute into the second half, FSU almost broke on top again. Libby Gianeskis’ (Tarpon Springs, FL) throw-in found Gallegos who fed Schnugg. The sophomore went endline and her service to Camie Bybee (Oklahoma City, OK) was perfect but the header shot sailed over top of the goal.
Five minutes later the Tribe tried to capitalize on a set piece when they got a great chance off one of their five corner kicks. The ball was served into the box where FSU held possession and passed it around looking for an opening. Schnugg got the ball right in front about eight yards out but Johnston charged out again and made the save.
The Seminoles finally broke through when Gallegos took it upon herself to beat half the Clemson defense single-handedly. Melissa Samokishyn (Littleton, CO) got the MAC Hermann candidate the ball and her first touch against the grain got her past the first two Tiger defenders. She then moved inside the 18 and dribbled past three more Clemson players cutting and slashing before she went back to the near post putting the Tribe up 1-0.
“Mel (Samokishyn) headed the ball back to me off Katie’s (Beal) free kick,” said Gallegos. “There seemed to be a lot of chaos inside the box and she played a great ball to my feet, really picked me out well. I cut it and then cut it again and kept cutting because I wanted that open shot and finally I got it.
“I kept cutting it back because I was so frustrated we hadn’t scored yet. I was telling myself that’s it, we got to get one. No more messing around. I had to put that one away.”
The goal was the fourth of Gallegos’ career versus Clemson and moved her into a tie for second place all-time on the career goal scoring list with 28 goals in just 47 starts. She is now alone in second place on the career ACC goal scorers list as well at FSU.
After a bit of bad luck earlier in the game, Schnugg finally broke through in the 62nd minute with the eventual game-winning goal. The sophomore got a great ball from Bybee, who made her first start since the second game of the year when she sprained her ankle, and broke into open space. She once again went in alone with Johnston and the keeper once again got a piece of her chip but this time it didn’t stop the shot from landing in the back of the net.
“I was on the right side passing it and Camie got the ball on her foot and saw a lot of open space out wide,” recounted Schnugg. “I made a slashing run and she played me a great ball and I kept going to goal. The defender was on my left side and I had a kind of awkward angle but I tried to do my best with it. Fortunately I was able to score.
“It was really frustrating to get all those chances and not be able to finish them and help the team. Once Leah got the first goal I was able to calm down a little bit. We had the lead and that gave me a little bit of confidence to finish that chance.”
Clemson made a valiant comeback attempt despite the fact they were playing a player down. Jacquelyn Hines, granddaughter of FSU head football coach Bobby Bowden, was ejected in the 67th minute. It was one of four cards issued to the Tigers. Three were yellow and Hines received a red. The ejection came just 45 minutes after Bowden and wife Ann left the Seminole Soccer Complex to attend the FSU Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Playing with just 10 players, Allison Graham was able to bring CU within a goal in the 86th minute. Her shot came off a clearance that was misplayed and she was there to finish into an empty net.
Florida State’s next scheduled game will be versus FIU (2-4-0) Sunday, September 19 at 1:00 p.m. The game will be played at the Seminole Soccer Complex and admission is free to all regular season games. Live Internet audio and Live Stats will be available on the official athletic site for Florida State, www.seminoles.com.