Aug. 24, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – For the second straight season a returning FSU All-American has been named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List. Last year it was forward Leah Gallegos this season it is junior central defender Kelly Rowland who was recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). FSU never had a player on the Hermann watch list before Gallegos in 2004 and Rowland is now the first defender from the school to ever make the exclusive list for the top honor in the nation. Rowland is one of five ACC players on the list of 25 players.
“I was really surprised to see my name on the Hermann Trophy Watch List,” said Rowland. “I am excited. It is such a prestigious award and I hope I can live up to the expectations of being associated with that group of players.”
Rowland, a junior from Wallingford, PA, was named a second team All-American by Soccer Buzz last season becoming the first defender in school history to receive a first or second team All-America nod. She was also named a second team all-region selection by the NSCAA. Rowland was the only defender to garner All-ACC honors last season when she was named second team. She was the only defender in the 17-year history of the conference to be the lone selection from her position on an All-ACC squad.
The center back was named to either the Soccer Buzz or Soccer America National Team of the Week three times in 2004 and has now received a national weekly honor a school record seven times in two seasons. In 2004 she led the team with seven assists and was third on the team in points. She is the highest scoring defender in school history after just two seasons and is two goals and one assist shy of tying career records in both categories for defenders at FSU.
“As a defender it is a hard position to receive this type of recognition,” said Rowland. “You don’t score a lot of goals or get your name in the paper much but it says a lot about the way this team has defended the last few years. It is nice to be recognized as a player in the back and be rewarded for being a part of a defense that has been organized and successful the last few years.”
The junior is the anchor of a Seminole defense that established a program record for goals allowed last season. Florida State gave up just 21 goals in 20 games and in her two years in the middle of the FSU backline, Rowland and the Seminole defense have established the two best seasons for goals allowed. Since stepping on campus in 2003, Rowland has started 46 consecutive games and in those games 46 matches the FSU defense has allowed just 49 goals.
“This is an honor but it is a shared honor,” said Rowland. “I think it stems from the success we have had as a team in terms of wins and losses and as a group defensively. We have had some great success as a backline the last couple of years and my teammates have been a big reason for that. I am excited and ready to start the year to see what happens.”
Florida State will open the season Friday at 6:00 p.m. EST versus the 18th-ranked Women of Troy. It is the third straight season the two teams have met on opening weekend splitting the first two meetings. Fans can follow all the action live as it unfolds exclusively via Game Tracker at www.seminoles.com, the official athletic website of Florida State University.