Sept. 17, 2001
Clemson, SC –
The firsts keep coming for Florida State soccer. After posting a 1-25 record on the road in conference play and an 0-6-0 record in conference openers, the Seminoles went into Clemson and bucked both of those trends downing the previously undefeated Tigers 3-2 in front of 448 fans. This marks just the fifth conference win in 50 ACC contests for FSU, three of which have come under Baker, and is just the second conference loss for Clemson since November 5, 1999.
“For us never having won our first conference game of the year and usually hoping to just get one or two ACC wins in a season, getting this first win on the road is huge,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “This win is a huge boost for us. We have to play big-time conference opponents on the road this year. We go to North Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia and all three were in the Sweet 16 last year. Tonight our kids responded to the challenge. Every one of our 22 players gave unbelievable effort on and off the field all week leading up to this win.”
The Tigers broke on top of FSU in just the third minute of the game when All-American Deliah Arrington scored her third goal of the season. The first-team All-ACC player dribbled down the near sideline to the back left corner of the 18-yard box where she beat the Seminole defense and launched a low, line drive to the far post. The goal beat freshman Kerry York giving Clemson the early 1-0 lead.
Florida State seemed to regain their footing after the early goal and took control of the game for a 15:00 stretch stemming through the middle of the first half. In the 30th-minute, sophomore Amber Tollefson collected the ball just outside the Clemson 18-yard box. After beating a couple of Tiger defenders, the Boca Raton native 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.
“I used the same stop-and-go move I always use and it worked this time,” said Tollefson. “I sensed the keeper came out a bit and I took advantage of the defender marking me and got off a good shot. We needed the equalizer. I wanted to take control and score the goal that got us back in it.”
The goal, which was the first to be allowed by Clemson on the 2001 season, was the sophomore’s first since the opening round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament when she staked FSU to a 1-0 lead over Jacksonville. The Seminoles threatened to go on top 2-1 with less than a minute remaining on the clock at half when Carson came out to block an FSU free kick and got caught out of position. With the net empty, freshman Camie Bybee attempted a bicycle kick that went just over the bar.
Just 1:17 into the second half, the Tigers once again moved into the lead as junior Heather Beem recorded her third goal of the year. Freshman Paige Ledford found Beem on a cross into the FSU box and Clemson’s leading scorer went far post from 10 yards out. Seminole keeper York was able to deflect the blast but it still found its way into the side of the net.
The Seminoles once again had to fight back and in the 59th minute FSU drew even. Heather Dyche, who recorded the first two assists of her career just over a week ago, sent a corner kick to the back post where she found senior Marte Vik Edvardsen. Vik Edvardsen headed the ball over to freshman Camie Bybee who headed it in from just six yards out to even the score at 2-2. The goal was the second of the freshman’s career and she is now FSU’s second leading scorer in 2001 with five points.
“Marte hit it over to me and I just did the easy part,” said Bybee. “I was so excited that I could contribute and help our team. This was a great win for our program and I was so happy I could be a part of it.”
The score remained tied at 2-2 as the contest entered the final five minutes of regulation. After a beautiful piece of combination play at the top of Clemson’s 18-yard box between Marte and Maren Vik Edvardesen, Tollefson was sent in behind the Clemson defense where she launched a dangerous cross in front of the Tiger’s net. Before freshman Jez Ratliff had a chance to place a shot on net, Clemson’s Sarah Turner attempted to clear the ball over the net and ended up beating Carson with an own goal at the 85:37 mark. The Seminoles then closed the game out signaling the biggest regular season road victory in the program’s seven seasons.
“We played very well at times tonight and collectively we played much better than we had against them both times last year,” said Baker. “Watching the tape of our loss to Clemson in the Sweet 16 last year, I saw some of our heads drop down and there was a little bit of embarrassment. We didn’t show up to play here last November and it ended up being a very lopsided game.
“We responded after giving up early goals in both halves, something we are trying to fix but I think we showed great resolve. Even giving up that early goal, I saw the personality of this team starting to emerge in the half. We knew Clemson very well and were fortunate the game turned out in our favor.”
Florida State returns home for its first home game since September 2 when they face an undefeated Kansas team (4-0-0) Friday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. The Seminoles return to action Sunday, September 23 when they face their second conference opponent in NC State (2-2-0) in a regionally televised game set for a 1:00 p.m. start. All regular season games at the Seminole Soccer Complex are free.