Oct. 15, 2002
When senior Striker Cindy Schofield converted a penalty kick versus Wake Forest Saturday night, it completed just the second-ever two-goal comeback in Seminole soccer history. The striker from Lakeland, FL scored both goals and in the process set the all-time FSU record for multi-goal games. Schofield has now scored two or more goals in a game on five occasions. In 2001, she set the single season record with four multi-goal games as she scored a school record 17 times. Since Patrick Baker took over the FSU program in 1999, Seminole players have recorded 16 of the program’s 27 multi-goal games.
CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME
You have to forgive head coach Patrick Baker if he has a little trouble remembering the last time he lost an overtime game. When No. 7 Wake Forest scored a golden goal versus FSU with just 1:36 remaining in the second OT period, it was Baker’s first overtime loss in nine years covering 163 games. While most of those 163 games weren’t OT contests, it puts in perspective how long it has been since a Baker-led team left the field with a loss in extra time. Before the Deacons’ game-winner, Baker had not lost an overtime match in five years at Penn or in his three-plus years at Florida State. Since coming to FSU, Baker was 5-0-7 in OT contests before the match versus Wake Forest.
THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN
Not only did FSU lose an OT game for the first time since Patrick Baker took over the program when Wake downed the Seminoles 3-2 (2OT) but the Tribe also lost for just the second time to a ranked team at home in a night game under Baker. Coming into the Wake match, FSU was 7-1-0 at home versus ranked teams at night. Since 1999, the Seminoles were 15-1-3 under Baker in all nighttime home games. The only other team to beat FSU at home under the lights since 1999 was No. 16 Virginia on a last-minute goal. Despite the loss to Wake, FSU is still 6-2-0 at home in its last eight games versus conference opponents.
STREAK ON THE LINE
With 17-time National Champion North Carolina heading to Tallahassee, FL Tuesday night, the Seminoles will have their hands full to keep another home streak alive. The Seminoles have not lost back-to-back home games in 28 matches, which dates back to the end of the 1999 season. After falling 2-1 to LSU earlier this year, FSU had its back against the wall to keep that streak alive with No. 17 Clemson coming to town but the Tribe’s overtime victory kept it going. With Wake’s double overtime victory at the Seminole Soccer Complex Saturday, FSU will need to down UNC if they want to extend that run to 29 matches.
The Seminoles’ three ties this season is already a club record with six games still remaining on the schedule but the 2002 squad hasn’t yet reached the record for overtime games in a year. The 1998 team played six overtime games and posted a 3-1-2 record in those six matches. This year’s team has already played five OT games, three of them in the conference, and has posted a 1-1-3 record.
FORWARDS GETTING OFFENSIVE IN THE ACC
In 2001, FSU forwards Cindy Schofield, Jez Ratliff and Maren Vik Edvardsen combined to score 12 goals in the first 13 games of the season. This season Schofield, Ratliff and Leah Gallegos have 16 goals through the same amount of contests. The real difference though is coming in conference games. In 2001, FSU forwards scored just three goals in the team’s first four conference games. This season, Seminole strikers have scored twice as many goals in once less game, accounting for all six of FSU’s goals in conference games.
When Patrick Baker took over the FSU soccer program in 1999, one of his main goals was to build a team that was competitive in the ACC and that meant chasing perennial national power North Carolina and he has done that. While the Seminoles are not the Tar Heels equal as of yet, the team has made incredible strides in narrowing the gap between the two programs. In the first eight matches between UNC and FSU, North Carolina outscored Florida State 58-1 and won all eight meetings. In the last five matches between the teams, FSU has recorded the school’s first ever win over the mighty Heels and been outscored just 17-4. The Seminoles have reduced their average goals allowed against UNC from almost 8/gm to just over 3/gm and are now averaging almost a goal a game themselves. While Baker will tell you his team still has along way to go, the coach has narrowed the gap considerably in his short time in Tallahassee.
THE STARS WERE ALIGNED
If you ask Patrick Baker about FSU’s win over North Carolina in 2000, he will tell you that the stars had to be aligned just right for his Seminoles to pull off that upset but is it possible lightning could strike again? This week’s game takes place on a Tuesday night just as the game did in 2000. It is rare to ever face a North Carolina team not ranked No. 1 in the nation but that was the case in 2000 and will be the case again when the teams meet this season after UNC’s loss at NC State last week. In 2000, UNC was in the midst of playing three straight ACC games away from Chapel Hill, NC when FSU upset them. Tuesday’s trip to Tallahassee will mark UNC’s third-straight conference game away from home. North Carolina has gone undefeated in conference play 13 times in its glorious history but coming into the meeting with FSU in 2000, UNC already had a loss in conference. This year UNC is also coming to the Seminole Soccer Conference with an ACC loss in hand. With all of those similarities, maybe the stars will align for Baker and the Seminoles once again Tuesday night.
IS THAT BAD?
If you want an idea of how much has changed when it comes to FSU soccer, just look at the team’s reaction to a 1-1-1 start in ACC play. In the first five years of the program’s history, the Seminoles won a total of three ACC games and posted a .114 winning percentage. This year the Seminole players are a little down about their .500 start and Patrick Baker wouldn’t want it any other way. The fourth-year head coach wants his players to expect to win in the conference and they have done that since he took over. The Seminoles have doubled their ACC win total every year since 1999. After not winning an ACC game his first season, the 2000 Seminoles won two conference games and the 2001 team went on to set a program record by winning four ACC games. The Seminoles one win in three games this year is more than the 1995, 1997 and 1999 teams had COMBINED so it is safe to say expectations have risen in Tallahassee when it comes to ACC contests.
YOU CALL THAT STRUGGLING?
While North Carolina may not come into Tallahassee as a consensus No. 1, the most storied program in NCAA women’s soccer history is far from slumping. Despite starting an ACC season at 0-1-0 for the first time ever, the Heels are 11-1-2 on the 2002 season and both of their ties came against nationally ranked programs (Nebraska and Portland). Nine of UNC’s 14 games have come against ranked teams and the Tar Heels have played 10 straight games away from home. In fact, North Carolina has played just two of its 14 games at Fetzer Field in 2002. I guarantee you any coach in America would love to be 11-1-2 after playing 12 road games and nine ranked opponents.
THOSE ARE GOOD TEAMS
The 2002 Seminoles are on a record pace for the fewest losses ever in the regular season. The record is six and was set by the 1996, 2000 and 2001 teams. All three losses this season have came to teams with a combined record of 31-4-2 and two are currently ranked in the Top 12. The Charlotte 49ers are 11-0-1 and ranked No. 12, Wake Forest is 10-2-1 and ranked No. 11 and the LSU Tigers are 10-2-1 and 2-1-1 in a strong SEC. What is most amazing is that FSU lost those three games by a combined three goals. The loss to the Demon Deacons came in double overtime with less than three minutes remaining in the game. The 49ers defeated a Seminole squad that played over 60 minutes with just 10 players and didn’t get the game-winner until the 79th-minute. When all is said and done, all three teams will most likely be amongst the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.
This year’s Seminole forwards (Cindy Schofield, Jez Ratliff and Leah Gallegos) are scoring at a record-setting pace in 2002. Through 13 games, the trio has combined for 16 goals and 39 points. That is four more goals than FSU’s three leading forwards recorded in the same amount of games in 2001. They have also matched the 16 goals scored in 13 games in 2000 by Emma Breland, Maren Vik Edvardsen and Cindy Schofield.
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