Sept. 12, 2004
Losing at home versus a team from Florida is rare for the Seminoles. When the Gators downed FSU Friday night, it was the first loss for head coach Patrick Baker at home versus a Florida school since the second game of his tenure in 1999. The loss also snapped FSU’s streak of nine straight Friday night wins when 1,000+ fans are in attendance. The setback was also just the second ever for Baker at home on Friday night in 21 games. The last time FSU lost at home on a Friday night was to start the 2003 when USC dropped the Tribe 2-1. The Seminoles then turned around and lost the following Sunday to Penn State. The loss was a rare one. Since he took over the program in 1999, Baker’s Tribe is 16-6-1 all time after a loss. That means a Baker led Seminole team wins over 71% of its games following a loss. With Stetson coming in, the Seminoles will have a chance to re-establish themselves within the state and the chances are good the Tribe will pull off the win. It has been 117 games since Baker lost back-to-back matches to Florida schools. The only time it has ever happened in his FSU career was his first two games as Tribe coach when his team fell to Florida and then Miami to start the 1999 season.
SOME BROKEN, SOME CONTINUE
Florida broke some FSU streaks Friday night, mainly the Seminoles three game win streak to start the season but a couple of individual streaks survived in the loss. Both Jez Ratliff and Leah Gallegos kept streaks alive as Ratliff scored a goal in her third straight game and Gallegos record an assist in her fourth consecutive match. The goal was Ratliff’s third of the season in the first four games. It is the best start of her career. Gallegos has now tied the FSU record for consecutive games with an assist. It was also the fourth assist for Rowland on the young season with three coming off throw-ins. The four assists for Rowland equal her total for the entire 2003 season and the four for Gallegos surpass the three she recorded all of last season as well.
SITTING ATOP THE CHARTS
As mentioned above, senior Jez Ratliff is off to the best start of her career. With MAC Herman Trophy candidate Leah Gallegos on the roster and freshmen All-Americans in Julia Schnugg and India Trotter on top of Camie Bybee, despite her hot start, it is still a little surprising to see Ratliff leading the team in almost every statistical category. The senior wide midfielder leads FSU in goals, game-winning goals, points, shots and shots on goal. She already has six points on the season and is threatening to become only the second player in school history to record double digit points in four straight seasons. While she is nearing that record, Ratliff’s goal Friday night versus UF was a record-setter on its own. When she staked FSU to a 1-0 lead on the Gators, it was her third goal against UF, which is more than any Seminole player has ever scored versus Florida in school history.
TIME TO GET STARTED
Leah Gallegos is off to a great start to 2004 as far as helping others score goals. The consensus All-American has already surpassed her assist total from 2003 when she got her fourth of the year versus Florida but the single season record holder for goals scored has yet to record her first of 2004. There is strong evidence that streak may come to an end Sunday versus Stetson. No current Seminole has scored more goals versus in-state schools that Gallegos who has 11 in just two seasons. Last year alone 10 of her 18 goals came against Florida schools. Gallegos has also never started a season by going five games without a goal. Last year she recorded her first goal in the fourth game of the year and as a freshman her first goal came in the fifth game against a Florida school when she scored versus the Hurricanes.
JUST HOW RARE WAS THAT?
If you follow FSU soccer, you know about FSU’s Friday night success but the loss to Florida was rare in more ways than just due to the fact it came on a Friday evening. Florida State took a 1-0 lead and held on to that lead as the teams went to the locker room. When FSU scores first and goes to half with the lead, the squad was 95-7-4 under Patrick Baker meaning when both of those things happened the Tribe won 92% of the time going into the Gator game. If you take it a step further, when FSU scores first (54-4-2), has a halftime lead (41-3-2), plays at home on a Friday night in front of 1,000 fans (9-0-0) and plays a Florida school at home (13-1-0), the opponent comes away with a win just over 7% of the time.