THEY ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN
Florida State’s fourth straight NCAA Tournament opening game victory turned into a record-breaking night for the Tribe. The Seminoles’ 5-0 win over the Big Green saw 10 records either set or tied. The five goal outburst was the most goals ever scored in an NCAA Tournament game by FSU and the five assists and 15 points were also team game records. With Julia Schnugg, India Trotter and Rachel McDowell all scoring, a record three freshmen scored in an NCAA Tournament game, which is a first. The Tribe also tied the record for most second half goals with four and they tied the mark for largest margin of victory. Individually Camie Bybee’s big night produced three records. She set the mark for goals scored with two, moved to the top of the career list for goals in a postseason game (4) and tied the record for points in an NCAA Tournament game (4). Julia Schnugg’s game-winner was also a record as she is now tied for the lead in career game-winning goals.
While the score was lopsided, Florida State’s win over Dartmouth was an impressive showing against a team that has been a perennial NCAA Tournament power. The Big Green made their sixth straight tournament appearance this year and had advanced to three Sweet 16’s and an Elite Eight in that span. Not only had the Big Green had success advancing, they had never been blown out in an NCAA Tournament game. The Seminoles’ five goals were the most ever allowed by Dartmouth in their 15 NCAA Tournament games, which includes matches versus North Carolina in 1998 and Santa Clara in 2001. Both of those teams went on to win the National Championship those years. The five goals were also the most Dartmouth had given up this season. Only one team won by a larger margin of victory in the opening round of the NCAA’s than FSU’s five-goal margin. North Carolina defeated High Point 8-0 and Notre Dame defeated Loyola (Ill.) 5-0 as well.
CAN’T SEE THE SWEET 16 WITHOUT THE SEC
If FSU wants to get back to the round of 16 for the third time in four years, they will need to get past one of the SEC’s top teams in 2003. The Auburn Tigers are the 2003 SEC West Champions and they ousted Big 12 champion Oklahoma State 1-0 in the first round. The good thing for FSU is that both times FSU has made it into the round of 16, they have defeated an SEC team by a score of 2-1 to get there. The Seminoles made their first Sweet 16 in 2000 by beating the Gators 2-1 in Gainesville. Last year it was a 2-1 win over Auburn in Tallahassee that launched FSU to another Sweet 16.
GOING FOR FIVE
As if you didn’t already know, FSU has ended Auburn’s season the last two years in the NCAA Tournament and Sunday’s regional final meeting will be the third straight year the teams have met. Florida State has won back-to-back games 16 times in program history and on 12 occasions they have gone on to win three in a row. Florida State will be going for its fifth straight win against the Tigers in the overall series and have won the last four by a combined score of 13-2. Florida State has only won five or more consecutive games against two teams. The Seminoles have won six in a row against South Florida and Jacksonville. Florida State has never won four straight games against a team and not gone on to win the fifth in the next meeting.
IN SELECT COMPANY
Last season’s trip to the Sweet 16 was the second in three years for Florida State and they became just one of just 14 schools in the nation to have made it to two of the last three Sweet 16’s. If the can move into their third in four years they will join an even more exclusive group. Less than 5% of the nation’s 297 teams have been to two of the last three Sweet 16’s and two of those teams are already out of this year’s tournament (Dartmouth and Clemson) . Nebraska and Portland will face one another so the most teams that can reach the third round for the third time in four years is 11 and that is if all the other schools win their second round matches.
THE SHUTOUTS KEEP COMING
Florida State’s opening round shutout of Dartmouth was just the second in FSU’s nine NCAA Tournament games. The only other team FSU shutout was Auburn in 2001. The blanking was the ninth of the season for FSU and they all came in the last 12 contests. The nine shutouts are a new school record and more than double the four they recorded in 2002. During those nine shutouts FSU at one point had not allowed a goal in 637:34 before UNC’s 1-0 win broke the streak. Auburn has experienced similar success. During one stretch the Tigers had a shutout streak of their own of 687 minutes. Combined, the two teams held opponents without a goal for over 1342 minutes. That is equivalent to almost 15 games.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
One of the most interesting twists in the Tribe’s 5-0 win over Dartmouth was that the Seminoles’ top goal scorer Leah Gallegos didn’t even get a goal. The sophomore had two assists but she didn’t get the goal that would have tied the school record for a single season. On 16 occasions in team history FSU has scored five or more goals in a game but the Dartmouth match was the first time that happened when the team’s leading scorer didn’t have a goal. The three previous times it happened this season (Miami, FAU and San Diego State) Gallegos scored four goals in those games. It just illustrates how many players on this year’s squad are capable of scoring. Nine players on this year’s team have scored at least two goals, which is second only to the 1996 team, which had 10 players with two or more goals. In the last 10 games, 10 different Florida State players have recorded a goal.
HEATING UP AT THE RIGHT TIME
Junior Camie Bybee moved in to first place on the career leaders list for NCAA Tournament goals after netting two versus Dartmouth. The central midfielder is heating up just in time for Florida State’s postseason run. After not recording a point for four games, the Oklahoma native has at least one point in five of FSU’s last seven games. She has tallied nine points in that span, which is more points than 13 FSU field players have scored all year. She is just two goals away from hitting double digits for the second time in her career and she is just five points shy of equaling her season-high set as a freshmen. Bybee has scored both times the Seminoles have played Auburn in the NCAA Tournament. Her first was the game-winner in 2001 and last year she staked FSU to a 1-0 lead.
ONE FROM THE RECORD
With the win over Dartmouth, FSU has now won 14 or more games three of the last four seasons. The record for victories in a year is 15 and FSU could equal that mark with a win over Auburn. In just the last two seasons alone, Patrick Baker has won almost as many games as the school had in program history before he took over (31 to 27).