Oct. 4, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
A couple of multiple award winners garnered FSU soccer’s weekly honors when head coach Patrick Baker announced his Rookie and Player of the Week Thursday. For the third time this season, freshman Jez Ratliff received rookie of the week honors while junior Cindy Schofield was named Player of the Week for the second time. For the week, the Seminoles posted a 2-1 record and established the best start in program history (7-3-0) with their 1-0 win against USF in Tampa Tuesday night.
The Seminoles had a dominating performance against South Florida Tuesday night out shooting the Bulls 27-6, taking 17 shots on goal compared to 0 for USF and the Seminoles held a 10 to 1 edge in corner kicks. Despite the lopsided stats, FSU was unable to break on top of USF until the 62nd minute.
The USF defense had ended another FSU attack when they cleared the ball about 30 yards out from their own goal. Freshman defender Katie Beal settled the ball on the left side of the field and then lofted a beautiful pass into Schofield behind a USF defense that was pushing up field after the clearance. Schofield collected the ball as USF keeper Valerie Wetzel, already nearly 18 yards out of the goal, charged in a last ditch attempt to end the break-away. Schofield beat the junior to the right side giving the Seminoles the only goal they would need on the night and giving Schofield her second game-winner of the season.
The junior forward recorded her first goal of the week against Louisville, which helped FSU break the record for the best start-ever at home with a 5-0 mark. Schofield lifted the Seminoles into a 2-1 lead in the 34th-minute as she launched a shot from the left side of the pitch about 20-yards out to the far post. The ball beat keeper Meredith Miller and bounced off of the post into the net giving FSU a 2-1 lead.
“This is really exciting,” said Schofield. “Being able to help the team is the most important thing and I think I was able to do that against USF. I want to continue to help the team and be productive. I feel I played my best game of the season against USF. That was my most complete effort of the year when you include all-around attacking and defending. Overall, I am happy with how I have been playing and I hope I can keep it up.”
Florida’s All-Time leading high school goal scorer led the team last week with four points, two goals and eight shots on goal. She now leads Florida State in points (13), goals (5), shots (30), shots on goal (18) and is tied for first in game-winning goals for the season. Schofield is also tied for third on the squad with three assists.
“Cindy hasn’t started the last couple of games because we wanted to keep an experienced front runner on the field at all times and Maren Vik Edvardsen and Cindy have allowed us to do that,” said Baker. “Cindy is just as capable of starting as Maren and Jez (Ratliff) are and if she keeps scoring goals like she has been she won’t be in that reserve role anymore. She is allowing us to do some things that benefit the team as a whole and that is to keep a scoring threat on the field the entire game. She scored a pretty fortunate goal against Louisville but the goal against USF Tuesday was spectacular. It might have been the most important goal of the season thus far.”
Ratliff continues to be a major force for FSU during her freshman campaign. The forward from Norman, OK played almost 90 minutes in the Seminoles 2-0 loss to No. 15 Florida and then turned around two days later and recorded another 80 minutes against Louisville. In the game against the Cardinals, FSU fell behind just nine minutes in before Ratliff evened the game. In the 14th-minute the Oklahoma connection, freshmen Camie Bybee and Ratliff, once again hooked up on a play that freed Ratliff behind the Louisville defense. Ratliff lifted the ball to the far post scoring her fourth goal of the year and evening the match at 1-1. Ratliff then helped the Seminoles pull into a 2-1 lead in the 34th-minute when she fed Cindy Schofield who buried a shot to give Ratliff her third assist of the year. For the week, Ratliff was second in points (3), goals (1) and shots on goal (4) and was tied for the team lead in assists,
“I am really happy to be recognized as the Rookie of the Week,” said Ratliff. “Since coach awarded me with a starting job, I have been trying to do my best and work hard and fulfill that role as a starter. I don’t think I am doing as well statistically but I think I am getting more comfortable at the forward spot and learning to work better with Cindy and Maren. I am really excited to be getting as much playing time as I am considering that I am a freshman and I appreciate the opportunities I am being given.”
Ratliff is now second on the team in points (11), goals (4) and tied for second in game-winning goals (1). She is third on the team in assists (3), and is second in shot percentage (.267) and shots on goal percentage (.667). The runner-up Gatorade Player of the Year in Oklahoma is now just two goals away from entering the top 5 for goals, three points away from entering the top 5 for points, one assist away from entering the top five for assists and is already amongst the top 5 for game-winning goals in Florida State rookie history.
“I thought she provided some elements up front against Florida as far as her speed and skill,” said Baker. “She was busy and effective for us in our scheme. Against Louisville, there was a great piece of combination play in the midfield that resulted in a great ball being played into Jez and she had the composure to chip the keeper on the run. She showed amazing composure on that goal and it was brilliantly taken. That goal helped us get control of that game at that point. At times, you just sat on the edge of your seat when she got the ball against South Florida. When she took the ball a few times I was expecting some great things to happen. It is great to see her coming into her own a little bit. She is gaining more and more confidence out each time at that position.”