Oct. 9, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – The 14th-ranked FSU soccer team needed an ACC win Friday night over 22nd-ranked Wake Forest and the Tribe got it. Sophomore Julia Schnugg (Alamo, CA) scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season and her third game winner as she scored in the 16th minute to lead FSU to a 1-0 win over the Demon Deacons (7-4-1, 1-3-0). Schnugg has now scored two of FSU’s three goals in ACC play and both have been game-winners.
“The first goal in any game is important because it puts mental pressure on the opposing team,” said Schnugg. “It gave us a great advantage getting an early goal. We knew we needed a win tonight and scoring early was a big factor. We continued to show some progress and improvement. We are connecting more offensively and things are starting to come together.”
“Tonight was a huge win for this team,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “Coming off losses to Virginia and Duke we played a good USF team Tuesday but we actually started to see some of the things we needed to see in practice before that match. Tonight wasn’t pretty at times but we competed, we defended, we were good in transition and getting forward.”
The victory improved FSU to a program-best mark of 9-3-0 and evened the Tribe’s conference record at 2-2-0. Florida State remains undefeated versus Wake Forest in the last three meetings posting a 2-0-1 record. Wake Forest is the third top 25 team FSU has defeated in 2004. The shutout was the sixth of the year for FSU and the 2004 squad is just the second in program history to ever shutout six of its first 12 opponents.
“This was a huge win and a huge shutout for us,” said Joy McKenzie (Houston, TX). “It says a lot about this team. We are trying really hard to prove to ourselves and everyone else that we deserve to be where we are at. Shutting out a team like Wake Forest does so much for our entire team confidence.”
“Our defense was fantastic,” said Baker. “Joy (McKenzie) was fantastic in goal. Kelly (Rowland) and Katie (Beal) continue to be a great 1-2 presence in the middle of the park. Marion (Cagle), T (Teresa Rivera) and Libby (Gianeskis) did the job. Plus the defensive effort in the midfield was great. The game got away from us a little bit there in the second half but we kept chasing, we kept competing, we kept getting after it. The nice thing was in the last 10 minutes they (Wake Forest) didn’t get that much. It was good clock management and we got a great result.”
The Tribe has now gone the last 192:28 without allowing a goal. This is the first shutout of the season for the Seminoles in ACC play. Last season FSU recorded its first ACC shutout of the season at home October 10 in a 3-0 win over Duke. The Seminoles then went four more games, three in conference, without allowing another goal.
“We defended even better tonight than we had leading up to this game and the defense held strong,” said Rowland. “Wake had a few chances and Joy made unbelievable saves on both serious chances. I am pleased. We still have room to improve.
“This is a great starting point as far as our defensive effort is concerned with a streak of five straight ACC games starting tonight. We broke a two game ACC losing streak and to get a win in the conference against a team as good as Wake, who just knocked off Virginia, is a step in the right direction. Hopefully we can keep going and learning from tonight.”
Wake Forest started out fast and controlled play for the first few minutes but the Tribe settled into a rhythm and had the first scoring chance of the evening 12 minutes in. Rachel McDowell (Lakewood, CO) played a ball over the top of the Demon Deacon defense to Schnugg. The forward charged the ball on the bounce but keeper Heather Currie got to the service just before Schnugg could latch on.
Four minutes later the Tribe attacked over the top of the defense once again but this time Schnugg got to the service. The play started with Rowland (Wallingford, PA) picking up a loose ball about 35 yards out and serving it into the Wake Forest penalty box. Schnugg shielded her defender on the left side of the box allowing her to win the 50-50 ball and fired to the back post for her fourth goal of the season. The assist was Rowland’s team leading seventh of the season and with six regular season games left to play, the sophomore defender is just four assists away from tying the single season mark.
“I saw Julia making a great bent, outside run and I just tried to play it over the top,” said Rowland. “I was hoping she would be able to run on to it. She took a great touch and hit a phenomenal shot. She deserves a lot of credit for that goal.”
“Kelly served a great ball over the backline,” said Schnugg. “I ran on to it and was able to keep the defender away from the ball as we were shoulder to shoulder. I got the ball on my left foot and volleyed it back post and it went in.”
For Schnugg, the goal gave her 11 points on the season, which leads all Seminoles. She is just two goals shy of equaling her total from freshman year and she has already scored more goals and game-winning goals in ACC play than she did in all of 2003.
“Julia scored a great goal tonight,” said Baker. “She gave us the opportunity to be successful this evening. I called her this afternoon because she was sick and missed training Thursday and I hadn’t spoken with her since the USF game. I told her Leah (Gallegos) was out for the Wake game and the last time out I started to see the Julia of old. I told her we needed to see those same elements tonight. We need her energy and for her to be buzzing on and off the ball. On the goal she did all of that. She made a dynamic run and took a difficult ball out of the air. Then to hold off that defender and hit a great shot backpost was crucial. To get a goal in the run of play was meaningful.”
After Schnugg’s goal, FSU had a great opportunity to pad the lead in the 20th minute. Senior Camie Bybee (Oklahoma City, OK), seeing her first game action in two weeks combined with India Trotter (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) to send Jez Ratliff (Norman, OK) in behind the defense. Currie came off her line and outside the box to beat Ratliff to the pass and save the 1-v-1 breakaway.
Bybee’s presence was felt once again in the 27th minute when she almost scored her second goal of the season. The chance came off a Rivera (Parkland, FL) corner kick service. Bybee, whose heading presence was sorely missed during her injury absence, got over the defender marking her and fired a header that just missed sailing over the top of the crossbar. It was the first of two headers that Bybee just barely missed converting as she sent a second one over the crossbar again just two minutes later after doing a great job of freeing herself inside the Wake 18.
Wake had two great chances in the first half but could not figure out a way to solve McKenzie who improved to 8-3 on the year and 2-2 in the ACC. She recorded her third shutout of the season and the 11th of her career, second all-time in FSU history despite starting for just a season and a half. She upped her career ACC shutout total to five, which is more than twice as many as her nearest competitor.
“In the second half we really limited Wake to long range shots and I wasn’t involved that much but they had a couple of good attacks in the first 45:00,” said McKenzie. “They had a spurt but our defense did a great job of limiting them to a couple really good chances and when you can do that to an ACC team that says a lot.”
The first Demon Deacon chance came in the 22nd minute on a shot by Kristen Kemp. Kemp bent a dipping ball to the back post that McKenzie had to dive backwards to save. The all-region keeper got a fist on the shot and punched it out of danger.
“The ball was crossed over to the Wake player (Kemp) and she took a touch and fired,” said McKenzie. “I felt like I was going to get chipped so I jumped back and just pushed it over the crossbar to make sure it wouldn’t go in.”
Wake’s next chance came in the 28th minute as Kemp and Melanie Schneider combined to send Kemp in all alone with McKenzie. Kemp seemed to be in an offsides position but no flag went up and McKenzie immediately charged to try and cut down the angle on the 1v-1. Her sliding save preserved the 1-0 edge and ultimately the win.
“I think she might have been off but we practice that a lot in small sided games in practice and that helped out on that play,” said McKenzie. “I just applied that to the game and luckily I came up with the ball. I cut off her angle because I thought she was going to try and one-time it after her first touch. I just tried to put my body in front of it so she had nowhere to go with it.”
Florida State has equaled the best start in team history and can set a new all-time best with a win versus Virginia Tech Sunday. Despite a perception that the Tribe was struggling after a couple of losses to top 10 teams, the 9-3-0 start is still two games better than the 2003 team was at this point and that team ended up playing in the College Cup.
“The one thing we all now understand is that when you come off the season we had in 2003, it is difficult,” said Baker. “You can talk about it but until you actually go through the process of having to defend finishing second in the ACC, being a runner-up in the ACC Championships to playing in the final four, it is not easy. For a young team with everyone coming back, it has been difficult. I give our group credit because they have really started to change that around into some pretty positive things.”
Florida State returns to action Sunday when the Seminoles face off with Virginia Tech (7-4-0, 3-2-0) in the first ever conference meeting between the schools. Internet radio and Game Tracker will be available for the Virginia Tech match through the official athletic website for Florida State University at seminoles.com.