Oct. 2, 2001
TAMPA, Fla. –
The 14th-ranked Seminole soccer team (7-3-0, 2-0-0) moved into the record books Tuesday night by downing the University of South Florida (3-4-2, 1-2-1) at the USF Soccer Stadium. The 1-0 win came courtesy of a Cindy Schofield goal in the 62nd-minute. With the win, this year’s FSU squad has set the mark for the best start in the history of the program and they accomplished that goal in a dominating fashion.
“I don’t think it has really sunk in yet that we are off to the best start in history,” said Schofield. “It’s exciting because we have a great opportunity over the next few games to really accomplish some special things as a team.”
Although it took FSU 62 minutes to get on the board, Tuesday night’s match was all Florida State from the opening minutes. The Seminoles out shot the Bulls 27-6 on the night, had 17 shots on goal compared to 0 for USF and held a 10 to 1 edge in corner kicks. South Florida goalie Valerie Wetzel played brilliantly in net at times recording 16 saves to keep USF close on the scoreboard.
“We are very excited about the win tonight,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “Anytime you can go on the road and get a win against a good opponent it is big. I thought we played some very good soccer. At times we dominated but Wetzel was unbelievable in goal tonight.”
Most of the game was played in the South Florida half of the field with the Seminoles getting the chance to put away at least four great opportunities in the first half alone.
In the fourth-minute of the game, freshman Jez Ratliff fed senior Maren Vik Edvardsen who sent Camie Bybee in behind the Bulls’ defense at the right post. The freshman pushed the shot just wide of the open net missing a great chance to give the Seminoles the early lead.
Florida State threatened again in the 10th-minute when sophomore Amber Tollefson sent a brilliant cross from the left wing into South Florida’s 18-yard box. The pass found Maren Vik Edvardsen about 10 yards out and her header beat USF keeper Wetzel but banged off of the crossbar ending FSU’s chance.
South Florida countered in the 28th-minute when Christine Koester found Rachel Thjomoe down the middle of the field and in behind the FSU defense. The freshman midfielder just missed staking USF to the lead when her shot was pushed just wide at the right post.
Florida State once again looked to take the lead in the 37th-minute when Schofield split the USF defense on a great slashing run towards the USF goal. She sent a perfect pass to Bybee in front of the net, which the freshman just missed scoring at the far post.
The story remained very similar in the second half as the Seminoles continued to apply pressure to the Bulls’ defense in a 0-0 game. Maren Vik Edvardsen almost broke the scoreless tie for FSU again when she ripped a shot from the right side of the field that Wetzel just got a hand on. The Bulls’ junior keeper didn’t cover up the shot but FSU was unable to run on to the loose ball.
In 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 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. The assist was the first for Beal, an Alexandria, Va. native, and represented her first point as a Seminole.
“I was really excited as a defender to get the opportunity to step up and help the offense,” said Beal. “Coach Baker had been telling me when a ball squirts out to send it over the top. I concentrated and finally got it done. I saw the defense pulling out and Cindy settled the ball really well and got the goal.”
Schofield’s goal was her second game-winner of the season and her team-leading fifth of the year. In just 10 games, she has already surpassed her career total of one game-winning goal and has matched her season-high for goals. She also jumped into sole possession for the team lead in points with 13.
“It was a total team effort tonight,” said Schofield. “I knew Beal would play it over the top and serve it back in. I looked up and the keeper was coming towards me. I knew she would be a little slow to get down because she is really tall. I am glad I could help the team
tonight and step up by getting the game-winning goal.”
The 1-0 win also marked the first career shutout for freshman keeper Ali Mims. The Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. native was forced into duty after an injury sidelined starter Kerry York. Mims is now 3-1-0 and has a GAA of just 1.09.
“We talked about two things this week,” said Baker. “We talked about getting a win on the road, which has been difficult for this program in the past and number two we wanted to find some way to shut someone out. We didn’t care if it was pretty or ugly, we just wanted to get a shutout.”
Florida State will look to continue its record-breaking start when they travel to Orlando Friday, October 5 to face the UCF Golden Knights (5-3-0). The Seminoles then return home to face Duke (4-4-0) Sunday, October 7 at 1:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised regionally by the Sunshine Network. The Seminoles are off to their best-ever start in the ACC also and will look to move to 3-0 when the Blue Devils come to town.