Nov. 16, 2001
Clemson, SC –
It wasn’t as easy as last year’s 4-1 NCAA Tournament opening win over Jacksonville in Tallahassee but the end result was the same. For the second consecutive season the 16th-ranked Seminole soccer team (15-7-1) has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Florida State recorded its program-high 15th win of the season as they downed Auburn University (11-8-1) 1-0 on a Camie Bybee goal at 58:01 Friday at Riggs Field on the campus of Clemson University.
“I don’t think we started the game playing as well as I would have liked but I give our team credit for finding a way to win in a tournament where a loss means the end of your season,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “For some reason our group seems to get off to slow starts and that was the case today.”
Auburn got off to a quick start just 35 seconds into the match when freshman Christina Culver knocked the ball out of freshman keeper Kerry York’s hands. The ball just went wide of the post but was a dangerous opportunity less than a minute into the match.
In the 19th minute, sophomore Summer Corum had Florida State’s first real chance when she volleyed a shot from inside the box that just went over the crossbar. Florida State almost struck again in the 29th minute when Auburn keeper Megan Rivera charged Kristin Boyce’s throw-in to the center of the Tiger box. Before Rivera could corral the ball, Cindy Schofield flicked the ball to the far post with her head but freshman Sara Power cleared the ball off of the line saving a goal for the Tigers.
Auburn had its most dangerous opportunity of the match in the 26th minute when Ginger Sellick broke free in the middle of the field and turned to goal with no FSU defenders behind her. As the senior, and Florida native neared the top of the 18-yard box, freshman Katie Beal fouled her from behind setting up a dangerous free kick from about 18 yards out. The Seminoles blocked the original free kick but Power followed up the rebound with a shot that York smothered.
“She came right down the middle and I didn’t intend to foul her,” said Beal. “It happened so fast and I think we just got tangled up.”
After a somewhat sluggish start, freshman Jez Ratliff seemed to bring a spark to the FSU offense and she immediately pressured the Tiger defense in the 35th minute. The ACC’s leading point scorer, Cindy Schofield found Ratliff streaking behind the Auburn defense. The Norman, OK native collected the pass and fired a shot at Rivera that was blocked about eight yards out from the goal.
“Jez (Ratliff) brings pace to our offense and she can make people miss,” said Baker. “We call her our super-sub because I don’t know of a player in the ACC that has the qualities that she has that doesn’t start. She provides with energy and explosiveness and she can change the complexion of the game with just one run.”
As halftime neared, the Tigers had another opportunity to take the lead. In the 40th minute, Tammy Waine broke in behind the FSU defense when freshman keeper Kerry York charged the Auburn freshman from England. York slid and stuffed the shot from about 10 yards out preserving the scoreless tie as the game went to the half.
“I tried to light a fire underneath them at half,” said Baker. “I wanted to see them play more physical. I told them if they wanted this win it had to come from inside. I asked them why they play this game and they told me it was because they loved the game. If you love the game, you have to play with passion and that’s what I asked them to do in the second half and I think they did.”
The Seminoles came out and began to dictate play immediately in the second period. The Seminoles dominated the scoring chances and held a five to two edge in shots and corner kicks
for the half.
Five minutes in, FSU had its best chance of the match when freshman Camie Bybee found Vik Edvardsen about eight yards out from the Auburn goal and dead center. The senior from Oslo, Norway just got under the ball though and launched her shot over the crossbar. Seven minutes later, the Seminoles once again had a chance to take the lead when Ratliff found Vik Edvardsen inside the box again but she was unable to get a shot off before the defense closed on her.
Just a minute after Vik Edvardsen came close to scoring, the Seminoles found the back
of the net. Vik Edvardsen sent a pass down the right wing to Ratliff who was making a run towards the end line. Ratliff collected the ball and sent it to the back post where Bybee was waiting all alone. The Oklahoma City, OK native buried the header scoring FSU’s first goal in more than 210 minutes dating back to the ACC quarterfinal win over Maryland. It was the All-ACC Rookie Team member’s tenth goal of the season, which is second best on the team.
“I can hardly remember what happened,” said Bybee. “Maren got it to Jez and I know how fast she is so whenever she gets it I just take off. She took it down the line and I went to the far post and did the easy part.”
The Seminoles continued to dominate after the goal playing more possession and keeping the ball away from the Auburn attack. The Tigers had one last ditch chance to even the game in the 88th minute. Sellick broke down the FSU defense and sent a back pass to Gretchen Winter about 14 yards from goal. She blasted a bending shot that redshirt-sophomore Jenny Garcia blocked with her head to re-direct the ball away from the Seminoles net.
The goalkeeping tandem of freshmen Ali Mims and Kerry York were forced to make just two saves on the day and combined on the Seminoles sixth shutout of the year. Florida State now faces the 18th-ranked Clemson Tigers (14-4-1) Sunday, November 18 at 11:30 a.m. The Seminoles are the only team to beat the Tigers at Riggs Field this season when they used a last minute goal by Amber Tollefson to defeat Clemson 3-2. The Tigers eliminated FSU from the NCAA Tournament in 2000 with a 2-0 win in the Sweet 16. This will mark the fourth meeting between the teams in the last two seasons and Clemson is the first team FS has ever faced twice in the NCAA Tournament.