Nov. 2, 2002
Photo Gallery: FSU vs. Virginia
Tallahassee, FL –
The 15th-ranked FSU soccer team lost its regular season finale Saturday night 2-1 to No. 25 Virginia (11-5-2, 4-3-0) in front of 1,098 fans at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Senior Cindy Schofield recorded her 13th goal of the season and the 40th of her career but the Tribe was unable to come back from two first half Cavalier goals as they dropped their fourth one-goal game of the year. Florida State finishes the regular season 11-5-3 and 3-3-1 in the ACC. It is just the second time ever that FSU has finished at .500 or above in the conference and they will open the ACC Tournament Thursday, November 7th at 8:00 p.m. versus fifth-seeded Maryland (11-6-0, 3-3-1).
Despite Saturday night’s result, the Seminoles’ tied the mark for the second-best regular season record in team history and equaled the record for the fewest regular season losses ever by an FSU team. The fifth-largest crowd in Seminole Soccer Complex history also put the Tribe over the 10,000-fan mark for the season, which is a first in program history.
“I am happy with the season overall,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “Anytime you can finish at .500 or above in the ACC, that is a great accomplishment. We’ll take a day off and then begin to prepare for the conference tournament Thursday.”
Virginia broke out to an early lead as Darci Borski scored on UVA’s first shot of the game in the 6th minute. Kelly Hammond added to the lead in the 29th minute as she scored off an errant FSU clearance. Schofield got the Seminoles on the board in the 53rd minute but the Seminoles were unable to capitalize on numerous chances. Florida State hit a crossbar, had two balls cleared off the line and forced UVA goalie Anne Abernethy to make five saves.
“It was another great night in the ACC,” said Baker. “There was end-to-end action and I thought we created more of the dangerous chances but they got two first half goals. We had a set piece down on their end and didn’t prevent the counter on their first goal. Then one of our defenders plays a ball right out to Kelly Hammond and she rips it. That was just a give-away on our part.
“In the first half we had a ball hit the crossbar that came down. We had two cleared off the line and another flurry in front of their net. We were probably a bit unlucky.”
Virginia had the first opportunity of the game and they made it count. Julie Napolitano served a ball to a streaking Lindsay Gusick in the middle of the pitch. Gusick then split the Seminole defense with a perfect service between two defenders and on to the foot of Borski. Seminole keeper Kerry York came off her line to cut the angle down but the senior slipped the ball past the sophomore with a low shot to the right side.
The Seminoles looked to equalize the match in the 12th minute. Freshman Leah Gallegos fired a shot that was blocked in the box but it ricocheted to Katie Talley who was making her first start in three years on senior night. The wide midfielder sent a bending service through the box about eight yards out from goal that just went over the heads of two Seminoles at the far post.
Gallegos threatened the Cavaliers’ net again in the 17th minute as Schofield sent a beautiful ball over the top of the defense to the freshman running behind the Cavaliers. Gallegos took one touch and fired to the near post but the ball went just wide.
Just moments later, Gallegos had FSU’s best chance of the half. She collected the ball on the left side of the box and dribbled past the UVA defense getting in one-on-one with Abernathy. The Los Angeles native took a couple more touches as she tried to get around the keeper before she shot to the far post. The Cavalier keeper was just able to get a piece of the shot and the Virginia defense cleared it off the line.
In the 28th minute Schofield and Gallegos once again combined to produce a scoring opportunity. Gallegos found Schofield at the top of the box and the senior striker trapped the ball down to her feet. She ripped a shot to the near post but Abernathy was able to just get a hand on it and knock it wide.
On the ensuing counter, Virginia extended its lead to 2-0. The Cavaliers made a run into the Seminole box but the FSU defense closed and cleared the ball out but right to a waiting Hammond. The freshman one timed the shot from about 20 yards out and beat the Seminole keeper who had little chance to make the save.
As the game neared half, Florida State looked to get some momentum heading into the locker-room. Gallegos played a brilliant ball down the right wing hitting junior Summer Corum in stride. The Vero Beach, FL native went endline and served a ball to the backpost. Freshman Alli Ferreri just missed latching on to the cross but junior Amber Tollefson was there behind her and rocketed a volley past Abernathy. The shot caught the underneath of the crossbar and bounced straight down but didn’t cross the line according to the referee.
“I think it was hard to get into the game at first after all of the emotions during senior night,” said Jenny Garcia. “We just weren’t clean enough in the beginning. It took us a while to get into it. We had chances early on. We had like three balls right on the goal line but we just couldn’t put them away.”
For the half, both sides had five shots with FSU putting three on frame compared to two for the Cavaliers. The Seminoles held a 2-1 edge in corners and were fouled eight times.
“I told our kids at half that we’ve had five shots and they’ve had five shots. Their keeper has made three saves and ours hasn’t had to make any. What is that telling you,” said Baker. “I give our girls credit because they came out in the second half and created an opportunity and got us back in the game. The complexion of the game changed as we switched to a 3-4-3 and we had some dangerous chances. We just couldn’t find the final piece.”
Just three minutes out of the locker-room, FSU had another solid chance on the UVA net. Tollefson sent a hard driven volley to the far post but Abernathy was up to the challenge once again and she was able to come up with the save.
Just four minutes later senior defender Ashlee Fontes flicked a header on to Jez Ratliff behind the Virginia defense on the right side of the box. The sophomore turned the corner and decided to pass on the shot and send a ball across the face of the goal to Tollefson who was making a run on the left side. The wide midfielder just couldn’t get to the service and the Virginia defense was able to get back and clear the ball over the endline.
On the ensuing corner, FSU got on the board as two seniors combined on a night in which both were honored. Defender Meredith Jones sent the kick to the near post where a group of defenders were surrounding Schofield. The senior was able to just get a touch on the service and beat Abernathy narrowing the gap at 2-1.
“Meredith hit a great corner to the near post and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” said Schofield. “We were really flat in the first half and it seemed like we just weren’t playing with any emotion and they punished us for that with two early goals. It is hard to comeback from 2-0 down but we closed the gap early on and I thought we had some chances to tie the game.”
The Cavaliers looked to increase their lead in the 68th minute. Noelle Keselica collected the ball on the far left wing. She sent a drive towards the far post that York made a diving stab at and was able to knock wide of the goal.
Katie Beal put FSU in position to tie the game up just minutes later. The sophomore sent a dangerous free kick right on to the head of Tollefson who was charging toward the Virginia goal. The junior’s header shot was heading in at the near post before Abernathy came up with another big save.
Florida State continued to push numbers forward as they searched for the equalizer. In the 79th minute Schofield sent a beautiful diagonal ball to Ratliff on the right wing splitting the Virginia defense. Ratliff went endline but her service was too close to the goal as the keeper scooped it up before it got back to Schofield who was making a run in the center of the penalty box.
The Seminoles had one last chance in the 90th minute. Schofield gathered a deep throw in on the Virginia endline to the left of the goal. She turned and sent a quick service in front of the goal but Abernathy once again was there before anyone had a chance to direct it on to goal.
Florida State now turns its attention to a Maryland team they defeated 1-0 last weekend in College Park and have recorded three straight wins against. The 23rd-ranked Terps will come into the ACC Tournament on a high after tying North Carolina 1-1 in Chapel Hill in their season finale. The last time the two teams met in the ACC Tournament, FSU exploded for seven goals in a 7-2 win to open the 2001 conference championships.
“We don’t fear anybody in the ACC and I don’t think anybody fears us either. That is the point where this conference is at now,” said Baker. “We all used to be fearful of Carolina but now I don’t think anybody is going to walk away saying ‘Oh my god, we have to play the Tar Heels’ because for the most part everyone has played them very well this year. Don’t get me wrong, you probably want to avoid them as long as you can but I think this will be the most competitive and exciting ACC Tournament that we have ever had.”
Florida State’s opening round game with the Terrapins will be broadcast live on the Sunshine Network Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. This year’s 2002 ACC Women’s Soccer Championships will be held in Tallahassee for the first time in school history. The nation’s premiere conference tournament runs from Thursday, November 7 to Sunday, November 11 and tickets are now available on-line at www.seminoles.com or by calling the Seminole ticket office at 1-888-FSU-NoLE.