Aug. 27, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – The 100th victory in FSU soccer history was a special one Friday night as the fifth-ranked Seminole soccer team (1-0-0) opened the year with an impressive 3-2 victory over No. 14 Arizona State (0-1-0). A record crowd saw Seminole freshman All-American Julia Schnugg score two of FSU’s three goals and fellow freshman All-American Kelly Rowland chip in with two assists. The 1,247 fans that turned out made up the fourth-largest crowd in school history and the second-largest opening day crowd ever. The win was head coach Patrick Baker’s second win over a ranked team on opening day and the Seminoles have now won nine straight games on Friday night when there are 1,000 fans in attendance.
“It is amazing that this many people come out for opening night but I am so happy and thankful,” said Baker. “The fans make such a difference for us. When we went up 3-1 I thought if we had a roof it was going to blow off this place.
“I also can’t say enough about the sophomore class tonight. Every single one of them was amazing. The quality of Julia’s run and that ball by Kelly was amazing on the third goal. Her composure to finish it set this crowd alive. The quality of that goal was such a high level from two high level players.”
The fans that showed up early were silenced quickly though as ASU went up 1-0 just 1:09 into the game. Senior Camie Bybee brought them back to life just four minutes later as she equalized on Rowland’s first assist of the game. Schnugg then added her goals in the 36th and 53rd minutes to put the Tribe up 3-1. The Sun Devils mounted a late charge to trim the lead to 3-2 but a last second diving save by Tribe keeper Joy McKenzie solidified the win.
“When we went up 3-1, I thought it was going to be really difficult for anybody to score four goals against us so I felt good,” said Baker. “We let down a little bit and that let them get back in the game. They played very direct and we didn’t deal with that too well. In fairness we hadn’t seen that from UAB or Tennessee so we will work on that.
“Everybody that was here tonight saw what we have known for a very long time about Joy McKenzie. She is a very special goalkeeper and when we bent she made sure we didn’t break. She made two big time saves that were the difference in the game.”
The win improved FSU to 17-1-2 all-time at home on Friday night’s under Baker. His FSU teams are also 6-1-0 versus ranked opponents on Friday night’s and this was Baker’s 13th victory over a team that is ranked in the NSCAA poll since he took over in 1999. After opening the season with two losses to ranked teams at home in 2003, Friday’s season-opening victory over a highly ranked ASU team was a statement win for Florida State.
“It was excellent to get that first win against a team as good as Arizona State,” said senior defender Marion Cagle. “Hopefully it will be the first of many this year. This is a year where we wanted to turn things around and not start off 1-4 and put ourselves in a hole.”
The Seminoles couldn’t help thinking back to the start in 2003 when just 1:09 into the game Arizona State broke on top. The Tribe came out and for the first minute played mostly in the ASU half of the field but a counter attack in a split second opened the door for the Sun Devils. U-19 National Team member Manya Makoski charged at the Tribe defense and slipped a ball between two defenders to Katie Mahoney. Mahoney beat a diving McKenzie to stake ASU to a 1-0 lead.
Bybee brought FSU right back as the Tribe once again scored on a set piece. Rowland’s long throw-in was a nightmare for opponents in 2003 and it didn’t take long for the bad dreams to continue in 2004. The sophomore sent a long throw into the box at the near post where Bybee, with her back to the goal flicked it back to the far post and into the net. All five of the sophomores career assists have now come off throw-ins.
“Kelly had a great a long throw in and I was just looking to flick it on,” said Bybee. “It just happened to go over the keeper’s head. They shocked us in the first minute and we had to do something to respond or it could have turned into a long game. I was glad I could be a part of evening the game and picking this team up.”
“To respond to that ASU goal the way we did was crucial,” said Baker. “We scored off a set piece and we have been able to manufacture set piece goals. We understand the importance of it.”
In the 11th minute another set piece almost resulted in the Tribe’s second goal of the game. This one came on a free kick by senior All-American Katie Beal. The defender lofted a pass to the back post where ASU keeper Kim Bingham went up to pluck the ball out of danger. Rowland challenged the keeper and the ball fell to Schnugg. The forward was facing parallel to the goal and had to shoot with her leg bent using the side of her foot. The attempt was on frame and with Bingham out of the goal mouth it took a Sun Devil defender clearing the ball off the line to save the goal.
Schnugg got her chance to score her first goal of the season in the 35th minute. Bybee started the play with a pass to MAC Hermann Trophy watch list member Leah Gallegos. The consensus All-American dribbled at three defenders. Schnugg slipped in between the ASU back line and held her run perfectly until Gallegos drew enough attention. The two then read the defense and Gallegos slotted Schnugg in 1-v-1 with the keeper. The Alamo, CA native beat Bingham for the seventh goal of her career.
“Camie played a great ball to Leah in the middle of the field,” said Schnugg. “I saw the slashing run behind the defense and she played a wonderful ball I could run on to. I didn’t even realize I was 1-v-1 versus the goalkeeper. I was lucky enough to be able to put it in.”
The Sun Devils had a chance to equalize the game just three minutes later. Mahoney stood at the top of the 18 and ripped a shot straight down the middle. The ball caught the inside of the crossbar and bounced down and out of the goal mouth without crossing the line.
Florida State got some breathing room in the 53rd minute and just eight minutes out of the locker room at halftime. Rowland once again was the catalyst as she lofted a long pass to a streaking Schnugg who was marked by an ASU defender on her inside hip. The ball landed between the two players and took a perfect diagonal bounce allowing Schnugg to use her speed to run on to the ball. The sophomore beat the Sun Devil defender in the foot race and then ended up beating Bingham for the goal. The strike put FSU up 3-1 but was eventually the game-winner as ASU added a second goal later in the half.
“I think in any game you have to score as many goals as you can because you never know what is going to happen,” said Schnugg. “Especially against Arizona State because their work rate was the highest of any opponent I have ever come across at any level. We needed to get as many goals as we could because they aren’t going to give up and they showed that late in the game.”
In the 76th minute the Sun Devils came close to tying up the score as Brittany Cooper rocketed a shot from the top of the box to the near post. McKenzie laid out and just got a fist on the shot punching it wide of the net but three minutes later ASU did get back on the board. Elizabeth Bogus netted her shot in the 81st minute of action as Makoski received the ball and dumped it in where Bogus collected the lose ball scoring on a low shot to the far post.
The two goals allowed by the FSU defense marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that FSU has allowed two goals to an opponent on opening day. The Seminoles gave up two to USC in last season’s opener and then went on to set the record for the fewest goals allowed in a season.
“It was very difficult tonight because Arizona State was probably the best team we have faced since playing the Australian Olympic team,” said senior defender Marion Cagle. “Every player on that team was a national team caliber player. We have come a long way as a defense but we still have a long way to go. As long as we keep winning and improving defensively we will be all right but it was a tough game tonight.”
Florida State began managing the clock after the second goal and did a good job until 89:57 when Courtney Crane got a great open look from the top of the 18. Crane sent a shot in on McKenzie who once again came up big fisting it over the crossbar as time ran out the win. It was the 16th victory for McKenzie since assuming starting duties last season.
Florida State will return to the pitch Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. when the Seminole Nike Classic comes to a close. The Tribe will host USC (1-0-0) who opened the tournament Friday with a 3-2 win over Rhode Island. Admission is free and the game will take place at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The game will be available free of charge via live stats and Internet radio. Check seminoles.com for more information.