Sept. 14, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – The fifth-ranked FSU soccer team (5-1-0) got goals from five different players Tuesday night as they stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the first 37 minutes and went on to record a 5-0 win over Jacksonville (1-4-1). The victory was FSU’s seventh consecutive win over the Dolphins and improved the Tribe’s record to 5-1-0 on the season.
“This was a good team performance from everybody tonight,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “We were able to create good quality scoring opportunities but we were a little more composed and focused on our finishing than we were Sunday. We got offensive output from a number of different players as five different players recorded goals for us tonight.”
The game was highlighted by both old and new as veterans Jez Ratliff (Norman, OK), Leah Gallegos (Los Angeles, CA), Julia Schnugg (Alamo, CA) and Kelly Rowland (Wallingford, PA) all recorded points but four other players either recorded the first goal or assist of their career. Freshmen Melissa Samokishyn (Littleton, CO) and Holly Peltzer (Lake Mary, FL) each recorded their first career assists and sophomores Sarah Rosseau (Marco Island, FL) and Toby Ranck (Wayne, PA) each netted their first career goals.
“There were some first time goals being scored tonight and some first time assists being awarded,” said Baker. “It was great. A lot of people stepped up. It was a well-balanced attack, everyone got in and I was pleased with the performance. We needed this one coming off the weekend and it was a joy to watch.”
Ratliff scored her fourth goal of the season and is now just two goals away from tying her single season career high and she has now equaled her career total for game winning goals with her third in just six games. Gallegos recorded her second goal in as many games and has combined with Ratliff to account for 17 of FSU’s 44 points this season. Ratliff’s nine points are the most the senior has ever recorded through the first six games of a season.
“I really don’t think I am doing anything special this year besides being lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and just redirecting balls into the net,” said Ratliff. “I think I am just being a little more aggressive and working harder to get forward from the wide midfield position but other than that it is my teammates that are making me look good.”
After taking 31 shots in a scoreless regulation versus Stetson Sunday, the Tribe came out immediately Tuesday night and applied pressure to the JU defense. The five goals were the most scored by FSU since a 5-0 win over Dartmouth to open the 2003 NCAA Tournament and equal the amount of goals scored in the last four games combined.
“I think our team really put it together tonight and played really well as a group,” said Gallegos. “It feels good because I felt the offense wasn’t producing like we were capable of so I think tonight showed us we are getting back on track.”
“Tonight gave everybody confidence,” said Baker. “Up until today, we hadn’t really been scoring in the run of play with four of our eight goals coming off set pieces. That is something we have been focusing on. It was nice to have a number of players step up. We were able to get endline, find some seams and run on to some stuff. It was just what the doctor ordered before we step into ACC play.”
Just six minutes in the offense was rewarded. The goal came off the foot of Ratliff but was the product of a great Samokishyn cross. The midfielder, who is the only freshman to start a game this year for FSU, sent a ball from the far post across the frame where Ratliff directed into the open net. It was the first point of the Colorado native’s Seminole career.
“That felt great,” said Samokishyn. “I hit it real well to the back post hoping to get a goal but Jez got a foot on it and drove it in so it was all good. That felt big time. It made me feel like I am finally here in a college atmosphere and was able to contribute.
“It fells really good to be the first member of my class to make it into the starting 11,” said Samokishyn. “It is payoff for all the hard work in the preseason. It is nice to be able to show that I can contribute to this team but just because I got a few starts don’t think this freshman class isn’t contributing as well. It feels great to be a part of this group.”
After the goal, FSU continued to dominate offensively keeping the Jacksonville offense totally at bay. The Dolphins didn’t even cross midfield until 13:09 and was held without a shot in the first half compared to 12 for the Seminoles.
The Tribe added to its lead at 14:52 when a great ball by Rachel McDowell (Lakewood, CO) freed Schnugg to get endline at the back post. She found Gallegos camped in front of the net about 12 yards out. The All-American blasted the volley past Michelle Kmiotek (1-4-1) for her second goal and eighth point.
“Rachel and Julia did a great job setting that play up and Julia had a great cross right to my foot,” said Gallegos. “They deserve all the credit and what a service by Julia. It felt good to score so their effort was not wasted.”
The Seminoles got on the board again in the 36th minute this time courtesy of Rosseau’s first career goal. The play was set up by an amazing read by Rowland who saw a passing lane right across the field where she was able to feed Ratliff with a long diagonal ball right on to her foot. The senior, who had already scored a goal, sent the ball to Rosseau in the middle of the box where the red-shirt sophomore one-timed the finish.
After taking a year off due to injury and spending much of last season still recovering from back surgery, Rosseau’s playing time has increased steadily this year and she made her opportunity pay off Tuesday.
“I saw Jez get the pass and turn the corner,” said Rosseau. “I made a run into the box and she played a nice ball I was able to first time finish. It feels really good especially against JU because last year I had three great chances to score on them and I didn’t capitalize. It is just nice to be back contributing to this team’s success.”
Two minutes and two seconds after Rosseau’s goal, another FSU player recorded the first points of her career. Peltzer picked up the ball on the near endline and beat two Jacksonville defenders in tight space to get off a service to Alli Ferreri (Coral Springs, FL). The junior redirected the cross into the net for her first goal of the season and the third of her career.
“I got a good through ball and went endline,” said Peltzer. “I was able to get past a defender and Alli made a great run. I saw her and was able to make it past the next defender and get her the ball. She finished strong and scored the goal. It was exciting but Alli really made that play happen.”
“Holly took on a few players in the corner, got free and slotted a great ball,” said Ferreri. “I was fortunate to be on the receiving end of a great pass. It feels good to get that first goal of the year. Things come a little bit easier once that weight is lifted off your shoulders.”
Florida State played with most of its starters resting for the majority of the second half but two notable players did see some action. Camie Bybee (Oklahoma City, OK) saw her first playing time since week one when she suffered an ankle sprain and it didn’t take the senior long to reacclimate herself. In the 70th minute she found Ranck at the top of the box and played a ball back to her that the sophomore buried for her first career goal.
“I was so exciting to get that first collegiate goal,” said Ranck. “We had great possession all game and I was glad I was able to take advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself. I felt relaxed because the team was playing so well and Camie made it so easy for me with a great pass back.”
The other big return was that of Ali Mims (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) who saw her first action in two years after fracturing her leg in the 2001 preseason. The redshirt-sophomore fought through 20 surgical procedures and numerous set backs to finally get back on the field and despite playing in the spring, the significance of her return to regular season action was not lost on anyone.
“You could just tell in the lockerrom at half time; we just told the kids lets get right back out there and keep doing what we’ve been doing,” said Baker. “I told them to make sure they all realized Mims was going to be in the net. They all were very vocal in support of her when they heard that. It has been a long haul for her and it was great that she was able to get some quality minutes.”
“It felt amazing to be back out there tonight,” said Mims. “I really wasn’t nervous. I just am realizing now that I wasn’t nervous. It took me a few minutes to remember I had to stay locked into the game the whole time. I wasn’t really tested but things came back to me pretty easily so it was a positive night.”
Florida State’s next scheduled game will be the team’s ACC opener Friday, September 17 versus No. 7 Clemson (5-1-0). The game will start at 7:00 p.m. If there is any change due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Ivan, updates will be posted on the official athletic site for Florida State athletics, www.seminoles.com.