Oct. 1, 2004
Durham, NC – Florida State’s offense continued to struggle to put away chances Friday night as the ninth-ranked Tribe was shutout by No. 14 Duke at Koskinen Stadium. It was the second consecutive game that FSU’s offense was shutout and that is the first time that has happened since the 2001 season at the ACC Tournament. The last time FSU was shutout in back-to-back losses was 1998 when the team failed to score a goal in three consecutive defeats. The loss drops Florida State to 7-3-0 and 1-2-0 in the ACC while Duke improves to 9-2-0 and 2-0-0 in conference. The last time FSU was below .500 in conference play was 2002 when the Seminoles fell to 1-2-1 and ended the year at 3-3-1.
“We lost to a really good Duke team tonight,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “They are playing very good soccer right now. They are good in transition and they create great chances. Casey McCluskey played like an All-American and she is doing a lot for them but it is more than just McCluskey. It was a complete effort. That is the second complete team we have faced in a week’s time.”
FSU has never won at Duke and the Tribe was unable to break through Friday against a fired up Duke squad looking to avenge last season’s 3-0 loss in Tallahassee. The Blue Devils out shot FSU 20-10 and put seven shots on frame compared to just four for the Seminoles. Duke’s Casey McCluskey scored her 12th goal of the year to put Duke up 1-0 at 33:40. Duke then bolstered the lead in the 78th minute when Lauren Tippets scored her second of the season.
For the fourth consecutive game, the Seminoles created chances but struggled to find a way to finish the opportunities. With play making central midfielder Camie Bybee (Oklahoma City, OK) battling injuries and the Seminoles starting their seventh different line-up in 10 games, FSU has scored only three goals in the last four games. The Seminoles are averaging just 1.6 goals per game this year, which is the second-lowest average in the history of the program.
“I think the offensive problems have come just in the last two games,” said Baker. “When you play great teams, especially in the conference you have to create quality chances. In fairness, we created better chanced tonight than we did against Virginia but we still aren’t creating enough of them. Kelly Rowland, our defender, probably had three of our best chances. We just need to get better everywhere to create more dangerous chances.”
The game got off to a positive start for the Tribe as they began to create chances almost immediately after the opening whistle. In just the fourth minute Teresa Rivera (Parkland, FL), Julia Schnugg (Alamo, CA) and Jez Ratliff (Norman, OK) combined down the left side of the pitch getting Schnugg in behind Duke’s defense. She turned the corner on the defender that was shoulder-to-shoulder with her but Schnugg’s cross was not drawn out far enough and it was cleared at the near post by a Blue Devil defender.
Ratliff and Schnugg played off one another again with Ratliff getting in this time. The defender tried to slide tackle the ball from the senior but was unsuccessful. Ratliff sent the ball backwards into the box but two defenders converged before an FSU attacker could get to the service.
Ten minutes later Duke was up 1-0. Florida State was whistled for a foul on a 50-50 ball just outside the Blue Devil 18. Carolyn Ford drilled a long pass down the right flank that caught three Seminoles defenders flat footed. The ball sailed over top and McCluskey ran on to the service. The All-American then struck a laser shot to the far post from a difficult angle recording her 12th goal of the season.
Florida State had two solid chances to tie the game in the final minute of the first half. The first chance came with just over a minute remaining when Sage Sizemore (Cape Coral, FL) played a great diagonal ball across the pitch. Schnugg stepped over the cross and it found Armani Rice (Parker, CO) who was already striding toward the Blue Devil net. The freshman played a great ball across the face of the goal but none of the three Seminole runners could get a foot on the service.
With :30 remaining and time winding down Katie Beal (Alexandria, VA) launched an FSU free kick from about 40 yards out on the far left side. The ball sailed across the box and through a mass of players from both teams before innocently landing out of bounds just wide of the far post.
After mustering just two shots in the first 45:00, FSU came out firing in the second half and 10 minutes in it looked as if the Tribe’s All-American was going to equalize. Leah Gallegos (Los Angeles, CA) turned the ball over at the top of the 18. She took one touch and fired just wide of the post.
Three minutes Schnugg had a chance when her header shot from inside the box also just went wide of the post.
India Trotter (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) had another chance to equalize for FSU when she made a great cut with the ball at her feet and got a great look at the Duke net. Her shot was headed upper 90 but Duke keeper Allison Lipsher (6-2-0) was right there to grab the ball before it could get by her.
Tippets then put the game away at 77:33. The play started with Shelly Marshall playing Carolyn Ford down the left side. Ford made a run from midfield all the way to the end line where she found Tippets camped at the near post. The sophomore redirected the ball into the FSU goal.
The Seminoles made a frantic effort to get back into the match with 22 minutes still remaining. Kelly Rowland (Wallingford, PA) was moved up top in an attempt to generate some offense and the freshman All-American defender did just that. She got in 1-v-1 with Lipsher and chose to fire a shot from about 15 yards out rather than take the keeper on. The shot was right at the Duke keeper and easily corralled.
It was déjà vu all again just moments later when Gallegos got a look at Lipsher and took a shot as well. Her strike was hit well but once again right to the Duke keeper for an easy save.
Florida State returns to action this Tuesday night when they face USF in Tallahassee. The game will kick at 7:00 and there is no admission charge. Game Tracker and Internet Radio will be available for the match through the official athletic website for Florida State University at seminoles.com.