Jan. 10, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The 11th-ranked Seminole soccer team had four players named to either the SoccerBuzz All-America or freshman All-America team Thursday when the magazine released its national awards. Cindy Schofield and Amber Tollefson were each named honorable mention All-Americans while defender Katie Beal was named a first team freshman All-American and forward Camie Bybee was named a second team freshman All-American. Schofield and Tollefson are just the second and third All-Americans in school history and this is just the first time in the program’s seven-year history that two Seminoles were named All-Americans and freshman All-Americans in the same season.
Florida State, which finished third in the final ACC standings and advanced to the conference championship game, tied Virginia and trailed only North Carolina amongst ACC schools with its two All-America team selections. The University of Texas was the only school to place more first-year players on the All-America freshman first and second teams than did FSU. The 2000 season was the first time an FSU player ever garnered national honors from SoccerBuzz. Emma Breland was the Seminoles’ lone representative on the All-America and freshman All-America teams, which makes the four Seminoles selected for national honors this season an even more amazing feat for the young program.
“Last year we kind of snuck up on a lot of people and Emma Breland just happened to have a remarkable freshman campaign,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “She received a lot of attention but this year people were much more aware of our program and we didn’t sneak up on anybody. It is so exciting to see four of our players recognized for the team effort it took to put together a season that saw us establish the program’s best record and advance all the way to the conference championship.
“Ever since we took over this program, being in the same conference and region as the perennial national champions (North Carolina), we knew that they would be the benchmark we measured our success against. As long as we come up a close second or third to them, even though you aren’t overtaking them that is some pretty good company. It is exciting for our program to accomplish all that we did this year and to finish with UNC as they only ACC school ahead of us in the sense of All-Americans.”
Schofield had the most productive offensive season in the history of Florida State soccer and was named FSU’s second-ever All-ACC first team selection. Schofield set a single-season school record and led the ACC with 17 goals. Her 42 points also stand as the best single season point total in Florida State soccer history shattering the previous record of 31 set by Emma Breland. Her point total also exceeded the 24 she totaled for her entire career before 2001 and placed her second in the conference. The Lakeland, Fla. native also finished second in the ACC in scoring average (1.75) and goals per game (0.71) and ended the season fourth on the conference’s assist list. She also moved into first on FSU’s all-time list with seven game-winning goals and moved into a tie for second place with 16 career assists.
An All-ACC second team and All-ACC Tournament team selection in 2001, Tollefson followed up a solid rookie campaign with an even better sophomore season. Florida State’s most dominant player in conference games this year, Tollefson led the team in points (12), goals (4), assists (4), game-winning goals (2) and shot percentage (.667) in regular season ACC games. For the ACC Tournament, she was second on the team in points (4), second in goals (1), tied for the team lead in assists (2), second in shots (4) and first in shots on goal (3). She finished the 2001 campaign fifth on the team in points (14), tied for third in goals (5), second on the team in game-winning goals (3), tied for fifth in assists (4) and first in shot percentage (.278).
“Those two players (Schofield and Tollefson) had very special years both in and out of conference play,” said Baker. “Cindy did a wonderful job of finding the back of the net this season and it was a breakout year for her in many ways. She was in the shadows of Breland a little last season although she complimented her very well on the field. This year she really shouldered the burden a little more and carried our team at times.
“Within our program, we rate Amber very high not only as a player but also as a person. She put it all together as a sophomore and really raised the level of wide midfield play for our program.”
Beal, an All-ACC Rookie team and All-ACC Tournament team selection, was one of the best defenders in the ACC last season. The Alexandria, VA native showed why she was named a Parade All-American and spent two seasons with the U-16 National Team while starting every game but one in the Seminole defense. Beal recorded her only point of the season against USF in a key win for the Seminoles. Beal was a mainstay on a Seminole defense that was in charge of slowing down some of the nations most prolific scorers on the country’s best teams. The FSU defense was asked to keep the Seminoles in games versus all four teams in the NCAA Final Four and against more NCAA Tournament teams than any other team in the country entering the post-season tournament.
“It is great to see our defenders get recognized because we pride ourselves on being strong in the back,” said Baker. “With Beal being named a first team freshman All-American and Kristin Boyce receiving All-Southeast region honors, it shows that a couple of our kids stood out at a position that you can’t really show their worth statistically and often gets overlooked. I knew Beal was one of the best central defenders the country had to offer after getting a chance to see her play through our national program and she came in and had a wonderful freshman season. There were many games where I felt she didn’t take a wrong step. She makes wonderful decisions with the ball and I am very thankful we have another three years together.”
Bybee, an All-ACC Rookie Team selection, started 22 of FSU’s 24 matches. She was the Seminoles’ most potent offensive threat behind Cindy Schofield and threatened every Seminole rookie record. She finished the year second in shots by a freshman, second for points scored by a freshman, tied the record for freshman assists and became the second best freshman goal scorer in program history when she netted her tenth goal of the season. The Oklahoma native finished 2001 with the fourth in points, fourth in goals scored and eighth in scoring average in the ACC. In just one season, she already ranks third on FSU’s career list for points per game, third in goals per game, first in assists per game, third in shots per game, fifth in shots on goal and second in shots on goal per game.
“When we recruited Camie, we knew she had great play-making ability and she showed this year that she has the ability to score goals also,” said Baker. “She has the ability to score from anywhere, she can get inside the box and she can make people miss. She and Katie came in with a very highly ranked recruiting class and they have paid off immediately. When you look at the production level of our freshmen class, they may have been rated No. 8 in the nation but I think the are definitely a top five class when it comes to the impact they made this season.”