Sept. 30, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
On the heels of a huge conference-opening victory over then-No. 14 Maryland (5-3-1), head coach Patrick Baker handed out his weekly soccer honors. Junior Camie Bybee was named player of the week while defender Kelly Rowland took home rookie of the week honors. It is the first honor for Rowland and the second time Bybee has been named FSU Player of Week in the past two seasons.
“Having watched tape, I thought it was the most complete game Camie (Bybee) has played all season,” said Baker. “She was defending. She was challenging. She was winning balls out of the air. She was making great decisions with the ball at her feet. She got other players involved. She made players around her better. She was also very dangerous on our set pieces. Ultimately she was rewarded for that by sticking the game winner from a pretty difficult angle.”
The junior scored the seventh game-winning goal of her career and her first ever in ACC play as her header goal in the 70th minute sent FSU to 1-0-0 in the ACC. Bybee’s goal was the difference in a 2-1 win over then-No. 14 Maryland that gave the Seminoles their third straight win in a conference opener. The victory was the Tribe’s third straight ACC win over UMD, a school record, and second consecutive win over an top 25 team, also a school first. Bybee is now second in FSU history for career game-winning goals. The victory also extended Florida State’s current winning streak to four games, the second longest winning streak in team history. Bybee has now scored four goals and recorded three assists in her last four matches.
After Maryland took a 1-0 lead on a header goal off a long throw-in, Bybee and FSU scored the game-winner in similar fashion. Rowland’s long throw-in from the far sideline was sent into the middle of a group of players. Bybee rose above the pack and knocked her header shot to the back post past Kristen Barnhill for the 2-1 lead. For the game, Bybee took two shots, both headers and both on goal.
“Kelly (Rowland) has come on in a lot of different ways. She went from not starting either of our two preseason scrimmages, to starting opening night. Playing against the level of competition she has played against, and some of the match-ups she has had to face against great players has been impressive but on Friday night she was exceptional,” said Baker. “She had a wonderful heading presence. Her long throw-ins proved to be just as dangerous as (Lindsay) Givens’ of Maryland. She hardly put a foot wrong all night in the back. She was challenging, competing and winning balls. She was great in distribution and decision-making. She didn’t look like a freshman at all.”
The freshman has been stellar since moving in to the middle of the Tribe defense, a move that has coincided with FSU’s four game win streak and Rowland played a huge game defensively in the middle in FSU’s 2-1 win over the Terps and also assisted on the game-winning goal. Her long throw-in to Camie Bybee in the box scored the Tribe’s second goal in the 70th minute. It was her third assist of the year, which is second on the team. Rowland also played a key role in the equalizer as her header off a corner kick surprised UMd keeper Kristen Barnhill. The goalie was able to just clear the ball out but Gallegos pounded the clearance into the left side of the net for the FSU equalizer.
Defensively, Rowland helped limit Maryland to a season-low 11 shots and she held ACC Player of the Week Kimmy Francis without a shot for just the second time in eight games this season. Francis came into the game averaging almost 3.5 shots per game. Overall, playing center back in the FSU back line, Rowland and her defensive teammates limited the Terps five leading shooters to just five shots. That group came into Tallahassee averaging 15 shots per game.
“Overall I thought I held up pretty well Friday night in the first ACC game of my career,” said Rowland. “It was a lot of fun because I love to play in games that are close like that game was. I have been told to expect every ACC game to be that closely contested and intense. It was really physical as well. I just hope I can keep improving my game as the season moves on.
“I think the credit for Friday night belongs to the whole defensive unit. We were continually talking and trying to help each other shutdown a very good group of forwards. We always let each other know where the Maryland forwards were on the field and that helped.”
Florida State returns to action Wednesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. versus South Florida (4-3-1). The game will be played in Tampa, FL and live stats will be available on www.seminoles.con courtesy of the USF Sports Information Office. For the link to live stats, FSU soccer game notes, photo galleries and game stories, please log on to the official athletic website for Florida State university.