Oct. 4, 2002
Tallahassee, FL –
The 17th-ranked FSU soccer team (7-2-2) improved to 11-0-2 all-time at home on Friday nights under head coach Patrick Baker and won its ninth straight game versus a team from the state of Florida with a 3-1 win over UCF. The victory was the fourth in-a-row for the Seminoles and dropped the Golden Knights to 8-3-0 on the year. Leah Gallegos scored her sixth goal and second game-winner while Kristin Boyce notched her first of the year but it was senior Cindy Schofield’s 17th-minute goal that was the highlight of the night.
Schofield stole the spotlight as her fourth goal of the season vaulted her into the FSU record book. The Lakeland, FL native broke the record for goals scored in a career (28) and points in a career (76) as she etched her name in Seminole soccer history as the most prolific offensive player ever to play for the Tribe.
“I had no idea about the record until I was sitting on the bench and heard the announcement. It was kind of embarrassing,” said Schofield. “I am more excited about getting the win tonight than breaking any records. I just want to keep helping the team get wins because that is all I care about.”
“That was just awesome to see Cindy get that record. I didn’t know she was that close,” said Baker. “It is a wonderful accomplishment and justifiably deserved. She has had a wonderful career up to this point and hopefully she will continue to add on to those numbers.”
For the match, FSU outshot UCF 17 to 13 and held a decided edge in corner kicks (12-3). The Golden Knights were forced to make seven saves compared to four for the Seminoles and for the fourth time this year, FSU scored back-to-back goals in under six minutes. Friday night the squad’s second and third goals came just :55 apart.
“It was a 90:00 struggle tonight,” said Baker. “Half of it was we weren’t playing to our capabilities and the other half was UCF coming in with a great game plan and making things difficult. They are a more athletic and organized than the team we saw last year. They are also more committed to one another. They are committed to defending and much better in transition. They are a very good side but if we can win 3-1 and not play our best soccer, hopefully that’s a good sign of our character.”
Florida State looked as if it would jump on top of UCF early in the match. Schofield and Corum worked a perfect give and go on the right side of the pitch. Schofield’s return ball sent Corum in alone inside the 18-yard box but the Knight defense cleared the pass away before Corum could get the shot off.
On the ensuing corner, Schofield barely missed setting the record. She gathered the corner in at the near post and fired a shot that sailed just wide.
Schofield’s historic goal came less than two minutes later. The play began with a pass at the top of the circle from sophomore Camie Bybee as she took the ball away from a group of defenders. The midfielder found Schofield just inside the box to the right of the goal. The forward took a touch and fired a blast to the far post. Golden Knight keeper Jessica Kuhlman (7-3-0) dove and was able to get a hand on the ball but it wasn’t enough to keep the ball out of the net.
“I remember that it got served into the middle of the field and there was a collision and Camie somehow came away with the ball,” said Schofield. “It came my way and there was a defender between me and the goal. I faked to the left and went to the right. The far post was open and I took the shot.”
The Knights looked to even the match on a free kick in the 20th-minute. The shot from 25 yards out was a low, line drive to the right post. Sophomore keeper Kerry York (7-1-2) made a diving stop and was able to deflect the shot.
The Seminoles almost padded their lead on a corner kick in the 24th-minute. Freshman Teresa Rivera sent a perfect service to junior defender Kristin Boyce in the center of the box. The Austin, TX native fired the header to the left post beating Kuhlman but it was blocked by a UCF defender before it could cross the goal line.
“I don’t know what happened on that header,” said Boyce. “I think it could have gone either way but give their defender credit for being able to clear it out before it crossed the line.”
Florida State had one last opportunity before half to take a 2-0 lead. Freshman Shannon Coe found sophomore Jez Ratliff outside of the box. Ratliff turned and made a run into the 18 where she proceeded to beat two defenders before the ball ran just out of her reach.
After the half, FSU once again applied pressure on the UCF defense in search of another goal. In the 52nd-minute, Amber Tollefson sent Boyce down the right side. The defender made a perfect pass to Leah Gallegos further down the sideline. The standout freshman from Los Angeles turned to goal and fired a shot that Kuhlman was just able to get to and deflect wide of the near post.
Sophomore Camie Bybee than had a chance on the ensuing corner. Her header beat the UCF keeper but just missed wide of the left post.
The Golden Knights fought back and evened the game just under 10 minutes later. Becca Eshelman fed second-leading scorer Nicole Cieslak 35 yards away from the FSU net. The senior from Orlando, FL fired a blast to the far post that beat York to even the match in the 62nd-minute.
Ratliff looked to put FSU back in front in the 71st-minute. Senior Jenny Garcia sent a brilliant service through the box from deep on the right side of the box. The cross sailed to the back post and right to Ratliff. The forward trapped the ball and ripped a volley with just the keeper to beat but it sailed just over the crossbar.
With just over 10 minutes left before overtime, Gallegos once again went to work. The freshman, who leads the team in points, goals and game-winning goals, collected a pass from Ratliff about 24 yards away from the goal. She took one look and blasted a shot to the near post. Kuhlman had no chance at the save but as the shot hit the post and caromed into the net.
“Jez got it from Amber and was battling with another player for the ball,” said Gallegos. “She headed it and it bounced to me. I chested it and shot. I didn’t think it was going to go in. I kind of saw the angle and it was spinning. Luckily it hit the right part of the post.”
Just over half way through her rookie season, Gallegos is already tied for the fifth-most goals by a freshman. She is just three points shy of moving into fifth place on that list and is already tied for third all-time amongst FSU freshmen with two game-winning goals. After
Friday night’s effort, she took over fifth place for the most shots ever taken by a Seminole freshman also.
“Things have been so great for me and the team lately,” said Gallegos. “I just want to continue to work hard and help this team win games.”
“Leah has been so impressive so far this season. She has really done a great job,” said Baker. “She can make something out of nothing. She is able to do spectacular things on the field. Tonight it was a long-range bullet that gives us a bit of a cushion and less than a minute later we take a 3-1 lead.”
The Seminoles sealed the game just :55 later off a corner kick clearance. Fellow Californian and Gallegos’ club teammate Shannon Coe got into the act this time.
“When the ball came to me I heard coach (John) Galas tell me to settle it,” said Coe. “I trapped it and sent into the six-yard box hoping someone could put it away. I didn’t see Boyce there but I was hoping someone would head it in.”
Boyce and Bybee were both there waiting on the service and Boyce latched on to it and buried the header past Kuhlman. It was the eighth career goal for the junior and her first of the year.
“Shannon was outside of the box and just sent in a beautiful cross,” said Boyce. “Camie and I were both there hoping to get a piece of it. Luckily I was able to get on the end of it. I just hope they (goals) will keep coming.”
The Seminoles have now not lost against a team from Florida since they fell in Gainesville last season and they haven’t lost at home to a Sunshine State opponent since Miami won in Tallahassee more than three years ago in August of 1999.
“When we came to FSU we probably weren’t even the fourth or fifth best team in the state,” said Baker. “If we wanted to move up the ladder in a lot of different areas, we had to try to be the top team in the state. We feel like we have been able to accomplish that. There are a lot of good teams in this state and we have been very fortunate to get some results but we still have a very good Jacksonville team on the schedule.”
FSU will play four straight ACC games with two coming against teams ranked in the Top 6 of the national polls. After a Tuesday evening game in Durham, NC versus Duke, the Tribe returns home to face No. 6 Wake Forest and No. 1 North Carolina. Florida State will wrap up its four-game ACC swing in Raleigh, NC versus NC State Saturday, October 19. For complete bios, weekly releases, game stories, player features and live stats, log onto the official athletic website for Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.