Sept. 14, 2003
Lawrence, KS –
The Florida State soccer team exploded for six goals Sunday afternoon in a win over San Diego State at the KUStore.com Crimson & Blue Invitational. The last time the Florida State soccer team scored six goals in a regular season game was 1998 in a 6-1 victory versus Auburn. The Tribe matched that score versus as FSU (2-4-0) cruised past San Diego State (1-4-0) 6-1. Four Seminoles recorded their first goals of the season and two players, Katie Beal and Julia Schnugg, scored the first goals of their Seminole career.
Beal, a junior defender led the team with six points as she scored on two free kicks outside the 18 and assisted on FSU’s first and last goal of the game. Senior captain Amber Tollefson scored her first goal in 32 games and Camie Bybee moved into third place on FSU’s all-time goal scoring list with her first of the season.
“I think our performance was a continuation of all of our performances to date,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “Today the ball went into the back of the net for us. Maybe we put more on frame today and maybe created a few more chances but it was great to see some of our young ladies step up and score goals.”
The Seminoles got on the board early on but not before starter Joy McKenzie (1-3-0) came up with a big save. Nine minutes in the Aztecs sent a 25 yard free kick around the wall and onto frame. McKenzie’s diving save opened the door for Schnugg to put FSU on top seven minutes later. The Californian, a member of the US U-19 National Team, recorded the first goal of her Seminole career on a great ball from Beal. The defender played a perfect pass over the top of the defense to a streaking Schnugg. She took a touch wide of the keeper and buried the shot.
“Somebody played me that ball from the right side,” said Beal. “I heard Julia (Schnugg) call for it and I just played a long ball. I took a chance and just tried to make sure that it got behind their defense.”
“I was just trying to play off Leah (Gallegos) and I saw Katie (Beal) had the ball and I know she has a huge foot,” said Schnugg. “I just looked back at her, called for the ball and she played a great pass over the top of the defense. I ran on to it, took a touch past the goalie and was able to get it in the net. It was really nice to get the first goal of my career but even more so to help the team get a big win. We came in today with the chance of falling to 1-5. It was a big goal for the team and it felt great to help the team get a win.”
Just 38 seconds after breaking on top 1-0, Tollefson staked the Tribe to a 2-0 advantage. Fellow Team Boca member India Trotter found Tollefson free at the top of the 18 on the left side of the box. Tollefson looked up and fired near post beating SDSU keeper Stephanie Pearson (1-4-0). The goal was the first for the team captain since the 2001 ACC Tournament in a 7-2 win over Maryland.
“I saw Amber (Tollefson) show at the top of the box. She was going to be in 1v1 with the keeper if I could play it in to her,” said Trotter. “She did a great job finishing it off. I did my best to get my foot on it and give her an opportunity to score.”
“The goal was a result of a combination between Leah (Gallegos), India (Trotter) and myself,” said Tollefson. “India hit it to me and I played it outside. I just hit it but the goal was a result of a great sequence between Leah and India. The goal takes a lot of pressure off me personally because I just want to contribute and help us win. It was also big for me because it gave the team a two goal cushion. It was more important to me because it helped us win compared to ending the goalless streak.”
McKenzie came up with another big save in the 25th minute. San Diego State looked to capitalize off a corner kick clearance. The Aztecs sent another dangerous shot on frame that McKenzie once again was able to get a hand on and fist over the crossbar.
“Right off the bat they had a good chance and I just reacted,” said McKenzie. “The second one I didn’t play as well as I would have liked originally. I wasn’t about to let that one go in. Outside of those two chances, our defense played great and I really didn’t get tested too much until later in the second half.”
McKenzie’s strong performance comes on the heels of one of her best outings of the year against Florida. After missing the Kansas game due to an injury suffered against UF, the junior, who had never started a game coming into 2003, continued to build on her previous outing with another strong showing versus SDSU.
“I think my game is starting to come along. There are still a lot of things I need to work on and there is still a lot of room for improvement in my game. I need to be more consistent,” said McKenzie. “I am getting a better feel for playing in games and I am more comfortable now. Playing in the fall is so different from what I encountered in the spring. First of all the level of competition is different especially with the schedule we faced to start the year. It is a big difference but it is more fun too. The pressure is there but the successes are more enjoyable.”
Florida State went back on the attack and Jez Ratliff almost notched her third of the season in the 36th minute. The junior got in alone in the box with Pearson on a great ball from Leah Gallegos. Her initial shot was saved by a sliding Pearson but the rebound came right back to Ratliff. The Oklahoman’s second shot bounced off the near post and out of bounds.
With just 44 seconds remaining in the first half, SDSU was whistled for a hand ball about 22 yards out from goal. Beal stepped up and bent the free kick around the wall and past Pearson for the first goal of her three year Seminole career.
The Seminoles’ three goals in a half were the most since a 3-1 win against George Mason October 27, 2002. The Tribe controlled play in the first 45 out shooting SDSU 10-5 as they built a 3-0 lead.
“Even though we are starting a lot of young players, they have all enjoyed individual and team success,” said Baker. “A lot of our kids have been through great battles and we came into today facing a team that also had just one win on the season. We challenged our players and I was excited they responded the way that they did. It didn’t surprise me but I am just glad it happened when it did.
“We have been so close on so many occasions and thought we might have had a breakout performance earlier in the season. It just happened to come today.”
Florida State started the second half just like they did the first and scored their quickest second half goal of the season. Just 3:13 into the second period, Bybee, who is FSU’s fourth all-time point scorer, got on the board for the first time in 2003. The play started with a great ball from Schnugg down the right flank to Ratliff. The ball ran endline where Ratliff sent a perfect cross to the back post. Bybee elevated above the Aztec defense and floated a header back the other way beating Pearson.
“Julia (Schnugg) got the ball to Jez (Ratliff) out wide,” said Bybee. “I am used to Jez’s runs down the sideline so we all crashed the box when we saw her get endline. I tried to get my head on it and it got over their keeper at the far post.
“It was really exciting to finally get on the board from an individual standpoint. Hopefully it will make things easier after getting that first goal and first finish. It makes me and the team feel like we are getting somewhere and I think today will be a confidence builder for both myself and the team.”
Gallegos almost got into the act also in the 58th minute. Her shot, which looked like a cross for a moment, beat Pearson and was bending into the goal but caught the crossbar and bounced back into play.
Beal extended the FSU lead to 5-0 in the 62nd minute with another free kick goal. This one was from about 19 yards out and was set up by a great Trotter run. The freshman broke free in the middle of the field and just before she was about to get into the SDSU box, the defense pulled her down from behind. Beal put the shot right where she scored her first goal of the game, beating Pearson with a shot into the upper right corner.
“The free kicks have been coming all year and finally I was able to do what I am supposed to and stuck a couple in the back of the net,” said Beal. “I just got over the ball and hit them. It was pretty exciting for me. I was excited to score a goal because I think every college player wants to score once in their career.”
Less than six minutes later Beal racked up her sixth point of the game. This time she assisted Gallegos’ third goal of the year. Her goal kick was played right onto the foot of a striding Gallegos in the final third on the left side. Gallegos dribbled the keeper and then fired into an empty net for a 6-0 FSU lead.
“The assist came on a routine goal kick that I just tried to play as long as I could,” said Beal. “I was lucky nobody made a play on it in the midfield. I didn’t particularly see Leah (Gallegos) but I was obviously glad it got to her.”
“Beal played a long ball off a goal kick down the middle of the field,” said Gallegos. “There was a crowd of people right where the ball was traveling. I got in front of that group. I figured with the field being slick, it might take a weird bounce and get by them. Luckily it got by and I was able to run onto it. I got by the goalie and just did my best to put it on frame.”
With 16 minutes remaining, freshman Rachel McDowell came up big as the Tribe looked for its first shutout of the year. An SDSU corner kick was driven through the box to the back post. The Aztec attacker tried to slot the ball in at the near post but McDowell was right there to clear the ball off the goal line. The Aztecs would avoid the shutout though with a goal just over six minutes before the end of regulation.
“Across the board, we played a lot of people in the back today and everyone played really well,” said Beal. “We were more organized today and communicated much better. We had a lot more energy also. We were disappointed to let in a late goal. There was probably a letdown when we didn’t finish with the shutout but we were just a bit unlucky. We got the win and that is most important.”
The Seminoles return home for the first time in almost three weeks as they face the University of Miami Friday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. The game is part of the Nike Seminole Classic, which also features No. 25 Mississippi and Jacksonville. There is no admission charge for any of the four games at next weekend’s tournament. For complete game coverage, log on to the official athletic website for Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.