Oct. 5, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – The 14th-ranked FSU soccer team got back in the win column Tuesday night as they downed in state rival USF 2-0 at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The win improved FSU to 7-0-1 all-time against the Bulls and was the first shutout ever for FSU at home against USF. Florida State (8-3-0) is off to its best start in school history after 11 games and will now turn its attention to a huge weekend featuring two ACC squads coming to Tallahassee.
Florida State came into Tuesday night’s match with a goalless streak of 227 minutes dating back to a 1-0 win over FIU. Sophomore Rachel McDowell (Littleton, CO) ended that in the 27th minute when she finished a flick on by Julia Schnugg (Alamo, CA), which came off a long throw-in by Kelly Rowland (Wallingford, PA). The Seminoles extended the lead in the 53rd minute when Teresa Rivera’s (Parkland, FL) corner kick found Katie Beal (Alexandria, VA) inside the box and the senior redirected the ball inside the far post.
“Tonight was a step in the right direction,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “Our backs did a better job tonight than they have in the last two outings. I felt like allowing India (Trotter) and Rachel to develop chemistry in the central midfield, they both played 90 minutes, was a big help. To not have Camie (Bybee) once again and to not have Leah (Gallegos) for a long portion of the night, I thought we looked sharp. It was a complete team effort tonight.”
Both of the Tribe’s goals came off set pieces as the Seminoles beat the Bulls by more than one goal for the second straight season. Coming into 2003, FSU had never beaten the USF by more than one goal. The Tribe has now beaten the Bulls 3-0 and 2-0 in back-to-back seasons.
“I am not worried that we didn’t score goals in the run of play tonight, we’ll take goals any way we can get them,” said Schnugg. “I think eventually the goals will come. We were working hard tonight, producing shots and there was some good stuff. We still need to just connect a little bit better but we are getting there.”
The Tribe shutout the Bulls for the fifth time in eight all-time meetings while recording their fifth clean sheet of the year. Only one team in FSU history has recorded more shutouts through the first 11 games than the 2004 team.
“I think it was important for us to come out and get the shutout tonight,” said Beal. “It is a confidence builder for us to be able to hold them without a goal. We have given up some soft goals as of late and this is a positive step to take with the weekend we have coming up. Shutting out a good team is a good way to start the week.”
Florida State had two good chances to break on top just 15 minutes into the game. The first came on a set piece as Beal floated a great ball into the box and on to the head of Schnugg. The sophomore just put the shot over the top of the crossbar. Moments later Gallegos found Jez Ratliff in the middle of the box but goalkeeper Breck Bankester was right there to make the save.
Just seven minutes later the Tribe capitalized on another chance. The play started with another long throw-in from Rowland. This time she found Schnugg near the right side of the 18. She flicked her service to McDowell in the middle of the box. The sophomore trapped the ball and volleyed her shot past Bankester. The goal was just the second of McDowell’s career and her first of the season. It was the first game-winning goal of the midfielder’s career.
“I feel like I got pretty lucky,” said McDowell. “Julia had a great flick on and it came right to me. I was inside of my player and I was able to tap it underneath the goalie. It was pretty exciting to get my first one of the year. It will help my confidence and it just feels good to be able to contribute to our success.”
The assist was Rowland’s team leading sixth of the season. The central defender is already two assists ahead of her total from her entire freshman year. Rowland has 10 career assists and eight have come via throw-ins. Schnugg’s assist was her third of the season and she is now second on the team with nine points.
“Our roles switched after Leah went out of the game,” said Schnugg. “She is usually the target player and I assumed that role. Kelly threw in a great ball as she always does. I got a head on it and Rachel did a great job of finishing it off.”
Just over seven minutes out of the lockerrom, the Seminoles padded their lead with another set piece goal. This one came off a corner kick. Rivera served a great ball towards the back of the box where Beal was on the spot to just redirect the ball inside the back post.
“Every corner we have a target and you always want to make sure you serve a good ball in and the runs are on time,” said Rivera. “Our attackers made great runs and Beal did a great job finishing the play off. It is good for two defenders to combine on a goal and contribute on the offensive side of things.”
“I think it was like the fifth corner of the game and we had a lot of good chances on corners earlier in the game,” said Beal. “T (Teresa Rivera) served a really good ball and I was just able to get on the end of it and redirect the ball.”
With time winding down Florida State had three other close calls in the 88th minute. The flurry started when freshman Armani Rice (Parker, CO) hit the crossbar with her shot from the right side of the box. Toby Ranck (Wayne, PA) followed by bending the rebound to the back post but Bankester was there to just get enough of the shot to save it from finding the side netting. On the ensuing corner FSU hit the post again, this time it was Jez Ratliff (Norman, OK) who found the iron.
“I thought Julia and Holly Peltzer (Lake Mary, FL) were both effective up top tonight along with Alli Ferreri (Coral Springs, FL),” said Baker. “In the wide midfield, Jez, Sarah (Rosseau), Toby and Armani all did a nice job. Both goalkeepers performed well also. It was a great team effort.”
Florida State returns to action this weekend with two key ACC games in Tallahassee. The Tribe will host No. 22 Wake Forest (7-3-1, 1-2-0) Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Game Tracker will be available for the match through the official athletic website for Florida State University at seminoles.com. Sunday the Seminoles face off with Virginia Tech (7-3-0, 3-1-0) in the first ever conference meeting between the schools. Internet radio and Game Tracker will be available for the Virginia Tech match.