Dec. 30, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
While most college soccer players are spending the winter break with their families, two Seminole soccer players are spending their break training with the United States U-19 National Team. Freshmen Julia Schnugg and India Trotter left the day after Christmas to attend national team camp at the Home Depot Training Center in Carson, CA. Florida State one of just three schools to send two players to the U-19 National Team camp. Although not called into camp, standout freshman defender Kelly Rowland was also added to the national team pool.
“It means a great deal to our program to have these three players called to national team duty,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “I am very excited for all three young ladies. India (Trotter) was the most active member of that group over the course of the last calendar year. Julia (Schnugg) had been in and out of the mix with the national team and Kelly Rowland has been named to the pool for the first time after a stellar freshman season. All three of those players had absolutely tremendous seasons for us and were a huge reason why we had they type of season we had.
“The unique thing about this group is that Julia’s efforts up top were just as important as India’s in the midfield and just as important as Kelly’s in the back. They allowed us to play at a higher level than we’ve ever been able to play at here at Florida State. It is great to players being rewarded for those efforts.”
This marks the first time in FSU history that two current Seminoles have attended any national team training camp. It is also the first time that three Seminoles been named to a national team pool at the same time. The call ups come on the heels of Florida State’s first-ever run to the NCAA College Cup and a top five ranking.
“It is one thing to recruit this type of talent but if they aren’t performing well and pushing your program to those kinds of heights, it makes you shake your head a little bit and ask yourself why,” said Baker. “One thing about this heralded group that came in this year, we had been knocking on that Elite Eight door for a while now and they were not only able to help us push that door open but they helped us break into the final four for the first time ever. For those freshmen to help as accomplish all that is remarkable. Our veterans appreciated that this group came in, kept their mouths shut, worked hard, made themselves better in training and with extra video and it all paid off in the long run, on and off the field.”
Schnugg was one of the ACC’s top freshmen in 2003. She was the second-highest scoring rookie in the conference during the regular season and she led the entire conference during the regular season for assists by a rookie with 10 and she finished with the second-most assists per game by an ACC freshman. Schnugg smashed the record for assists by an FSU freshman, setting the mark in just 16 games. She was second on the team in assists overall (10) and was fourth all-time for rookies in Seminole soccer history with 22 points. The Alamo, CA native finished the regular season third on the team in shots and shots on goal, leading all rookies. She also led all FSU freshmen in points, goals, assists, shots and shots on goal. Schnugg didn’t waste any time getting accustomed to NCAA Tournament play either as FSU advanced to its first-ever College Cup this season. She scored the first goal, game-winning goal and postseason points of her career just nine minutes into her first tournament game.
“Julia brings a wonderful playing spirit and a wonderful energy,” said Baker. “She is giving it her all every training session. That is one of the things, she continues to have a very high work rate. She probably feels much more comfortable now with her back-to-goal presence, she is so much better in that aspect of her game. Her ability to solve things with her first touch also improved as the season went on. Probably her two best games came against Florida and UConn, our final two games of the year. For a freshman to have her best games at the end of a 26-game season says a lot.
“Her ability to create chances for herself and others is probably one of the reasons she is getting a look from the national team. I think Julia’s assist record was something Tracey (Leone U-19 National Team Coach) alluded to. For her to come in to an established program and set that record says something. She was able to fit in immediately and provided some wonderful opportunities for others.”
One of the ACC’s top freshmen, Trotter was a finalist for the prestigious ACC Rookie of the Year Award and was the first FSU player ever to be named to the NCAA Championships All-Tournament team. The central midfielder displayed the skills that got her to the U-19 National Team all season long as she started 17 regular season games and appeared in all 18 for FSU. While her stats are impressive, what Trotter brings to every game never shows up in the box. She is a play maker that can change the game with her dangerous runs at the defense. She is tenacious in winning 50/50 balls and is a heading presence in the middle of the pitch. Trotter led all freshman in shots taken in ACC play and was tied for the lead with shots on goal. She started all three games as the Seminoles advanced to the ACC Championship finals for the second time in three years. Played a key role in all three games and especially versus Maryland where Terps coach Shannon Higgins-Cirovski said the play of the Tribe’s midfield was the difference in the game. Tied for the team lead in assists in the tournament.
Trotter started every NCAA Tournament game as FSU’s holding player in the midfield. Her three points in the 2003 NCAA Tournament were the second-most ever recorded by an FSU freshman in postseason play. She either led or was tied a top every offensive category among FSU freshmen in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. Probably played the best game of her career in the Elite Eight win over Florida. It will never show up in a box score but she dominated the central midfield and threw a blanket over the Gator attack. One of the main reasons UF head coach Becky Burleigh and Dena Floyd both sited the FSU midfield as being the difference in Florida State’s 2-1 win.
“India is one of the better freshmen in the country based on her size, athleticism, skill and understanding of the game,” said Baker. “She makes things happen. I think she is better suited than at any other time to be slotted with the midfield group. She has been used as a marking back in the past at the national team level and she fully understands she will play wherever she can to take part in the national team camp. I think after four months after training of intense training with a nationally ranked program and starting versus the ACC on top of playing in the ACC Championship final and going to the College Cup, her advancement as a player will surprise some people. She is a far better player now than she was in August during her last stint with the national team.”
One of the nation’s top freshmen, Rowland helped to key an amazing turnaround by the Seminole defense. Since her move to the center back position, the Tribe back line had a record-setting season. She was an integral part of a Seminole defense that set a school record with nine shutouts, set a school record with four ACC shutouts and a school record with four consecutive ACC shutouts. They finished the year allowing just five goals in ACC play, which beat the previous record (11) by six goals. Rowland and the FSU defense allowed just 26 goals this year, the second-fewest in school history. She was second amongst all FSU freshmen with four assists and they all came on throw-ins. Second on the team amongst freshmen with six points and tied for second with one goal in the regular season. She is also the most prolific freshman defender in FSU history as far as points and goals. First ever Seminole to win Soccer America Team of the Week honors three times in one season. She is also only the second player to win that honor three times in a career.
The Wallingford, PA native had an outstanding postseason. In the 2003 ACC Tournament the center back managed to out score Lindsay Tarpley, Alyssa Ramsey, Casey McCluskey, Leah Gallegos, Courtney Foster and all the others to share the ACC Tournament goal scoring title with Heather O’Reilly. They weren’t garbage time goals either. One was a game-winner versus Maryland in the semifinals and the other two came against UNC and put FSU up 1-0 and 2-1Rowland is the first Seminole ever to score a goal in two games of a single ACC Championship and the first player in more than a year to score two goals in a single game versus the Tar Heels. North Carolina hadn’t given up two goals in an ACC Tournament final since 1994 yet Rowland scored two herself in this year’s championship. She and her defensive teammates recorded the only shutout of the tournament and allowed just one goal all weekend in the run of play. In the NCAA Tournament, she started all four games as FSU advanced to its third Sweet 16 in the last four years and first-ever College Cup. Her four points scored were the most ever in NCAA Tournament history by a Florida State freshman. Scored her sixth goal and fifth of the postseason as she staked FSU to a 1-0 lead in a win over third-seeded Florida. It was her sixth goal of the season, which shatters the rookie record for goals by a defender. Combined with her four assists, Rowland has not only set the freshman record for points by a defender but she is already second on the list for most points by an FSU defender in a single season ever.
“We knew what we had in Kelly last year when we went to the Columbia, MD tournament Kelly’s junior year,” said Baker. “One thing about Kelly, she made an immediate impact just like India and Julia. She may not have had the prior accolades those two had but I think if you were to ask anybody in our program you would get some good natured debate about who was our most important freshman. We wouldn’t have had the season we had if not for Kelly Rowland. That has allowed her to get a very serious look from the U-19 National Team.”
For all the latest news on the Seminole soccer team please log on to the official athletic site for the Florida State University Department of Athletics at www.seminoles.com.