Sept. 5, 2003
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The series between the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles has been back and forth since head coach Patrick Baker came to Tallahassee in 1999. The home team has won every match but one and that trend held true Friday night. The seventh-ranked Gators (3-0-0) used two first half goals to send FSU to its third consecutive loss to open the season. The 2-0 UF win was the Seminoles (0-3-0) third straight loss to a ranked team in 2003 and the score was identical to the score the last time FSU visited Gainesville in 2001.
Stephanie Freeman had a goal and an assist, freshman Melanie Booth had two assists and Ashley Kellgren also scored a goal in the UF win. The loss snapped FSU’s 10 game win streak against teams from the state of Florida and marked the first time the higher ranked team in the series has won since 1999. The 0-3 start is the first in FSU program history but it is also the first time the Tribe has ever opened a season versus three straight ranked opponents.
The first half was characterized by missed opportunities for the Seminoles. Just four minutes into the game Leah Gallegos sent Jez Ratliff down the right flank. Her cross to the back post almost floated to Julia Schnugg on the far side before freshman goalkeeper Brittni Goodwin (2-0-0) plucked it out of the air.
Just 12 minutes in, Gallegos was pulled down at the top of the 18. Her free kick was skipped across the wet turf hoping to fool Goodwin but the Plantation, FL native was there to collect it. The fouls was one of 21 Florida committed Friday night compared to just 10 for FSU.
On one of its first chances of the night, Florida capitalized. At the 16 minute mark Freeman cashed in on a Gator set piece. Booth, a member of the Canadian National Team, served a corner to the charging Freeman. The Clearwater, FL native one timed it, leaving FSU’s Joy McKenzie (0-3-0) no chance at the save as UF went up 1-0.
Just two minutes later, UF star Robin Fulton almost made it 2-0. The Cincinnati, OH native got in alone with McKenzie as she sprinted past the FSU defense. McKenzie charged out and her sliding save kept the score 1-0. The breakaway save was just one of many for the Houston, TX native who had her best night as a Seminole.
Florida State looked to equalize in the 27th minute as freshman Julia Schnugg started to challenge the Florida defense. She flicked on Gallegos down the right flank. Her cross was heading right to Jez Ratliff at the back post but Goodwin was just able to redirect the ball behind Ratliff and FSU was unable to get a shot off.
Camie Bybee looked to tie the game herself in the 29th minute. Freshman Kelly Rowland
found Bybee on the right side of the box. The Oklahoman beat a couple of Gators as she dribbled through the box but her shot didn’t have enough on it to beat Goodwin.
In the 37th minute, Florida struck again. Ashley Kellgren beat the FSU defense to a long pass. She sent it forward to Booth who got to it before a charging McKenzie could corrale the ball putting UF up 2-0.
Just before half FSU had its best chance of the night. A deflected clearance by the UF defense bounced right to Bybee standing in front of the goal. The junior, who was on the left side about eight yards out, tried to slot the keeper at the far post but Goodwin got enough of the ball to direct it wide of the net.
The second half belonged to the Tribe as the Gators were content to try to hold on to their 2-0 lead. The Seminoles dominated the second 45:00 statistically outshooting UF 9-5, putting three shots on frame compared to one for the Gators and taking three corners to UF’s one. As much as they tried though, FSU was unable to breakthrough and close the gap.
In the 51st minute Schnugg almost halved the UF lead with a great challenge as she turned over the UF defense. Bybee charged on to the loose ball and fired a shot from about 22 yards that just missed the upper left corner of the net.
Two minutes later Amber Tollefson sent Schnugg endline. Schnugg’s cross skipped out of Goodwin’s hands but Kellgren cleared the ball off the line before the Seminoles could celebrate their first goal of the night.
In the 53rd minute Schnugg once again tried to get the Tribe on the board. Tollefson sent the freshman down the left flank. Schnugg beat the defense and the keeper before firing into an empty net. The ball was heading in before the UF defense came up huge again clearing the ball out of danger.
Florida State returns to the road Sunday, September 7 in Jacksonville versus the Dolphins. The game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. start. The Tribe has won five in a row versus JU and won 5-1 the last time the teams played in Jacksonville. If you need more information on the Florida State soccer team, please visit the FSU Athletic Department’s official home on the web at www.seminoles.com.