Sept. 19, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
The Florida State offense, which at one time was struggling to score goals, has exploded the last two games. After a 6-1 win their last time out, FSU (3-4-0) erupted for six first half goals in a span of 21:03 to win their fourth straight over Miami (4-4-0) on the opening day of the 2003 Nike Seminole Classic.
“We were buzzing in that 21 minute span,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “We felt like this was one of our best teams ever on paper from an attacking standpoint. We have pace, skill, personality and the ability to be really dynamic. I think people saw that tonight.”
The 7-1 win over UM was FSU’s 12th in a row at home versus an in-state opponent and the team’s fourth straight win against the Canes. The seven goals and the six goal margin of victory were the most for FSU since the fifth game of the 1996 season, an 11-0 win over Jacksonville. The sixth-largest crowd in Seminole Soccer Complex history came out as 1,084 witnessed the record setting game.
“This was as impressed as I have ever been with one of our Florida State teams in regards to the team’s energy, performance and execution,” said Baker. “The first half was brilliant. The team did a great job. They made a statement last Sunday versus San Diego State, they did a great job in training all week and the fruits of their labor were rewarded with this performance tonight.”
The win is the second in a row for Florida State and the Tribe is now 21-2-0 since 2000 versus in-state opponents. The win also moved FSU to 13-1-2 at home on Friday nights since Baker took over the program. It is also the fifth time a top 10 crowd has showed up for a Friday night game in just over a year.
“The success we have had in the region is something we have to hang our hat on,” said Baker. “The fact that we have played a very tough and challenging schedule this year makes success in our state and region even more important. We played that kind of schedule to make us better and I think that was reflected tonight. The performance was especially satisfying since we were able to do it under the lights on a Friday night in front of a great crowd. The way they played tonight, I just wanted to step back and let them go.”
Freshman Julia Schnugg led the way for Florida State Friday night as she scored two goals and recorded two assists for a team-leading six points. Katie Beal also added a free kick goal, her third in two matches. Freshman India Trotter notched the first goal of her Seminole career and Leah Gallegos scored her team-leading fourth goal and tallied her first assist of the year.
Camie Bybee had a huge night as she scored two goals, the game-winner and recorded two assists, all in the first half as she set a new FSU record for points in the first half of a game and tied the record for the most points in any half of a game. The two goals and six points moved her into third place on FSU’s all-time list for goals (18) and points (50). Her two first half goals mark the second time the Oklahoman has done that in her career and she joins all-time FSU goal scorer Cindy Schofield as the only Seminole to accomplish that feat.
“I don’t keep track of that kind of stuff. I am just glad to be contributing,” said Bybee. “It is nice to be able to help us win and that is all I am focused on right now.”
Between Schnugg’s five first half points, the second-most ever in a half, and Bybee’s six, Friday was just the second and third time ever that a Seminole has recorded five points in the first half of a game. It is also the first time since 1995 that two Seminoles have each scored two goals in the first half of a game.
“I am just trying to keeping knocking the ball into the net,” said Schnugg who has nine points in her last two games. “Every year I am here I want to get better and exceed what I have done so now I have a game to beat.
“I never played where I am in this offense during club and I am loving it. Leah (Gallegos) is great and I love playing with her. I think anyone on this team could do what I am doing in my position because the supporting cast is awesome around me.”
Schnugg opened the scoring for Florida State just 5:44 into the game. Bybee played a great ball to Gallegos down the left wing. Gallegos took one touch from outside the box and found Schnugg lurking in the center of the 18.The freshman turned and fired it in at the far post.
“We have been working on crosses in practice and I guess there is just some sort of California connection going on between Leah (Gallegos) and me,” said Schnugg. “Once Camie made that great pass to Leah, I knew she would use her skill to get free in the box. She dropped it, I used my left foot and just put it in on the other side of the goal.”
Schnugg looked to have her second in the 12th minute as she charged on to a loose ball on the right side of the pitch. She seemed to have keeper Alex Alford (4-4-0) beat the freshman made a great sliding save on the shot. She was unable to hold on to the rebound though as the ball popped up and Bybee headed it home.
“Julia made a great run and her shot ricocheted up in the air after the sliding save by their keeper,” said Bybee. “I was just able to get my head on it and place into the net.”
In the 16th minute Beal made another team pay off a set piece. The junior, who had four career points and no goals before last week’s game versus SDSU, has now scored three goals and posted eight points in the last two games. All three goals have come on free kicks but none like the one she scored Friday. The Alexandria, VA native sent a ball into the box from about 25 yards away and just a couple yards inside the left side line. Her shot skipped through about 18 players in the box and wound up in the net at the back post.
“I just tried to swing it in and get something on frame, I think it was just kind of lucky,” said Beal. “I felt if it didn’t get in the net somebody would be able to latch on to it but I’ll take it. I am hitting the ball with a little more confidence lately. I am just trying to get it into the box and then rely on my teammates.”
Gallegos scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season just moments later. Schnugg, who seemed to play a part in every goal Friday, was a key contributor on the third goal as well. The freshmen made a great run down the left flank, beating three UM and then launched a high-arching cross to Gallegos at the back post. The ball was timed perfectly with the Gallegos run. The Californian let it take one bounce and then volleyed the shot home at the near post. It was the third time Gallegos and Schnugg have combined for a goal in the last four games.
“It was a pattern play that started in the back. Julia took the ball down the left side and served a beautiful ball,” said Gallegos. “It came right to me and I volleyed it on the first bounce.
“There is definitely a California connection going on between me and Julia. It is so great playing with her. I love it. We combine so well and we are anticipating each other on the field. It is great that we are connecting so early in the year because it is only going to get better.”
After an eight minute spell without a goal, Bybee got her second of the night in the 27th minute and it came off a Kelly Rowland throw-in into the box. Bybee did an amazing job with the volley as she had to reach her leg around the defender to make contact and then beat a diving Alford for the game’s fifth goal.
“Kelly had a great throw as usual. I was able to get in behind the defense,” said Bybee. “The far post was wide open so I just tried to get enough of the ball to send it in that direction.
“It feels really good right now to be able to help the team win. My confidence is up after the last few games. It isn’t the fact that I am scoring though, it comes from how well we are playing as a team lately and the last few wins have really helped us.”
After setting a record versus San Diego State last time out with back-to-back goals in 38 seconds, the Seminoles smashed that mark as the team’s sixth goal came just :23 after the fifth of the game. Schnugg once again was involved as the high school Parade All-American and US U-19 National Team member moved into the team lead with her 11th point of the season.
“Camie (Bybee) got control of a difficult ball in our half of the field,” said Schnugg. “She flicked it over the side and passed it in to me and I got the shot off past the keeper who was charging to make the save.”
The 6-0 lead at half was the largest for FSU in over seven years and allowed Baker to give his starters a rest through out the next 65 minutes. Florida State played 21 players in the game and every healthy field player was able to get into the game.
“On top of the win, tonight was good for us because we were able to get a lot of players in and it gave some of us a break,” said Beal. “Getting everyone in was great and I think that will carry over to Sunday.”
Before the Tribe started to look ahead to its Sunday afternoon showdown with undefeated Ole Miss, they were able to add another goal in the 57th minute. Trotter, a Ft. Lauderdale, FL native, ripped a shot to the near post that caught the frame and bounced into the back of the net for FSU’s seventh goal of the night.
“There was a clash in the box and Julia (Schnugg) was able to dig it out,” said Trotter. “She got the ball to me and I saw the side of the gall was wide open. She did a great job of winning it and I did the easy part, which was taking the shot.
“It is really nice to get a goal. I was just so glad it made it in. It was ironic the first one came against Miami. Even though I am from South Florida, I never considered playing for UM but I do know a lot of the girls on that team. It is kind of funny scoring my first ever collegiate goal on the so-called home team.”
The Seminole win sets up a key re-match from the opening round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament between FSU and No. 21 Ole Miss (7-0-0). The Rebels defeated Jacksonville (2-4) 4-0 in the tournament opener and are now 7-0-0 on the season. Florida State opened the NCAA Tournament with a 2-0 win over Ole Miss on the way to the team’s second round of 16 appearance in three years. The game is slated for 2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 21 and will be broadcast live by the Sunshine Network. Admission is free and there will be a free soccer clinic following the game with the Florida State players and coaches.