Sept. 12, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – The third-ranked Seminole soccer team took 32 shots versus Stetson (1-2-1) Sunday but it wasn’t until the 92nd minute when one finally went in. Junior Leah Gallegos scored her 11th career game-winning goal and her fourth golden goal, both FSU career records, at 91:03 to send FSU to the OT win and raise the Tribe’s record to 4-1 on the year. The Tribe defense and goalkeeper Joy McKenzie (4-1-0) recorded their second shutout of the season as they limited Stetson to just five shots with only two on frame.
“It is very difficult to play anybody after a Florida game because you are spent emotionally and physically,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “After losing Friday, we talked about wanting to get out and play again. We were a little flat in the first half. We stirred things up at halftime and played like we were capable of playing. We just weren’t able to stick one in the back of the net. We probably created some of the best chances we created all season but their keeper came up with a couple off big saves, we hit the frame a few times and we struck the ball at defenders. It was just one of those days.
“Hats off to Stetson, they were well organized and well coached. I would have been extremely proud to coach that team today. They did a very nice job.”
Florida State out-shot the Hatters 32-5, put 11 shots on frame compared to just two for Stetson and FSU took 10 corner kicks compared to just one for the Hatters. Florida State had two shots saved off the goal line, three other shots hit the post or crossbar and too many shots to count that went just wide of the frame but it wasn’t until the 92nd minute when the Tribe found the back of the net.
“We could have been frustrated, let down and then struggled but our kids kept after it all afternoon,” said Baker. “We kept trying to create chances and ultimately we were able to find a way to get a goal. It came off a set piece but as long as we are scoring goals and winning I don’t care how they come.”
“It was just a matter of finishing today,” said senior captain Katie Beal. “We limited their chances but putting the final ball in the back of the net was trouble for us today. Overall, we definitely took their best shot and saw some good things and some bad things in our game. It was positive to get a shutout and find a way to get a victory as well.”
The game-winning goal was the result of a Stetson take down of Gallegos just outside the 18 near the top left corner of the box. Senior defender Beal, who had been playing long balls off free kicks all game, went to adjust the ball and slipped a quick pass right inside the box to Gallegos. The junior All-American took one touch to the top left corner of the six and then went back across her body to the far post with a left footed blast to end the match.
“Katie and I just made eye contact and knew what the other was thinking,” said Gallegos. “She played a beautiful ball to my feet and I was finally able to finish today and put the ball in the back of the net.”
“It didn’t surprise me that Leah stepped up and scored that goal because she has been doing that for us for three years,” said Baker. “With the game in the balance, Leah is probably the one person we want with the ball at her feet. She got it and found a way to win another game for us.”
The golden goal was the fourth of her career and she has now scored three straight overtime goals for FSU winning games in the NCAA Tournament versus Auburn and West Virginia last year before Sunday’s OT tally. She has scored 11 game-winning goals in her career which tied the junior for the all-time record as well. The goal was her first of 2004 after recording an assist in each of the first four games.
“I would have liked to score before OT and finish the game but overtime gives you one more chance and luckily we were able to take advantage of it,” said Gallegos. “There is a different sense of urgency in OT. I get just a little more adrenaline to finish and end the game.
“A weight has been lifted off my shoulders with that goal. I have been waiting for some time now to get that first one. I worked extra hard this week during and after practice because I didn’t think I was doing my job through the first three games. The extra work paid off today.”
While the Seminoles battered the Stetson defense all afternoon, the Tribe seemed a little slow in the first 45:00. After an early chance where Julia Schnugg missed the post wide in the 13th minute, FSU didn’t put together another serious threat until 30 minutes in.
Redshirt-sophomore Sarah Rosseau really energized the Seminole midfield after she entered the game and started a good scoring chance for FSU in the 30th minute. Her service to Toby Ranck got the sophomore end line. She then sent a great cross to the back post where Jez Ratliff was waiting. The senior’s header shot went just wide of the post.
Just a minute later it looked like FSU had gone on top when Schnugg’s header off an attempted clearance struck the upper corner of the goal frame and bounced out, just short of breaking the goal line.
In the second half Florida State came out buzzing and in the 47th minute put together four straight shots from inside the Stetson 18. Gallegos took the first strike, which was blocked. The rebound came to Ranck who had her shot blocked as well. Schnugg then followed with another shot off the post before Kelly Rowland’s blast was saved.
The flurry seemed to set a tone in the second half as FSU recorded 21 shots and six corners in the 45 minute period with Schnugg leading the charge with a new career high of eight shots in the match. In the 52nd minute she almost broke the scoreless tie. She was played in behind the defense and dribbled a charging April Eilering (1-2-1) but her shot was just wide of the near post as she hit the side netting.
Rosseau had a chance of her own to score the first goal of her career as a Marion Cagle corner kick squirted through the defense and right to her about eight yards away and right in front of the net but her shot was blasted well over the crossbar.
The best opportunity of the second half came on one of the Tribe’s nicest attacks of the day. Gallegos sent a ball out wide that Rosseau dummied on to Ratliff. The senior got endline and sent a low service back across the box to two waiting Seminoles at the back post but Eilering just got her fingertips on the ball and saved the sure goal.
In the 67th minute the Seminoles bounced another shot off the post. India Trotter ran at five Stetson defenders taking two Seminole attackers along with her as the group neared the 18. She took on the closest defender and ran right past her. The sophomore sent a service across the box to Ratliff who banged her attempt of the near post.
In the 75th minute the Hatters looked to give up a goal once again just to have the shot cleared off the line. Rowland’s header shot beat Eilering to the back post but defender Kara Martin was there to clear it off the line.
Another ball was saved off the line with under five minutes remaining in the game when a scramble took place inside the Stetson 18. A square ball was sent to Schnugg near the back post. With her back to goal, the sophomore back heeled a shot into what seemed to be an empty net but Kelsey Kramer charged in to clear the slow roller off the line sending the match into overtime where Gallegos would end the contest.
Florida State’s next scheduled game will be Tuesday, September 14 versus Jacksonville. The game will start at 7:00 p.m. If there is any change due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Ivan, updates will be posted on the official athletic site for Florida State athletics, www.seminoles.com.