Aug. 21, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – The difference was night in day for No. 5 Florida State Saturday afternoon and that isn’t a reference to the rescheduled game that was supposed to be played Friday night and actually kicked off Saturday morning. The difference came between the first and second half where FSU turned on the offense in the second 45 minutes and came back from a 1-0 deficit to down No. 8 Tennessee 3-1 in a preseason scrimmage at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Three different Seminoles scored goals in a second half that was highlighted by numerous offensive chances for the Tribe.
After recording one shot, no shots on goal and one corner kick in the first half, FSU’s offense came to life as soon as the second half whistle blew. The Seminoles recorded eight shots, seven corners and five shots on goal in the second period. All three of the squad’s goals came in the final 16 minutes of the match with two scored just 5:03 apart.
“We started to play a little more like we are accustomed to in the second half,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “We went over some things at the half and when we came out the personnel hadn’t really changed other than giving Janet Burke a start up top. That spelled Jules (Julia Schnugg) who expended a lot of energy in the first half. The play was better as we started the second half. Once we got Collette (Swensen) in and Holly (Peltzer) in and Jules in we started to really turn things up a bit. Whether it was fresh legs or an energy boost, it worked.
“I thought we showed great composure on all three goals. We ended up tucking the keeper on all three. That had been a chore because we just hadn’t created enough chances in the first half. We kept plugging away and finally got some of those chances to fall.”
In a showdown between MAC Hermann Trophy watch list candidates, both FSU’s Leah Gallegos and UT’s Keeley Dowling proved they are worthy candidates. Dowling put the Lady Vols up 1-0 in the 50th minute and also had the equalizer cleared off the line in the last minute by Seminole defender Marion Cagle with the score still 2-1 at that point. Gallegos’ goal was the game-winner in the 80th minute as she continues to score clutch goals for the Tribe. Last year the junior set the single-season record with seven game-winning goals and she is just one game-winner away from tying the career record.
Camie Bybee and Schnugg each had a goal and an assist in the game but six different Seminoles recorded a point on the day. Colette Swensen and freshman Holly Peltzer assisted on the Seminoles’ first goal of the day by Bybee. Schnugg and Bybee then combined on Gallegos’ game-winner. India Trotter recorded the final assist on a goal by Schnugg with just two seconds remaining on the clock.
“I do like how far we’ve come since last week’s scrimmage with UAB,” said Baker. “If we can make similar strides after playing another talented team in Tennessee, hopefully we’ll be ready for the big weekend to start the season.”
Fans at the Seminole Soccer Complex probably did not expect a four goal outburst in the second half after the first half was evenly played with few chances for either side. Tennessee held a slight statistical edge in shots (2-1) and corners (2-0) in the first 45 but neither team had a shot on frame and neither keeper was forced to make a save.
“As the game wore on I think we got better but it was an early start to the day and fairly warm, which might of contributed to a slow start by both sides,” said Baker. “There was a lot of play between the 18’s and very little in the final third or behind either defense.”
The Tribe had the first chance of the game just 10 minutes in when two sophomore All-Americans combined to produce a good chance for the Tribe. Trotter picked up a Tennessee turnover about 25 yards from goal. She found Schnugg behind the defense but Tennessee keeper Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart charged out to make the save. The junior lost a grip on the ball but Schnugg’s back was to the play after running past the keeper and she couldn’t capitalize.
The Tribe timing was just off in the first half as three potential chances were whistled dead due to offside calls. In the 39th minute though the Tribe got their timing down as Bybee and Gallegos combined in the midfield as the 1-2 sent Gallegos in. She played a great ball to the wide flank, which found a streaking Schnugg inside the 18. The sophomore pulled the trigger but her shot was high and off the mark.
The Seminoles’ best chance came on a 3v3 that was the result of a turnover in the Tennessee midfield. Gallegos started dribbling at the defense and one defender charged and a second started cheating to help out. That left Bybee running free on the left side. Gallegos found the senior but Lindsay Brauer recovered and ended the chance with some great 1-on-1 defending.
It didn’t take long to see the change in FSU offensively as the team was noticeably more assertive on the attack from the opening whistle of the second half. Burke’s insertion into the line-up at the start of the second 45 paid immediate dividends. The senior slotted Gallegos the ball about 10 yards from goal. The junior form Los Angeles dribbled the keeper but ended up too wide of the goal to get off a dangerous shot. Instead she found Bybee right in front of the net with the goalkeeper out of place but the shot was cleared off the line by All-American Dowling.
Tennessee answered the chance with one of their own and it was Dowling again who made the big play. On a corner kick clearance the ball hit Lady Vol defender Jenny Jeffers and took a fortuitous bounce back into the box and right to Dowling. She had an easy shot as she slotted the ball in at the far post.
“I felt we were unlucky not to get one right before they scored,” said Baker. “The ball was cleared off the line but we did a great job of getting in behind. We gave up a scramble set piece goal, which we need to do a better job of in the future.”
Gallegos gave the Tennessee defense fits again about 10 minutes after the goal as Trotter sent the All-American in 1-v-1 with Phillips-Bosshart. The junior was almost at the end line at the near post. Her first shot was low as she tried to meg the keeper but Phillips-Bosshart was true to the task. The junior keeper did not hold on to the ball though and Gallegos got a second crack at the goal. This time she went high and the UT net-minder once again came up big punching the shot over the crossbar.
Florida State got in 1-on-1 with the keeper again just two minutes later. Bybee lofted a ball over the top of the UT backline and right to Trotter. The keeper charged the All-American midfielder but Trotter pushed it around her. As she was about to fire into the open net, Dowling once again saved the day with a slide tackle as she came from out of nowhere the preserve the 1-0 Tennessee lead.
Tennessee almost put themselves in front 2-0 in the 70th minute as Jeffers got in behind the Tribe defense. Ali Mims charged out and blocked the shot but the momentum was carrying the ball into the Seminole net but senior captain Katie Beal was there to clear it away.
Four minutes later the Tribe equalized. The play started with Peltzer and Swensen playing a 1-2 just outside the 18 on the left side. The combination play gave Swensen some room about 20 yards from goal. The sophomore saw two Seminoles on the far side of the box holding their runs. The Davie, FL native lofted a beautiful ball over the defense. Kelly Rowland dummied and let the ball fall behind her as Bybee collected the cross and scored at the near post to tie the match at 1-1.
“The ball sneaked through to us from the other side on a corner kick,” said Swensen. “Holly and I just connected and I saw Kelly and Camie on the other side so I tried to send it over.
“What a wonderful ball by Colette to find Camie (Bybee) at the back post,” said Baker. “She (Bybee) showed great composure to finish that chance.”
Just 20 seconds later the Seminoles almost went up 2-1 as Gallegos got in with just a defender to beat. She beat that defender as she went wide on the back to the left side. As soon as she got an open look she bent a low shot to the back post but Phillips-Bosshart just got a hand on it to push it wide of the far post.
Three minutes later Gallegos had another chance and she capitalized. Bybee started the scoring play with a great diagonal ball from midfield, which sprung Schnugg in alone on the left side. The goalkeeper came out to cut down the angle. Instead of trying to beat her low, the Alamo, CA native played a beautiful square ball across the top of the six to Gallegos who finished at the far post despite two UT defenders standing on the line.
“Camie played a great ball and I spun out,” recalled Schnugg. “I had a pretty tough angle on goal if I was going to shoot. I was thinking about it but then I heard Leah call my name and she had a much better angle, completely straight on. I passed it back to her a made it a little bit of a Cali-connection.”
Tennessee made a valiant effort to equalize in the last two minutes and the hero of the day for UT almost accomplished that in the 89th minute. Dowling’s shot was headed into the net except for senior Marion Cagle protecting the post and saving the shot and preserving the win.
“We kept giving up corner after corner in those last few moments and I knew the more corners we gave up to a good team like Tennessee, one was going to go in,” said Cagle. “We stayed tough mentally in the back in the last few minutes and thankfully I was in the right place at the right time.”
With Tennessee pushing up looking for the equalizer, the Tribe was able to capitalize on UT’s lack of number’s in the back. After Dowling’s shot was turned away, Trotter sent a long ball from the back up to midfield where Schnugg was waiting. She got past the lone Lady Vol defender and headed to goal with the final 10 seconds ticking off the clock. The sophomore beat the keeper and scored into an open net with just two seconds remaining for the 3-1 win.
“One on one’s are not my best game situation if you ever seen me at practice,” said Schnugg. “I heard the time counting down and I was telling myself `go-go’ as the announcer said eight, seven. I got a little freaked out but I made it. I have never scored a goal in a situation like that.”
The offense explosion in the second half overshadowed an excellent defensive performance by the Tribe backline and keepers. Tennessee had just two shots in the first half and the Tribe held up well against the nation’s No. 8 team.
“I feel for a preseason scrimmage we played well as a group but we probably could have communicated a little better and had better possession,” said Cagle. “Overall we did well. It was a successful outing for us considering how good that Tennessee team is.”
“It wasn’t like Joy or Ali had to come up with any big time saves today,” said Baker in assessing the defensive play. “They were tested a couple of times but they weren’t forced to make the difference. I though the back four did a very good job. Freshman Libby Gianeskis is going to be a wonderful addition for us.”
Another highlight for FSU was the continuing story of the return of Mims. After 20 surgical procedures and two years away from the game, the redshirt-sophomore played over 24 minutes and picked up the win. Her first win, preseason or regular season, since 2001.
“It was exciting playing on the home field again,” said Mims. “I had a couple pressure situations where being away from the game probably affected me a little. You have to re-teach yourself some things but my instincts took over and it felt like I knew what to do all along.
“I can’t take credit for the three goals scored after I entered the game though. That had absolutely nothing to do with me whatsoever.”
Florida State will start its normal practice schedule this Monday as the athletes begin classes. The Seminoles will now turn their focus to No. 20 Arizona State and opening night August 27 at 7:00 p.m. The game will take place at the Seminole Soccer Complex and there is no admission charge. For more information please log on to seminoles.com.