Jan. 21, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
Less than two months removed from the 2003 College Cup, the awards keep rolling in for Seminole soccer players. In what has become the most award laden off-season in FSU soccer history, three more Seminoles were honored Wednesday. Sophomore Leah Gallegos was named to her third All-America team when Soccer Times named her a second team All-American. Gallegos was also named a second team All-American by CSTV and was named a third team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) earlier this year. Junior defender Katie Beal picked up her second award as she was named an honorable mention All-American along with freshman India Trotter who was FSU’s only member of the All-NCAA Tournament Team.
Since finishing the season in the final four, the fourth-ranked Tribe has received five All-America honors, four NSCAA All-Region awards, Soccer America’s National Coach of the Year award, an All-NCAA Tournament selection and three players have been called up for US National Team duty. In the history of the program only four players had ever garnered any All-America honors before this season. The Tribe has now surpassed its eight year total for All-American honors in just one off-season.
“An incredible season has been followed by an amazing postseason for Florida State when it comes to honors and awards,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “The amount of players that have been honored by the soccer media is a tribute to how hard those individual players have worked and also speaks volumes about the players they play next to who weren’t all recognized.
“The Soccer Times awards are another great honor for our players. They are a continuation of the fine season we had as a team and it is great to see our young ladies recognized for their efforts.”
Gallegos, who became the first FSU player in school history to be named a first team NSCAA All-Southeast Region team selection and an NSCAA second team All-American, continues to add hardware to her collection after a stellar campaign. The Los Angeles, CA native led FSU in every offensive category except for assists. She set new Florida State single season records for goals (18), game-winning goals (7), golden goals (2), NCAA Tournament golden goals (2), multi-goal games in a season (5), shots (109) and shots on goal (60). She is the only player in FSU soccer history to be named to the SoccerBuzz and Soccer America Teams of the Week and ACC Player of the week in the same week and she has now done that twice in her career.
“She (Gallegos) did what a lot of people can’t do. She came back from a very good freshman year and responded as a sophomore,” said Baker. “Not only did she respond, she played at a whole different level. She became part of our team identity. She is a handful up top and she proved that game-in and game-out. When she scored we won but there were a lot of other times when she did the little things that allowed us to be successful without getting a goal.”
Gallegos led the ACC in game-winning goals and was second to MAC/Hermann Trophy finalist and Soccer America and Soccer Times Player of the Year Lindsay Tarpley of North Carolina in goals, goals per game and shots. She was also in the top five in the ACC for points (fourth) and points per game (fifth). Among the MAC/Hermann Trophy semifinalists, Gallegos would have ranked fifth for goals and points and been second among the group for game-winning goals. No sophomore in FSU history has ever accumulated as many points, goals, shots or shots on goal as Gallegos has in her first two seasons. She already ranks fourth for career points at FSU, third for career goals, second for career shots on goal and second for career game-winning goals.
Beal earned the first NSCAA honors of her career this season as she was named to the squad’s second team. The 2001 SoccerBuzz first team freshman All-American had a remarkable junior campaign, which led to her honorable mention recognition by Soccer Times. She was the leader of a Tribe defense that started out in 2003 allowing an average of two goals per game through the first five contests but allowed just 0.8 goals per game the rest of the way through ACC play and during runs to the ACC Championship finals and College Cup. Beal had her most impressive season defensively in 2003 and also became a huge threat for FSU on set pieces. She finished the year with six goals and seven assists both single season records for an FSU defender along with her 19 points. All six of her goals came of set pieces and her six goals are more than the entire FSU defense scored in 2002. Beal came into 2003 with no goals in her two-year career and just four assists but has established new career highs for goals, assists, points, shots and shots on goal. Had a career day with six points versus San Diego State scoring two goals and recording two assists. Finished the season with the third-most points, goals and assists on the team.
“This is a great honor and it’s always nice to get awards but this is a credit to our entire team,” said Beal. “I think individuals get recognized because of the entire team’s success and your surrounding cast. That especially applies to our defense. Joy (McKenzie), Kristin (Boyce) and I got recognition because of the play of Marion (Cagle), T (Teresa Rivera) and our entire team defending well all year.”
As good as Beal was offensively, what she did as the Tribe’s leader in the backline was probably more amazing. The central defender was the glue that held together a defense that saw senior starter Kristin Boyce lost for the season due to injury, saw two new starters inserted into the line-up out wide and saw a rookie slid into the middle just five games into her collegiate career.
Despite all the constant shifting and changes, the 2003 Seminole defense allowed just five goals all year in ACC play, which was the third-fewest goals allowed in a conference season in ACC history. To put that amazing feat in perspective, National Champion North Carolina scored more goals than that in ACC contests versus Clemson and Wake Forest (6-0 and 6-1) this season. They also scored just one goal less than that in three other conference matches as they scored four goals against Duke, Maryland and NC State. The 2003 Seminole defense set the school record for ACC shutouts in a season and consecutive ACC shutouts with four. They also didn’t allow a goal in ACC play for 447:34, a new school record as well. The Seminoles also finished tied with UNC for the ACC lead in conference shutouts.
Overall, the Seminoles allowed the fewest goals in a season in team history despite playing more games than any FSU team and playing against the nation’s most-difficult schedule. The team’s 1.01 GAA was the lowest ever and the Tribe established new single season records with nine shutouts, six consecutive shutouts and a shutout streak of 637:34 seconds.
“Katie Beal not only was a wonderful player but she organized a young defense that constantly saw change,” said Baker. “That said so much about her leadership in the back and making others around her better players.”
Trotter is just the second freshman in Florida State history to ever be named an All-American. She was a force in the FSU midfield and opened eyes with her play in the NCAA Tournament and at the College Cup. Trotter was one of just two freshmen to make the NCAA All-Tournament squad as UNC’s standout rookie Heather O’Reilly joined her. Trotter had a huge postseason overall. Florida head coach Becky Burleigh credited Trotter and the Seminole midfield for being the difference in the Tribe’s Elite Eight win over the Gators. She recorded a goal and an assist in the 2003 NCAA Tournament but her hustle and ability to dispossess opponents in the center was a huge reason FSU advanced to its first-ever College Cup.
In the NCAA Tournament, she was second on the squad in goals scored and fourth in points and assists. She scored her lone goal versus Dartmouth in her first-ever NCAA Tournament game. Her assist was a big one as it allowed FSU to tie Auburn in the round of 32 and eventually win the game in overtime. Her three points in the 2003 NCAA Tournament were the second-most ever recorded by an FSU freshman in postseason play.
Trotter was one of the ACC’s top freshmen and a finalist for the prestigious ACC Rookie of the Year Award. She started 17 regular season games and appeared in all 18 for FSU. She was third amongst all FSU freshmen in goals, points and assists. She was also second amongst rookies in shots and shots on goal. Recorded four of her five points in a four game stretch that helped FSU turn its season around. She had assists versus Miami and San Diego State and a goal against then-No. 21 Ole Miss as FSU tied a school record five game-winning streak. While her stats are impressive, what Trotter brings to every game never shows up in the box. She is a playmaker 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.
NOTES: Freshmen Julia Schnugg, India Trotter and Kelly Rowland have all been invited in to the US U-19 National Team Camp this coming weekend in California. Schnugg and Trotter have become staples with the U-19’s, as this is their second call-up in the last month. Schnugg had a wonderful camp her last time out after Christmas. This is the first national team call-up of Rowland’s career. The freshman has opened eyes after her phenomenal rookie campaign. After never advancing past the regional level in the national team ranks, Rowland is now vying for full U-19 National Team duty due to her stellar defensive play in 2003. Baker will also be at national team camp this weekend as he has been called in to assist with the US U-17 National side. Baker has been working national team camps since 1997 and this is his second consecutive camp with the U-17’s and head coach David Smith.