Oct. 30, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
It was d?j? vu all over again for Seminoles Amber Tollefson and Kelly Rowland. The pair became just the second and third Seminoles to pick up multiple honors from head coach Patrick Baker when he handed out weekly awards Thursday. Rowland was named the team’s rookie of the week for the third time this season and senior captain Tollefson was honored as player of the week.
Tollefson, a four-year starter, recorded a goal, which was an ACC game-winner and two assists last week. She had a memorable senior night as she scored the game-winning goal over NC State in FSU’s only conference game of the week. Her game-winner came in the 61st minute and assured Florida State of its best ever ACC record (currently 4-1-1) and guaranteed the Tribe of finishing second in the ACC, which sets an all-time FSU record. The goal, which was the 12th of her career half of which have come in ACC play, moved her into the career lead at FSU for game-winning goals in ACC games. She is also now second all-time at FSU for career ACC points and goals. Tollefson also set a new career high with seven shots versus NC State. Her seven shots moved her into fourth place for career shots in ACC games. Tollefson’s goal came with less than 30 minutes remaining in a scoreless game. Freshman Kelly Rowland came down to the far touchline for a long throw. She found Camie Bybee at the near post. The junior flicked the ball backwards and over the defense to the back post where Tollefson was waiting to stick the chance.
“Down the stretch of her final season, she is playing like a senior. She is very dynamic in her play. She is leading by example and she is leading off the field. Amber means so much to us and it’s showing,” said Baker. “Her importance to this team is magnified more and more each day.
“It was great to see her score on senior night. We needed someone to step up and it was fitting the only senior who was able to play did just that.”
Tollefson then went out and recorded two assists versus her hometown team, Florida Atlantic, which moved the midfielder into a first place tie for career assists. Florida State moved in front 6-0 due in a large part to Tollefson’s individual brilliance with the ball at her feet. The senior beat three defenders on the dribble and turned the corner on the left side of the pitch. She then lofted a perfect ball over the keeper and right onto the head of junior Camie Bybee. The midfielder knocked in the goal, giving her six on the season. Tollefson gave the Owls fits on the left side again minutes later. She and Teresa Rivera worked a great give-and-go freeing the defender to go endline. Her service was played along the ground and right onto Ratliff’s foot. The midfielder just directed inside the right post.
“I thought when Amber left the game in the first half there was just something missing in the park,” said Baker. “Her presence was missing. The energy she brings to the game affected a lot of people when she left the field. That element was missing. Some of the combinations she was involved in during the second half weren’t just great decisions, they were dynamic. It showed the level of sophistication she can play the game at. It was great to see and we needed it. Our second half goals were of quality and a lot of that had to do with Amber Tollefson.”
Rowland is having the type of season that should land her on the ACC All-Rookie team and on some freshman All-American teams as well and that continued last week. When Rowland was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week (10/29/03) after her game winning assist versus NCSU, she became the first FSU player ever to receive that honor twice in a season. She is just the second Florida State player to receive honors from the publication twice in her career (Leah Gallegos). This is just the second time in program history that three Seminoles have been honored by the country’s most respected soccer magazine.
Rowland had a big night offensively and defensively as FSU clinched its best ACC record ever (4-1-1) and secured second place in the conference, its highest ACC finish in program history. The rookie recorded her third game-winning assist of the season and her second in ACC play as her long throw in led to Amber Tollefson’s game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over NC State. In the 61st minute, Rowland came down to the far touchline for a long throw. She found Camie Bybee at the near post. The junior flicked the ball backwards and over the defense to the back post where Tollefson was waiting to stick the chance. She not only did the job offensively but Rowland helped the Seminole defense post their sixth straight shutout and fourth straight ACC shutout. The group has now helped set the FSU record for the most minutes without allowing a goal (560:27) and also set records for consecutive shutouts, consecutive ACC shutouts and ACC shutouts in a season.
“You talk about someone who is just making a difference every time we step out and that is what Kelly (Rowland) is doing,” said Baker. “Her heading presence, athleticism, tracking ability, possession skills and willingness to get stuck in on tackles have all been key components for us. Then you throw in the fact she can get forward on set pieces and bring that heading presence to our attack.
“On long throw-ins she has helped us win two ACC games. It is a fine line between winning and losing in the conference and her ability to find Camie (Bybee) along with Camie’s ability to flick the header on made the difference versus Maryland and NC State. She means a lot to us in a lot of different ways. To be a freshman and have the impact she has is a credit to her and the hard work she has put in.”
The ninth-ranked Florida State Seminoles (11-5-1, 4-1-1) return to action Friday, October 31 when they travel to Chapel Hill, NC. The game between the unanimous No.1 Tar Heels (17-0-0, 6-0-0) and Seminoles is the final game for both squads in the regular season and is a match-up between the first and second place teams in the ACC. A live audio broadcast and live stats will be available at www.seminoles.com, the official athletic department website for Florida State University.