Oct. 2, 2002
TURNING THE TIDE
After going 0-5-0 against the Gators from 1995-1999, Florida State under head coach Patrick Baker has turned the tide and won three of the last four meetings. The Seminoles swept the Gators in 2000, lost in 2001 and then returned the favor Friday night in a 2-1 win. The victory improved FSU to 2-2-0 against UF all-time in Tallahassee and, barring an NCAA Tournament meeting, leaves the 2002 senior class at 3-2-0 versus the in-state rival. Those five seniors will be the first group to ever finish their careers with a winning record versus UF.
FRIDAY NIGHT IS STILL ALL RIGHT
With FSU’s win over the 21st-ranked Gators Friday night, the Seminoles continued some amazing streaks when it comes to Friday night games. Since Patrick Baker took over the Seminole soccer program in 1999, FSU has still never lost a home game on a Friday night (10-0-2) and has never lost to a ranked opponent on a Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex (4-0-0). The Seminoles are also 14-1-3 since 1999 at home under the lights and FSU is 7-1-0 at night against ranked teams at home. In his three-plus seasons at FSU, Baker has recorded wins under the lights in Tallahassee versus No. 6 UF (2000), No. 7 Texas A&M (2000), No. 20 Wake Forest (2000), No. 2 UNC (2000), No. 21 Maryland (2001), No. 17 Clemson (2002) and No. 21 Florida (2002).
PLAYING THE STATE
With UCF coming in for a Friday night game, FSU will look to improve its record against in-state teams to 17-1-0 since the 2000 season. Florida State is undefeated at home against teams from Florida (9-0-0) since the 2000 season and has outscored those opponents 27-10. The last time FSU walked off the Seminole Soccer Complex field with a loss against a Florida team was August 29, 1999 in a 3-0 loss to Miami, which was just the second game of head coach Patrick Baker’s FSU career.
STILL DOING IT ON SUNSHINE
Jez Ratliff and Camie Bybee continued their incredible play in games televised by the Sunshine Network Friday night. Ratliff recorded the second game-winner of her career in the game versus Florida and between the two Oklahomans; three of the six goals they have now scored on Sunshine Network games have been game-winners. In just four games, the two have combined to score six goals and record four assists for a combined average of four points per game. In their other 34 games, the two combine to average 1.32 points per game. So look for the duo to have a big night versus the Golden Knights Friday.
Not only has Florida State scored 12 goals in the last four matches, compared to eight goals in the first six, they are following up one goal with another in a very short span. The Seminoles have scored multiple goals in five of their last six games and on seven occasions they have followed up a goal with another in less than 20 minutes. In three instances, the goals have been less than six minutes apart. In a 2-1 win over Miami, FSU scored two goals in a span of 3:22. Against No. 17 Charlotte, FSU’s first two goals came within 20 minutes of one another. The same thing happened on two occasions versus Clemson. After the Tigers went up 1-0, FSU evened the game and then took the lead on goals just 15:54 apart. When Clemson stormed back in front 3-2, Leah Gallegos evened the game and then recorded the golden goal in a span of 5:11. Against USF, FSU’s first two goals were scored 19:32 apart and after the second goal, the Tribe added a third just 4:55 later. In a span of just 13:42, the Seminoles evened the game with Florida and scored the game-winner.
WHERE WE’RE AT
It is hard to believe but the Seminoles are already more than half way through the 2002 regular season. With 10 games down and nine more to go, the Tribe is once again poised for an historic campaign. The second half of the 2002 season will be very challenging as FSU faces six ACC opponents and four ranked teams. On the plus side, the Garnet and Gold still has five remaining home games and three of those four Top 25 teams have to come to Tallahassee. When you look at the 2002 team, there are a lot of signs that lead you to believe that this season could be as special as 2001.
OFFENSE: Last season’s team set the record for the most points, goals and assists in a single season but the 2002 Seminoles are right on pace with all of those records. This years team has scored the same amount of goals through 10 games (20), is just four assists behind the 2001 squad (18 compared to 22) and is only four points behind the record-setting pace of 2001 (58 compared to 62). The goal distribution has been almost identical also. After 10 matches in 2001, eight players had scored a goal, one player had five goals and the next four top goal scorers averaged three goals apiece. In 2001, eight players had at least one assist and three Seminoles had recorded at least eight or more points. In 2002, eight players have also scored a goal, one player has five goals, four players are averaging three goals apiece, 10 players have recorded at least one assist and three players have eight or more points. Florida State has also taken 80 corners in just 10 matches this year in comparison to 72 last season. When you set so many offensive records one season, consistency is a good thing.
DEFENSE: On area head coach Patrick Baker didn’t want to remain consistent was the team’s defensive effort from 2001 to 2002 and it hasn’t. The renewed emphasis on better defending has produced positive results through 10 games in 2002. This year’s defense is doing a much better job of holding opposing players to fewer points In 2001, opponents had raked up 50 points in 10 games versus the Seminoles compared to just 44 this year but this biggest change has come in first half defending. During the first 45 minutes, opponents have scored eight fewer goals this year (3 compared to 11) and taken five less corner kicks (13 compared to 18). The team’s GAA has also dropped 0.14 and a lot of that has to do with the play of Kerry York (see note below).
YORK ON THE RISE
Sophomore Kerry York has risen to the occasion this season once fellow keeper Ali Mims was lost for the season. The 2001 Gatorade Player of the Year from Maryland has shown steady improvement from her rookie year and the proof of that is in the numbers. After nine starts in 2001, York already had three losses, this year she has just one (6-1-2). Her GAA through ten games in 2001 and 2002 is down more than a half a goal, from 1.82 to 1.27. Last season, York had a GAA below 1.68 just once all season. This year her GAA has never been above 1.38 and has been below 1.00 after six of FSU’s 10 games. Her save percentage is also way up from .719% last year to .818 this year. Her 54 saves have already equaled her total amount of save in her injury shortened 2001 season. She has also already recorded two shutouts this season compared to the 2.5 she recorded all last season.
Junior co-captain Amber Tollefson is on a personal-best pace for assists. The wide midfielder is already half way to her career total (8) with four after just 10 games. In 2001, the wide midfielder hadn’t registered one assist through 10 games. Last season, Tollefson recorded six assists, which was just four shy of a single season record and she now has 12 career assists, which is sixth-best in FSU soccer history. At her current pace, she will challenge the record of 10 assists in one campaign.
HALL OF FAME ALREADY?
While head coach Patrick Baker has accomplished some amazing feats in his short career as a head coach, it is hard to imagine anyone being elected into a hall of fame just months after their 35th birthday but that is the case for Baker. The Seminoles’ all-time winningest coach will travel to UNC Wesleyan after FSU’s Friday night game with UCF to be inducted into the university’s hall of fame. Baker first head coaching job was at UNC Wesleyan where he was hired straight out of Otterbein University. Between 1989 and 1994, all Baker did was lead the Bishops to three straight appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament. He compiled a record of 45-21-4 and was named the Dixie Conference’s Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1992. He was also named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III South Region Coach of the Year in 1991. He led the Bishops to a Dixie Conference Co-Championship in 1992 and his teams finished in the top ten three times. On top of all his success on the field, Baker also served a dual role as head coach and women’s soccer SID.
Jez Ratliff, SO, F, Norman, OK Sophomore Jez Ratliff recorded the game-winner for FSU as they downed bitter rival No. 22 Florida Friday night 2-1. The goal, scored in the 36th minute, moved FSU to a 3-1-0 record over the Gators in the last four games and helped FSU wins its second game in a week over a Top 25 team. Florida State has now won three straight games and five of its last six contests. After UF took a 1-0 lead just over six minutes into the game, reigning ACC Player of the Week Leah Gallegos tied the game up in the 22nd minute. In the 36th-minute freshman Teresa Rivera served a beautiful ball to the back post off a free kick. Junior co-captain Amber Tollefson, who measures just 5’3″, used every inch of her height and an incredible jump to get her head on the service and knock it into the center of the box where the 2001 All-ACC Freshman team selection was waiting. The sophomore forward one-timed the shot past Kellgren to stake FSU to a 2-1 lead that they would never relinquish. The Seminole forward almost got her second of the game due to sheer will and effort. While applying pressure to third-team NSCAA All-American Danielle Murphy deep in the UF end, Ratliff stole the ball from Murphy and went in all alone inside the Gator 18-yard box. The sophomore, who had already scored four of her eight career goals in games being broadcast by the Sunshine Network, looked for number five but was unable to pull the trigger before the defense closed in on her. Ratliff is now third on the team in points, second in goals, second in game-winning goals and third in assists.
Kerry York, SO, GK, Millersville, MD The sophomore keeper was key in FSU’s 2-1 win over No. 21 Florida. After the Gators took an early 1-0 lead, the Millersville, MD native shutout the Florida offense for the next 84 minutes. She made numerous big saves in preserving the one goal lead. Just moments after FSU evened the game at 1-1, York made a point-blank save in the box, which allowed FSU to score the eventual game-winner just minutes later. In the 52nd-minute York came up big as Robin Fulton made a run into the box on the right side of the pitch. The keeper charged off her line and smothered the ball just as the Gator pulled the trigger. In the 83rd minute, Crystal Frimpong had a dangerous look inside the FSU box but York responded to the challenge again hauling in her fourth save of the night. The keeper now has the lowest GAA of her career through 10 games (1.27) and her GAA has been under 1.30 after eight of the Tribe’s ten games this season.
Camie Bybee, SO, MF, Oklahoma City, OK Camie Bybee played one of her best games of the season in the win over Florida. The central midfielder made plays all over the field and assisted on Florida State’s equalizer. The 2001 SoccerBuzz second team freshman All-American picked up the ball on the left side of the field and made a short run to the top of the Gator 18-yard box. With the outside of her right foot, she curled a pass that split the UF defense and went straight to a charging Leah Gallegos inside the 18. The freshman striker finished the play with a goal into the right-side netting.
Leah Gallegos, FR, F. Los Angeles, CA Another game and another goal for the first-year FSU striker. Making the first start of her Seminole career, Gallegos once again produced in a big time situation. After recording a hat trick and game-winning goal versus Clemson last Friday and recording the game-winning assist versus USF Sunday, the Los Angeles native followed up her big weekend with another huge game. The reigning ACC Player of the Week was once again a nightmare for opposing defenses. In the 21st minute versus Florida she split the Gator defense with a great run but had her legs taken out from under her. The Seminoles were awarded a free kick from 24 yards out but were unable to capitalize. Gallegos got another chance just moments later and she made it stand up. Camie Bybee fed Gallegos the ball just inside of the 18 in the center of the box. The freshman from Los Angeles took one touch, turned to goal and tucked the ball in to the right side of the net past UF starter Jordan Kellgren with the outside of her foot.
Teresa Rivera, FR, D, Parkland, FL The freshman center back is making a strong case to become FSU’s second consecutive first team freshman All-American defender (Katie Beal was the first in 2001). She was absolutely brilliant handling the Gators three front all evening. She made numerous big plays in the Seminoles’ defensive third to halt runs by the UF front-runners and also recorded the first point of her Seminole career. In the 36th-minute Rivera served a beautiful ball to the back post off a free kick. Junior co-captain Amber Tollefson, who measures just 5’3″, used every inch of her height and an incredible jump to get her head on the service and knock it into the center of the box where 2001 All-ACC Freshman team selection Jez Ratliff was waiting. The sophomore forward one-timed the shot past Kellgren to stake FSU to a 2-1 lead. The assist was Rivera’s first.