Sept. 24, 2002
Florida State has just one game this week but it is a big one. The Seminoles and Gators will renew their rivalry in Tallahassee, FL Friday night at 7:00 p.m. No matter what the circumstances, when FSU and Florida play in any sport it is a big game but the series has reached new heights since Patrick Baker took over the FSU program in 1999. The Seminoles are 2-2-0 versus the Gators under Baker and swept Florida in 2000 including an NCAA Tournament win in the Round of 32. Before Baker took over the FSU program, Florida State had never beaten UF going 0-4-0.
The Tribe is just one of two teams that have played three or more games against the Gators since 1999 and is .500 or better in those games (the other team is Hartford who is 2-1-0 against UF since 1999). The last time UF played against the Seminoles in Tallahassee was both teams’ season-opener in 2000 and FSU won the game 3-2 in the final minutes. Florida State has won two of the last three meetings but lost 2-0 in Gainesville last year during the regular season.
With the Seminoles big 4-3 overtime win over then-No. 17 Clemson Friday, FSU returned to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll at No. 25. The Tribe had been out of the polls for two weeks leading up to the Clemson win. When FSU fell out of all four national polls, it marked just the first time in 25 straight weeks dating back to the first week of the 2000 season that FSU wasn’t ranked in at least one of the four college soccer polls. That is an amazing accomplishment considering FSU had never been ranked in the hostory of the program before the 2000 season. The Seminoles hihgest-ever ranking still stands at No. 7 from collegesoccer.com after the first week of play in 2001. Four of FSU’s all-time highest rankings came in 2001.
THAT IS SOME ACCOMPLISHMENT
After defeating Clemson Friday, the Seminoles are now 6-4-1 all-time at home under Baker versus conference opponents. Before his arrival, the team was 2-11-0 in similar situations. Most amazingly, the Seminoles have gone an astounding 6-1-0 at home versus the ACC in the last two-plus seasons with wins over Clemson, North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Wake Forest and Maryland.
PULLING TRICKS OUT OF HER HAT
Freshman Leah Gallegos had a record-setting night against No. 17 Clemson. The Seminoles first-ever player from the state of California seemed like anything but a freshman playing her first game in the nation’s premier soccer conference. Her three goals in less than 30 minutes marked just the seventh hat trick in the program’s seven-year history and the first ever recorded by an FSU player in an ACC contest. She is just the fifth Seminole freshman to ever record a hat trick and the first newcomer to do it in four years. Thanks to her big night, Gallegos is now leading the team in goals (4), is tied for the lead in points (9) and is second in game-winning goals.
The second season began for FSU when it opened up its ACC campaign with a 4-3 OT win versus Clemson Friday night. On top of playing its first ACC opponent of the year, four of the next five games for the Tribe will be against ranked opponents. The toughest stretch of the season began with then-No. 17 Clemson. After a Sunday tilt with USF, No. 22 Florida comes to town for another Friday night clash. The Seminoles then face 2001 tournament team UCF before facing three ACC teams ranked in the Top 15 of the latest poll. It starts with a game in Durham, NC versus No. 17 Duke October 8. Florida State then returns home to host No. 7 Wake Forest and consensus No. 1 North Carolina. After its best conference season ever in 2001, the Seminoles will host four of its seven ACC games at the Seminole Soccer Complex in 2002.
SLOW START? I DON’T THINK SO
A lot has been made of the Seminoles start in 2002 but the numbers through nine games say otherwise. The 2002 squad’s .667 winning percentage is identical to the two best starts in team history 1996 (6-3-0) and in 2001 (6-3-0) when FSU went to its second consecutive NCAA Tournament and was a consensus Top 20 team. Offensively the 2002 squad is also in the same neighborhood as the 2000 and 2001 teams. Through nine games in 2000, the Seminoles recorded 20 goals and in 2001 they netted 19. The 2002 team has 18 so far this season.
CORNERING THE COMPETITION
Although goals were hard to come by for FSU at the start of the 2002 campaign, the offense has been cooking all season long. The Tribe has been dangerous offensively all season and was
probably a little unlucky finishing chances. That is never more evident than when you look at two key statistics. The Seminoles have taken 78 corners this season compared to just 33 for their opponents, which is well over twice as many corners. Opponents have taken more than five corners versus FSU just twice in nine games this season or just 22% of the time. Last season, FSU only held opponents to five or fewer corners in a game nine times in 24 matches or 38% of the time. The 2002 squad is on pace to match the 2000 team which held opponents below six corners in 20 of the season’s 24 matches, which is an amazing 83%. Another stat that lets you know just how dangerous this year’s offense is the amount of fouls committed by Seminole opponents. Seminole players have already been fouled 156 times this year for an average of 17 per game.
LAST WEEK’S PEAK PERFORMERS
Leah Gallegos, FR, F, Los Angeles, CA
Freshman Leah Gallegos made quite an impression in the first ACC game of her career Friday night versus No. 17 Clemson. The Los Angeles, CA native recorded the first hat trick of her collegiate career, the first game-winning goal of her career and the first golden goal as she led FSU past the Tigers 4-3 (OT). She then turned around Sunday and got the first game-winning assist of her career versus USF as the Seminoles went 2-0-0 last week. Against Clemson, the freshman was phenomenal in scoring three goals in a span of less than 30 minutes. After FSU’s Cindy Schofield tied the game at 1-1 just 2:27 into the second half, Gallegos took over. In the 64th minute, the striker collected a throw in just inside of the 18. She split two defenders on a beautiful move and turned to goal. She struck a low line drive ball to the near post beating Clemson keeper Leigh Ann Harrison and putting FSU up 2-1. After the Tigers scored two goals to reclaim the lead at 3-2, time was running down for FSU. With less than three minutes remaining in the match, Gallegos started the run that would eventually tie the game at 3-3 on the far right side of the box. The striker beat one Tiger defender and megged another as she created just enough space to fire a shot at new keeper Sarah McClurg (0-1-0). McClurg had no chance as the shot to the far post beat the freshman from Tipp City, OH. Gallegos completed the hat trick and gave FSU its second-consecutive win in an ACC opener when she scored the golden goal just over two minutes into OT. Gallegos got the ball from Camie Bybee at the top of box. She wasted little time before pulling the trigger as she rocketed a low shot to the left side of the net for the first golden goal of her Seminole career. The freshman wasn’t done for the weekend yet. She had a hand in two goals in FSU’s 3-2 win over USF despite being credited with just one assist officially. Gallegos played a great ball to sophomore Marion Cagle with FSU in front 1-0. The Tallahassee, Fla. native made a long run down the right side of the pitch and played a beautiful ball into the center of the box. Senior midfielder Talley was there waiting and stuck the cross into the back of the net ending a 65-game goalless streak for the Georgia native. Gallegos got the game-winning assist less than five minutes later when the forward collected a throw-in, beat a defender with a spin move and sent a ball into Summer Corum standing just outside of the six-yard box on the right side. She collected the pass and fired a high shot past the diving keeper to give the Seminoles a 3-0 lead in what would end up a 3-2 game. For the weekend, Gallegos recorded seven points on three goals and an assist and was credited with a game-winning goal and a game-winning assist.
Cindy Schofield, SR, F, Lakeland, FL
The 2001 All-ACC first team selection is picking right up where she left off last year after a somewhat slow start. The senior scored in back-to-back games this week and has now scored in three consecutive games. She now has three goals in nine games, which is exactly where she was last year when she recorded a program-record 17 goals. The 2001 honorable mention All-American scored the first goal in both of FSU’s wins last week. Against Clemson, the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in just the sixth minute and the score remained that way as the second half began. The 1,051 fans, the fourth largest in stadium history, were re-energized when Schofield evened the game just 2:27 in to the second period. Senior Meredith Jones sent a deep ball down the left sideline off a set piece that seemed to be heading for the endline. Junior Kristin Boyce tracked it down just before it crossed over the line and sent a cross to the near post. Schofield was camped out at the near post in front of Clemson starting keeper Leigh Ann Harrison. The senior found a spot in front of the net and headed in the 27th goal of her career moving her within one goal of the all-time FSU record. The goal sparked FSU as they went on to record three more in the second half and OT as they downed No. 17 Clemson 4-3 (OT). Versus USF, Schofield once again got FSU going. In the 12th minute junior co-captain Amber Tollefson won a ball on the far left side of the pitch. She sent a lofting cross into the center of the box just inside the 18. Schofield made a great inside move to get position on the defender and then one-timed the shot into the left side of the net. Her four points in two games was second to only Gallegos for the weekend.
Kristin Boyce, JR, D, Austin, TX
The junior left back had an unbelievable weekend for FSU as she was called on time and time again to make runs to help spur the FSU offense. She recorded the first assist of the season and 17th point of her career in a key ACC win over No. 17 Clemson. Boyce recorded her first assist in more than a year when senior Meredith Jones sent a deep ball down the left sideline off a set piece that seemed to be heading for the endline. Due to Boyce’s extraordinary effort she was able to track it down just before it crossed over the line and sent a cross to the near post. Schofield was camped out at the near post in front of Clemson starting keeper Leigh Ann Harrison. The senior found a spot in front of the net and headed in the 27th goal of her career off a perfect cross by the defender. Boyce also had her second assist of the season in FSU’s next game versus USF. She made a dynamic run down the far sideline and launched a perfect cross into the center of the box and about 15 yards out from the goal. Camie Bybee made a great run to the center of the box but her shot also sailed just wide of the post. Although she had just one point, Boyce’s efforts were a main reason FSU scored seven goals in the two games.
The Seminoles bucked some heavy odds to record their conference-opening victory over Clemson. The win marked the fourth victory in 13 tries under Baker when FSU is trailing at the half, the 10th win in 36 games when an opponent scores first and the first-ever win in Baker’s tenure when an opponent scores three or more goals…Baker’s success against ranked opponents continued Friday as the victory over 17th-ranked Clemson was the coach’s ninth win all-time versus a ranked opponent…Florida State is now 28-1-1 all-time under Baker when the team scores three or more goals.
YOU HAVE HOW MANY PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
No ACC team garnered more ACC Player of the Week honors in 2001 than Florida State. The Seminoles led the conference with three POW’s compared to two for Clemson, Virginia and North Carolina. After Leah Gallegos picked up FSU’s first ACC honors of the season, the Tribe is now tied with North Carolina for the most awards in 2001 and 2002. Prior to 2001, FSU had won just received ACC Player of the Week honors just twice in the 63 times the honor was handed out for a total of 3%. Of the last 17 Players of the Week handed out, FSU has garnered the honor 24% of the time. That is an 400% increase and is just amazing. Here is a breakdown of ACC Players of the Week by school in 2001 and 2002:
ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK BY SCHOOL SINCE 2001
FLORIDA STATE 4 Virginia 2
North Carolina 4 Duke 1
Wake Forest 2 NC State 1
Clemson 2 Maryland 1
FIRST TO DO THAT AND THAT
Los Angeles, CA native Leah Gallegos accomplished two things that have never been accomplished in Florida State soccer history last week with her hat trick versus Clemson. First, she became the only Seminole to ever record three goals in a confernce match. Second, she became the first FSU freshman to ever garner ACC Player of the Week honors. Melissa Juhl (1996) and Amber Tollefson (2001) both won the award as sophomores. Cindy Schofield won the award twice as a junior in 2001 and Jill Ford is the only FSU senior to ever be named POW when she won the award in 1998. Gallegos wasn;t the first freshman to record a hat trick though. Acyually, five of FSU’s seven all-time hat tricks have been recorded by first-year players.
ANSWERING THEIR GOALS
The last time FSU and Florida met in Tallahassee, the Seminoles showed incredible resiliency. Not only did they stage two comebacks but it was the way they came back against a team they had never defeated at that point. When Florida took its first lead of the game at 76:49, FSU didn’t hang their heads after playing the sixth-ranked Gators even for almost 77 minutes. They answered that goal just 24 seconds later. When UF went up 2-1 the Seminoles did it again answering the goal just 1:06 later.
TALLEY ONE FOR TALLEY
Florida State’s game against USF turned out to be a big day for midfielder Katie Talley. The
senior from Kennesaw, GA scored the second goal of her career and the first in more than two seasons in the match versus the Bulls. The play started when Marion Cagle made a long run down the right side of the pitch and played a beautiful ball into the center of the box. Talley was there waiting and stuck the cross into the back of the net ending a 65-game goalless streak for the Georgia native. Not only was it a big play in Talley’s career it also represented the first point in Cagle’s FSU career.
THAT WOULD BE BIG
Anytime Florida State is able to beat the Gators it is a big win but a win in this Friday night’s game would be especially important. If the Tribe is able to defeat the Gators, no easy feat, they would equal the record for the best start through 10 games in the history of the program. The 1996 and 2001 teams both started the season 7-3-0 for a .700 winning percentage. Although the 2002 team would have just six wins, its .700 winning percentage would equal that of the 1996 and 2001 teams.