November 17, 2002 - by
GAMEDAY: No. 21 FSU Soccer Faces Auburn At 1:00 PM

Nov. 17, 2002

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Last season head coach Patrick Baker registered the 125th win of his career on a major stage with a win over Auburn in the opening round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. It must have felt like d?j? vu all over again Friday night as Baker established another major career milestone in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. After defeating Ole Miss 2-0, Baker now has 50 victories since arriving at Florida State in 1999.


When Florida State faces off with Auburn in the Round of 32 today, it will mark the Seminoles seventh NCAA Tournament game in the last three seasons. Did you know that in seven postseason matches the Tribe has played a team nicknamed the Tigers four times? That is 57% of the games. Florida State has played the Clemson Tigers twice and today marks the squads second meeting with the Auburn Tigers.


With its 2-0 NCAA Tournament opening win over Ole Miss Friday, FSU remained undefeated at home on a Friday night since Patrick Baker took over the program in 1999. The Tribe is 11-0-3 all-time under the Friday night light’s at the Seminole Soccer Complex. While that stat was great heading into the opener what does it mean to today’s match versus Auburn. Since 2000, when FSU has played a Sunday game at home immediately following a Friday night home game they have posted a 6-2-0 record winning 75% of those games. The only time a team beat FSU after a Friday night win at home was in 2000 when Clemson got a last minute goal two days after the Tribe upset No. 7 Texas A&M 4-1. This season, LSU defeated FSU on a Sunday afternoon following a Seminole tie versus Missouri.


With its 2-0 victory over Ole Miss in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, the Tribe defense registered its second shutout in NCAA Tournament play in its last three games. They have also allowed just one goal in 270 consecutive minutes in NCAA Tournament action dating back to 2001. Over the last two seasons, the FSU defense has been stellar in the NCAA and they always raise their level of play. On top of the shutouts FSU is limiting its opponents shots and shots on goal also despite playing better competition in the tournament. In the 2001 and 2002 regular season, FSU opponents averaged seven shots on goal per game but that dropped to just five per game in the NCAA Tournament. The Seminole defense also cut total shots down from an average of 13 a game to just 11.


When 972 fans came out to see the Garnet and Gold win their third straight NCAA Tournament opener Friday night, they comprised the largest postseason crowd to ever watch a game at the Seminole Soccer Complex. It was the seventh-largest crowd in program history. Four of the seven largest crowds have now come this season and half of the Top 10 all-time crowds came out to watch the 2002 Seminoles. Is it any wonder FSU broke the 10,000 fan mark this season?


1602    Florida (2002)
1582    UNC (2000)
1123    Florida (1996)
1098    Virginia (2002)
1051    Clemson (2002)
1046    Florida (1998)
972     Ole Miss (2002)
963     Texas A&M (2000)
954     Oregon State (2002)
917     UNC (1996)


Sophomore Jez Ratliff had another big night Friday in the opening round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. The midfielder has been tearing it up ever since moving from forward to her natural position in the wide midfield. With her goal versus the Rebels, Ratliff set new career highs for goals and tied the 16 points she recorded in her rookie season. She has seven points in seven games since the position switch for an average of one point per game. In her previous 14 matches, she averaged just over 0.7 points per game.


With her goal and assist for three points against Ole Miss, senior striker Cindy Schofield registered her 21st game with three or more points during her stellar career. That is just a mid-boggling stat when you consider that if you take away all the games where she scored just one goal or recorded just one assist, she would still be the most prolific offensive player in FSU soccer history with 82 career points.


As if senior Cindy Schofield hadn’t already cemented her place as the best offensive player to ever wear a Seminole uniform, she went out and found even more records to set. With her goal and assist in the opening game of the 2002 NCAA Tournament, Schofield became FSU’s all-time points leader, assists leader and goal scorer in NCAA Tournament games with two goals, two assists and six points. So she now owns every single offensive record in the regular season and the postseason in Seminole soccer history.


Schofield wasn’t the only player to set an FSU postseason record Friday. Freshman Leah Gallegos tied teammate Amber Tollefson’s mark for most shots in an NCAA Tournament games when she registered four against Ole Miss. Tollefson set her record two years ago in FSU’s first-ever tourney game, a 4-1 win over Jacksonville in Tallahassee.


After establishing every single season, career and postseason record in the history of the Florida State soccer program, there is one special mark still out there for Cindy Schofield. With her three points against Ole Miss, the Lakeland, FL native now has 99 points in her illustrious career. You gotta believe that she would love to be the one and only Seminole to ever reach the 100-point plateau, which would be one of the most special records she could ever establish.


While the ACC had a stellar opening round in 2002 NCAA Tournament going 5-1, a couple teams in the southeast regional rankings didn’t fare as well. ACC comrade Clemson and highly-ranked Charlotte both became upset victims in the first round of postseason play. Once the NCAA’s start, every ACC coach hopes for the other success but Florida State maybe the beneficiary of losses by the Tigers and 49ers. Only three teams were ranked a head of FSU in the region, North Carolina, Charlotte and Clemson, and two were defeated by unranked foes. Those loses coupled with FSU’s big win over a regionally ranked opponent in Mississippi could vault the Seminoles into the top two in the southeast and virtually guarantee the team their third straight Top 25 ranking.


With their NCAA Tournament opening win over Ole Miss, Florida State moved to 3-0 all-time versus SEC opponents in the NCAA Tournament. The only team that has ever knocked the Tribe out of the big dance is Clemson and they are already out themselves. With SEC regular season champion Auburn next up, FSU hopes that streak will continue.

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