Oct. 17, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The No. 13 Florida State soccer team (11-4-1) recorded the most important victory in the history of the program when they defeated the second-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (12-2) 3-2 in overtime Tuesday night in front of a record crowd of 1,582 fans. The victory is the Seminoles fourth win over a ranked opponent this season and Florida State now becomes only the third ACC team to ever defeat the Tar Heels.
“It’s hard to believe we are only the third ACC team that has ever beaten North Carolina,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “This was just an awesome night. We knew certain things were going to have to happen for us to get a win and we never stopped believing.”
The Seminoles fell behind twelve minutes into the match when UNC’s Meredith Florance put the Tar Heels up 1-0 on an assist from Maggie Tomecka. The Seminoles, as they did against the University of Florida to start the season, answered back almost immediately.
After freshman Amber Tollefson was pulled down in the box, junior Marte Vik Edvardsen blasted a penalty shot into the upper right corner of the net against Tar Heel goalkeeper Kristin DePlatchett and evened the score at one a piece.
“I definitely wanted to take the PK,” said Vik Edvardsen. “I was sure I was going to put it away. I wasn’t going to miss this one.”
Florida State and North Carolina played at 1-1 into the 75th minute of the match when the Tar Heels began a serious flurry at the mouth of the Seminoles’ goal. Senior Ashley Halter and Tollefson both came up with huge saves on North Carolina shots that were headed into the net. The sequence was so significant considering what happened just three minutes later.
After clearing the ball out of their end of the field, Seminole senior April Murphy hit the post with a shot from the right side of the box. The ball was deflected to senior Rachael Watkin who pushed the ball to Seminole forward Cindy Schofield. Schofield buried the goal and gave FSU their first lead over UNC since they went ahead of North Carolina 1-0 during a match played in the 1995 season.
The Seminoles took the 2-1 lead into the 85th minute when Florance, a two-time gold medal winner with the U.S. Under-21 national team, equalized the game with her second goal of the night. Florance’s strike from just outside the box beat Seminole keeper Sarah Crawford and would ultimately send the game to overtime.
“When we scored the go-ahead goal I was thinking `this is it’,” said Baker. “There was 11 minutes left in the match and we knew we were going to have to hold on. I give Carolina credit and Meredith Florance proved why she is one of the best forwards in the nation with her play tonight. I was just hoping we could get to overtime.”
Florida State thought they had won the game in overtime when Ashley Halter sent a free kick into Watkin. Watkin knocked in what many thought was the game-winning goal but the goal was waved off due to a tripping call against UNC goalkeeper Jenni Branam. That was the second goal of the game that was waved off. The Tar Heels also had an apparent goal disallowed during the first half.
“I felt confident that we would eventually get the game-winner,” said Watkin. “I was upset when the goal was waved off but I knew it didn’t count since I heard the whistle before the ball went in.”
FSU didn’t have to wait much longer to get the game-winner that was disallowed in the first overtime period. On Florida State’s first corner kick since the first half of the game, and only their second of the night, senior April Murphy sent a ball into the box that was cleared to Meredith Jones. Jones ripped a shot from 25-yards out that caught the inside corner of the far post and ricocheted to freshman Kristin Boyce. Boyce, from Austin, TX, knocked the ball home for her first-ever collegiate goal and a goal that gave FSU their first win in 10 tries against college soccer’s most storied program.
“When Halter took the set piece, I had a feeling we were going to win the game at that moment,” said Baker. “My heart just sank for our seniors when that goal was disallowed. The way we came back after that was just fantastic. For Boyce to score her first college goal against North Carolina is something she will never forget.”
The win probably locked up Florida State’s first-ever NCAA tournament bid and also marked only the second time in FSU soccer history that the team will finish outside of the eighth slot in the standings in the nation’s premier soccer conference.
“This win makes a very powerful point in the eyes of the NCAA rankings committee,” said Baker. “I thought we needed four big wins to get into the tourney and we already had three (Florida, Texas A&M and Wake Forest). I didn’t really anticipate the fourth one coming against North Carolina.”
Florida State had been outscored 62-2 in their previous nine meetings with UNC and the win was just the ninth loss North Carolina head coach Anson Dorrance has suffered in his 13 years with the Tar Heels (320-9-8).
“North Carolina is the reason I came to Florida State,” said Baker. “Anson Dorrance was one of my references and when I approached him about possibly taking a head job at the University of Texas he told me that he wanted me in the ACC and I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t look at FSU. I thank him every day for enlightening me about this position and I thank Dave Hart and Kim Record everyday for hiring me.”
Florida State set numerous records and continued to build on unprecedented streaks with their 3-2 victory Tuesday night:
? The Seminoles are now unbeaten in their last seven games and their last loss came September 16th to No. 11 Duke.
? Florida State is also undefeated in their last three ACC games (2-0-1) and is now assured of finishing the season with the best conference record in the history of the program.
? FSU’s three goals marks only the second time in UNC history that an ACC opponent has scored three times against the Tar Heels (lost to Duke in 1994 3-2).
? The win puts FSU one win shy of the program’s all-time record for wins in a season (12).
? The win was FSU’s eighth home win of the season and that beats the record set in 1996 (6).
Florida State returns to action Friday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. when they travel to Maryland to face the Terrapins. Maryland enters the match with a record of 7-8 and are 0-5 in the ACC.