Nov. 22, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A goal by freshman Tori Huster in the 65th minute was all Florida State (17-2-3) needed as the Seminoles blanked Boston College (15-6-2) 1-0 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year and for the fifth time in school history.
With the win, Florida State extended its school record unbeaten streak to 13 games (11-0-2), while the Seminoles remained undefeated at home in postseason play running their all-time record to 15-0-0.
For the second time this year, it was a goal by Huster that was the difference maker against Boston College as the freshman midfielder scored the lone goal on a header back on October 5 in Chestnut Hill in a 1-0 Florida State victory.
On Saturday, Huster redirected a loose ball off her body from about four yards out to give the Seminoles a one-goal lead. Following a Florida State corner, senior caption Sarah Wagenfuhr put a shot on goal that Boston College keeper Jillian Mastroianni could not handle cleanly. The ball squirted to her left where Huster was there for the redirect finding the back of the net for her fourth goal of the season.
“The BC keeper looked a little shaky because she called the defender off late so I just went in and was hoping she would bobble it a little bit which she did,” added Huster. “Then it was easy to get something on it after she bobbled it.”
“I just played it in and I saw a lot of commotion and somebody won it out,” explained Wagenfuhr who picked up an assist on the play. “Then I saw Tori [Huster] head it in and all I did was jump up and down and scream. I’m not really sure what happened but it was a great finish.”
The score was indicative of how the series has played out in the past as six of the seven games in the series have been decided by a goal or less. Florida State remains unbeaten against Boston College all-time moving to 5-0-2, while the Seminoles have not allowed the Eagles to score in the series, a span covering 670 minutes.
“We thought that it would be very similar to this that they might have the ball a little more but we might with our athleticism be able to turnover some good opportunities if we could high press their backs,” said Boston College head coach Alison Kulik. “We went in with the approach to put some pressure on their back line. I thought we did that and that created a couple of opportunities but I think that Florida State had more chances than we did. And they capitalized on one as we all know.”
The Seminoles dominated the offensive possession in Saturday’s third round action out shooting the Eagles 27-10, while maintaining a +6 advantage in corner kicks (9-3).
“We talked a little bit to our players about being patient and recognizing the moment when it’s time to move the ball forward quickly and when it’s time to slow the game down and drag our outside players into the game,” said head coach Mark Krikorian on the adjustments his team made in the second half. “I thought we were a bit rushed in the first half in the attack and in the back a little hesitant so one of the things we talked about was making sure that we tightened up a little in our defending.”
Florida State forced the offensive tempo right from the start as sophomore Rachel Lim one-timed a shot off a cross from senior Katrin Schmidt forcing a diving save from Mastroianni in the third minute of action.
Less than four minutes later, it was freshman Ella Stephan sending a header wide right of the goal on the Seminoles first corner of the game.
Boston College threatened with a great scoring opportunity by Stephanie Wirth in the 19th minute but Kate Milstead came charging out of the box to make a diving save. The Clarksburg, N.J. native went to her knees to deflect the shot back towards the corner. Schmidt was the first to reach the deflection sending the ball down the field and out of harms way.
Freshman Tiffany McCarty then put together a string of three shots in a matter of three minutes and 13 seconds in the first half. Her first came on a long run down the right side of the pitch after a beautiful ball off a header by Amanda DaCosta. McCarty took the Eagle defender down towards the end line sending a bending ball on goal the caromed off the crossbar.
In the 27th minute, McCarty fired back-to-back shots as her first was blocked by a BC defender. The freshman forward followed the rebound and one-timed a shot on frame forcing Mastroianni to deflect the ball over the crossbar and out of bounds.
On the ensuing corner, the Seminoles had two great looks on goal thanks to shots by Jessica Price and Stephan but the Eagles came up with a pair of blocks to keep the game knotted at zero.
In the second half, Toni Pressley provided the offensive fire power for the Seminoles registering three of the first four shots. The freshman forward forced Mastroianni into a diving save on a ball headed inside the far post after blasting a shot through the legs of an Eagle defender.
“We had a lot of combination plays with our team and I received a lot of good passes from my teammates,” said Pressley. “[Katrin] Schmidt had some really good through-balls and I was able to get on the end of them, but unfortunately none of them were in the back of the net.”
Casey Short had a great look following another Seminole corner as her header was saved on the line by the Eagles’ Kelly Henderson.
After Huster’s goal in the 65th minute broke a scoreless tie, Boston College countered with back-to-back corner kicks. Henderson was on the receiving end of both Eagle corners as both her shots were blocked by the Seminole defense. Following the second blocked shot, Kerri McNicholas fired a shot high and out of play to end the threat.
Lauren Switzer almost gave the Seminoles a two-goal lead in the 75th minute as her free kick from almost 45 yards out found the back of the net. Switzer sent a low liner on goal that Mastroianni kept backing up on until controlling the ball just outside the goal line.
Erika Sutton got in on the offensive action just over two minutes later one-timing a shot from about 14 yards out on the right side forcing Mastroianni into another diving save.
The BC keeper was up for the challenge yet again in the 79th minute making a save from point blank range of a shot from Switzer. McCarty sent a beautiful ball into the middle of the box to Switzer who one-timed a shot right into the arms of Mastroianni for the save.
The Eagles would put together one more scoring opportunity late in the second half on a shot by Brooke Knowlton but Milstead was there for the save to maintain the one-goal Seminole lead.
Florida State posted its third shutout of the postseason, tying a school record set last year for shutouts in the NCAA Tournament. It marked the Seminoles 14th shutout of the year tying the school record for the most shutouts in a single-season set back in 2006.
Milstead finished the game with three saves, while the Eagles’ Mastroianni was credited with nine.
The Seminole defense has been nothing short of stellar over the last four and a half games as they have not allowed a goal in over 421 minutes of action. The last goal allowed came at the 48:18 mark in the second half against NC State.
Florida State moves on to the quarterfinals of the 2008 NCAA Tournament where they will face top-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame.
“I think it has become the standard for our program to make it this far,” added Wagenfuhr on Florida State advancing to play in the quarterfinals. “We are never guaranteed anything and I think we’ve done a great job of fighting hard and taking every opportunity and making the most of it. I know we’re excited to play Notre Dame again.”
The last loss for the Fighting Irish came at the hands of the Seminoles in the semifinals of the 2007 College Cup in College Station, Texas, a game Florida State won 3-2. The date and time for the game has yet to be determined. Stayed tuned to www.seminoles.com for further updates on when the quarterfinal match between the Seminoles and the Fighting Irish will be played.
NOTES: Saturday’s contest marked game No. 100 for Mark Krikorian as head coach of the Florida State women’s soccer team. Krikorian is 73-16-11 all-time at Florida State, good for an overall winning percentage of .785.