Sept. 7, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Fourth-ranked Florida State (4-1-0) suffered its first loss of the season falling to 23rd-ranked Florida (3-1-1) 1-0 Sunday afternoon at the Seminole Soccer Complex in front of a season-high crowd of 1,732. It was the first regular season loss at home for the Seminoles against a non-conference opponent since 2004, a span of 13 games, when UCF defeated FSU 3-2.
Despite FSU’s advantage on the stat sheet, the Seminoles could not find the back of the net for the first in 2008. The Seminoles out shot the Gators 16-5 on Sunday while maintaining a 15-0 corner kick advantage.
“Sometimes that’s the way the game goes,” said head coach Mark Krikorian on the Seminoles getting good looks against the Gators on Sunday. “But give credit to Florida, they played well. Their goalkeeper came up big for them a number of times and they capitalized on a good chance. We weren’t precise enough in the final third. We certainly created enough opportunities but at the end of the day it’s about finishing those chances.”
The lone goal came in the 20th minute when the Gators’ Tahnai Annis hit a low shot just inside the left post for the goal. Ashlee Elliott was credited with an assist on the play as she blasted a kick from about 35 yards out that ricochet off a Seminole defender. Annis was first to the ball one-timing a shot passed a diving Kate Milstead and into the net for her third goal of the season.
The Seminoles had their scoring chances throughout the game but their first great look came in the sixth minute on a shot by sophomore Amanda DaCosta. Freshman Tiffany McCarty sent a cross into the box where DaCosta sent a shot on goal but Gator goalkeeper Katie Fraine made a diving save.
Over two minutes later, McCarty once again was in the middle of the action sending a header high over the crossbar on a cross from the far side of the field by Marissa Kazbour.
In the 35th minute, Toni Pressley was denied a goal as her bender towards the far post was punched away on another diving save by Fraine. Erika Sutton began the play serving a long ball down the right side of the pitch to sophomore Sanna Talonen who dribbled the ball to the end line. With two Gator defenders closing in, Talonen sent a pass back into the box where Pressley one-timed a shot from about 8 yards. The ball was headed on goal but Fraine was there for her fourth save of the half.
After both teams exchanged a trio of shots through the first 29 minutes of the second half, the Seminoles got a great scoring chance on a header by freshman Casey Short with 77:49 on the clock. Off a Florida State corner, Lauren Switzer sent a low drive into the box where Short’s header deflected off Fraine’s hands and out of play. The ensuing corner was kicked out of the Seminole offensive third by the Gator defense.
With just under six minutes remaining, the Gators once again thwarted away another great scoring opportunity by the Seminoles to maintain the one goal advantage. Jessica Price made a nice inside redirection and with Fraine diving in to make a stop on the ball, Price sent a low shot just wide of the right post.
The Seminoles would continue to mount pressure as Pressley came within inches of tying the score when her second shot of the game hit off the crossbar. Short was there for the rebound but her shot caromed off a Gator defender and out of bounds.
Florida State had two more corner kicks late in the waning minutes but couldn’t find the back of the net.
“With any rivalry especially against Florida, there is a lot of emotion,” added DaCosta. “Any time we play each other it’s going to be a battle. I thought we played well today and proved ourselves to be a worthy opponent. We played 90 minutes of good soccer. We had our chances and sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way. Our heads are in a good place right now and we’re just ready to take the road against Auburn.”
The Seminoles will hit the road next weekend as they face a pair of SEC opponents in Auburn and South Carolina at the Auburn Tournament. FSU will face the Tigers on Friday and the Gamecocks on Sunday. Fans can keep up-to-date with all the action as gametracker will be available for both contests.