Aug. 29, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In a clash of two top 10 teams, the advantage went to the Seminoles. No. 4 Florida State (2-0-0) went on the road for the first time in 2008 and recorded a 4-1 victory over No. 9 Penn State (1-1-0) on Friday afternoon at Jeffrey Field. In just the second all-time meeting between the two schools, the Seminoles built an early lead connecting on three first half goals in the first 11 minutes of play. Freshman Tiffany McCarty led the way for the Seminoles in the win with two goals and an assist.
Making her second career start in goal for the Garnet and Gold, FSU keeper Kate Milstead came up with some huge point blank saves in the game en route to posting career-highs in saves (7) and minutes played (90). It was a sweet return for Milstead who began her collegiate career at Penn State in 2006 before transferring to play at Florida State in the spring of 2007.
“It was definitely interesting, but I just tried to think of it as just another game,” added Milstead. “The way I like to say it is that I was more emotional at the end of the game when we won. Anytime you come back and beat a team you played for or that you were part of at one point, there is always some satisfaction but it’s satisfying just like every other win.”
The Seminoles quickly stole the momentum from the hometown team scoring two goals in the first three minutes and two seconds of action. Jessica Price got the Seminoles on the board first putting away a cross from McCarty for her first goal of the season with 2:02 on the clock.
Exactly one minute later, sophomore Marissa Kazbour found the back of the net off a deflection to increase the Seminole lead to 2-0. Kazbour’s blast from the top of the box caromed off a group in the middle and into the top left corner for the goal.
A Penn State turnover proved costly for the Nittany Lions in the 11th minute leading to the third Seminole goal of the first half. Tori Huster chased down the loose ball and dribbled down the right side of the pitch. With the freshman midfielder nearing the end line, Huster sent a beautiful cross to Price, who made a quick pivot toward the inside where she found a wide open McCarty in front of the net for her first collegiate goal.
“It was really excited,” explained Price on the play of the Seminoles in the first half. “We came out, we went hard and just created a lot of opportunities which led to some goals. It was a good start to a very tough weekend. Tonight everything came together for us.”
Price came within inches of adding to the Seminole lead in the 15th minute as her bender from 14 yards sailed just high over the crossbar.
The redshirt freshman was at it again in the 25th as she found the crossbar for the second time in the first half. McCarty made a nice inside move down in the left corner freeing up enough space to send a cross into the middle of the box where Price’s header ricochet off the crossbar.
Penn State looked to cut into the Florida State lead in the 34th minute. Katie Schoepfer’s shot from inside the box was deflected off the foot of Erika Sutton and out of bounds. On the ensuing corner kick, the Nittany Lions’ Zoe Bouchelle got a header on goal but Milstead was there for the save. With the ball loose in the zone, a foul by Penn State ended the threat.
“I thought the first half we played very well and created a lot of chances,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “We had good movement off the ball and good attacks. Overall it was quite good. In the second half I thought we dropped our level some, but credit Penn State, they made some adjustments and put the pressure on us. The good news was that after they scored we came back and responded with a goal of our own to ice the game.”
The Seminoles came out of the locker room looking to add to their three goal lead with shots by Price and Toni Pressley in the first six minutes of play. Price sent a cross into the box where a streaking Pressley came sliding in pushing the ball just wide of the right post. Minutes later, Katrin Schmidt sent a long pass into Price who out raced the Nittany Lion defense and struck a shot high over the crossbar.
Milstead thwarted away a point blank shot in the 61st minute to keep the shutout intact. The junior goalkeeper came out of the box and made an outstanding save on a shot by Danielle Toney. With the ball bouncing around in the Florida State box, Becky Edwards cleared the ball preventing any further damage.
In the 65th minute, Milstead came up big once again deflecting a dangerous cross out of the box off the leg of Nikki Watts.
Penn State finally got on the board in the 77th minute on a goal by Watts. The play started when Toney sent a long pass down the left side of the pitch. Watts collected the ball, made a quick move to get in front of a Seminole defender and one-timed a shot past a diving Milstead to cut the Seminole lead to 3-1.
The Nittany Lions looked to build on the momentum in the 79th minute but Katrin Schmidt came up with a big defensive save on the right post kicking away a shot by Bouchelle.
Less than three minutes later, the Seminoles pushed their lead back to three on McCarty’s second goal of the evening. Amanda DaCosta lofted a pass to McCarty who put away the pass from point blank range giving Florida State a 4-1 advantage.
Price led the Seminoles with a career-high six shots against the Nittany Lions while McCarty became the third Seminole in just the second game of the year to register multiple goals.
The Seminoles will return to the pitch on Sunday, August 31 when Florida State takes on No. 12 Connecticut at Jeffrey Field. In last year’s NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals, FSU defeated the Huskies 3-2 in double overtime to earn a fourth trip to the College Cup. Game time for Sunday is slated for 12 noon.