Sept. 11, 2005
Oxford, MS – It wasn’t easy but going on the road versus an SEC school never is but that didn’t stop No. 11 FSU from winning its sixth straight game to start the season with a 1-0 victory over Ole Miss (4-2) Sunday. The victory set the FSU school record for consecutive road victories (6) as well as the longest unbeaten streak (8) in the program’s 11-year history as well. Florida State recorded its fifth shutout in six games as they upped their shutout streak to 370:19, the third-longest streak in school history.
“I don’t think we played as well today as we have in the other games,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “I think some of the players didn’t prepare themselves mentally to do battle against a good Ole Miss team today. That is a little bit disappointing because we have had such good focus up to this point.
“We had an awful lot of built in excuses for the game. We had a 10-hour bus ride. The ladies were a little tired and we have a game with the rival Gators up next. I am happy we were still able to put things together and find a way to get the win despite not playing very well but I am disappointed our focus wasn’t better. For us to continue to develop into a better team we have to have focus.”
For just the second time all season, FSU did not record a first half goal but for the fifth time in six games FSU did score more goals in the second half of the game. The Seminoles out shot Ole Miss 13-4 and held an 8-2 edge in corner kicks. Ali Mims (6-0) collected her fourth shutout of the season and lowered her GAA to 0.16. FSU has now outscored its opponents 19-1 this year.
“The defense really stepped it up in the second half,” said Mims. “We really took pride in our defending. It became team defending instead of man-on-man. The defense won so many balls in the second half and helped to fuel our attack.”
German Olympian Viola Odebrecht scored the game-winner for FSU at 59:28. It was her second goal of the season with both winning games for FSU. The assist came from Sel Kuralay on a free kick from about 25 yards out. The assist was the first game-winning assist of Kuralay’s career and she now leads the team in assists (4), goals (7), points (18) and game-winning goals (3). Her 18 points through six games are more than any Seminole collected all of last season in 20 matches.
“Great players make great plays,” said Krikorian. “We are fortunate that there seems to be a nice relationship on the field building with Sel, Viola, India and our other talented players. I think it was an example of a quality goal created by quality players.”
“I saw Sel running up to take the free kick,” said Odebrecht. “I thought about where I wanted to make my run and decided to go near post. Sel served a great ball and all I had to do was knock it in. Sel made it easy for me. It was totally improvised. We had never practiced that set piece in practice.”
The Rebels got off to a good start versus FSU having the better of the play for the first 20 minutes of the game. Florida State then settled down and started to possess the ball and created the first dangerous opportunity in the 25th minute. Kirsten van de Ven took a ball out of the air and one-timed the pass into a streaking Kuralay. Kuralay got a touch on the ball at the top of the 18 but Ole Miss keeper Ann Shelton smothered the shot right off the foot of the Australian Olympian.
Ten minutes later FSU had another opportunity when another great one-time ball got defender Teresa Rivera in on the right side of the goal. The senior put the ball on frame from the difficult angle with the outside of her foot but once again Shelton was there to make the save.
Ole Miss had their best chance in the 35th minute but Mims came up big for the Seminoles. A Seminole giveaway in the midfield led to Brittney Potts making a run to the top of the 18. The Rebel ripped a dipping shot right down the middle but Mims was there to punch it over the crossbar.
“I knew she had an open shot so I prepared myself for her to take a good crack at it,” said Mims. “I was able to get my hands onto it and knock it over the bar.”
Florida State had one last chance to get on the board before half. Kelly Rowland found Odebrecht on a throw-in in front of the Rebel goal. The midfielder flicked the ball backwards to the far post where Mami Yamaguchi was waiting about eight yards out. The wide midfielder got off a hard shot but it was right at Shelton who made her third save of the half.
As has been the case in almost every game this season, FSU came out strong in the second half. The Seminoles out shot Ole Miss 8-3 and took six corners compared to just one for the Rebels in the second 45:00. Just under 15 minutes in the Seminoles solved new Rebel keeper Megan Vickery (3-1-0).
“Coach got on us a little more today at halftime compared to our other games,” said Odebrecht. “He used more forceful language today and I think we woke up a little. We came out and showed more in the second half and started to play better.”
Van de Ven started the eventual game-winning series when she drew a foul about 25 yards away from the Ole Miss goal at the top of the box on the right-hand side. Kuralay bent a great ball around the wall and in front of the net. Odebrecht then went down to get her head on the low driven service putting FSU in front 1-0.
“It was a tough game today and we had some difficulty creating chances,” said van de Ven. “Luckily we were able to draw a foul in a dangerous position and then Sel and Viola did all the work. Sel sent a great ball in and Viola did a great job finishing it off.”
“When I got over the ball I just called out Viola’s name,” said Kuralay. “She made a run and I just tried to play the ball to her. It was a spur of the moment thing. We made eye contact and I played her the ball. She had a great finish. I was just happy I could help the team win in any way that I could because it was a tough match.”
Florida State had two more golden opportunities to extend the lead. The first came on a goal that was waived off due to an offsides call. In the 84th minute van de Ven got in behind the defense. She went near post beating Vickery but her shot caught iron and the ball ricocheted across the face of the goal without ever crossing the line.
“I was kind of in without anybody to help me so I took on a few defenders,” said van de Ven. “I was able to work myself into an opening and had a shot. Unfortunately it hit the post and it bounced out. That’s too bad but sometimes that’s the way this game goes.”
Florida State returns to action back on the road versus another SEC squad at the end of the week. The Seminoles will be in Gainesville Friday night to take on eighth-ranked Florida (4-1). Check out Seminoles.com for the Game Tracker link for the big in-state match with UF and for all your Seminole soccer news.