Oct. 22, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In what was a game for the ages, seventh-ranked Florida State (12-2-1, 5-1-1 ACC) got a game-winning goal from sophomore Ella Stephan off a corner with just 12 seconds left in double overtime to register a 3-2 victory over No. 2 North Carolina (12-2-1, 5-2-0 ACC).
In front of a sell out crowd of 2,000 fans, the second largest crowd in school history, the Seminoles snapped the Tar Heels 14-game unbeaten streak in the series while recording just their second win all-time against UNC.
The last win in the series for FSU also came in dramatic fashion back in 2000 as Kristin Boyce tallied the game-winner in double overtime to give the Garnet and Gold a 3-2 win.
“That was a heck of a performance by our kids,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “We knew it would be a very challenging game and it sure was. All the fans that were here tonight helped to contribute to a great night of soccer in Tallahassee; the good news for us is that we found a way to get a result in the end.”
With the seconds ticking down in double overtime, Tori Huster earned a hard fought corner which led to the eventual game-winning goal. Lauren Switzer took the corner sending the ball to the far post where Stephan out jumped the competition and found the back of the net on a header from short distance.
“I thought we managed that last shot pretty well,” explained Krikorian. “We made sure that there would be no counter-attack by North Carolina. Switzer took her time on the corner so if we don’t score, the game was going to end in a draw. It was a heck of a serve and Ella is pretty darn good in the air. It was a first-class finish.”
“I was just telling myself to chill out and get a good service in,” said Switzer. “Ella just flew in, it was like Jess Price flying 10 feet in the air, it was awesome! She did a great job of winning that ball, it was awesome.”
“That was awesome,” said Stephan. “To be able to finish the game with the final goal is a great feeling. I didn’t even see the ball go in. I went up, came down and before I knew it everyone was on top of me screaming.”
The golden goal by Stephan was the first of her career and second of the season. It was the second time this year that Florida State has won a game in overtime. The win was also significant as it kept the Seminoles undefeated at home on the year (9-0-0) while extending their home winning streak to a school record 14 in a row.
“It feels really good to come out with that win,” said junior midfielder Amanda DaCosta. “We have been working so hard to prepare for them…they are a special team. It was a lot of hard work; we did not stop even when things got hard there in the second half. We kept fighting. It showed a lot of character about our team which is going to be important towards the end of the season.”
Florida State did not allow a shot by the Tar Heels in either overtime session out shooting UNC 2-0 in extra periods.
Florida State took a 1-0 halftime lead on a goal by Becky Edwards in the seventh minute of action. Following a Seminole throw-in, the Tar Heels attempted to clear the ball out of the zone, but Huster tracked the ball down just outside the 18-yard box to maintain possession for the Noles. Huster sent a pass to Jessica Price out on the flat, who sent a cross to a wide open Edwards. Edwards timed her run inside the box perfectly as she one-timed her shot inside the upper right part of the net for the score.
The Seminoles kept the Tar Heel offense at bay in the first 45 minutes of action limiting UNC to six shots including just two shots on goal. FSU went into the locker room with an 8-6 advantage in shots, while holding a 6-2 edge in corner kicks.
It took North Carolina all of one minute and 23 seconds to release the air out of an energetic Seminole Soccer Complex as the Tar Heels registered two quick goals by Meghan Klingenberg and Jessica McDonald to take a 2-1 lead.
In the 66th minute, Klingenberg found the upper right corner from 12 yards off a cross from the right side by Lucy Bronze to tie the game a one goal a piece.
Moments later, McDonald gave the Tar Heels their first lead of the game on an outstanding header. Off a pass from the right side of the pitch by Courtney Jones, McDonald sent a header on goal that sneaked just inside the right post from eight yards out.
But the Seminoles would not go away finding the equalizer off the foot of Amanda DaCosta with just over five minutes remaining in regulation to force overtime for the fifth time in the last seven meetings between these two schools.
Freshman Tiana Brockway sent a long pass to DaCosta, who fended off two Tar Heel defenders while making a run down the middle of the pitch. With UNC keeper Ashlyn Harris charging on the play, DaCosta slipped a shot between Harris’ legs and into the back of the net to tie the match at 2-2. The goal by DaCosta was her second of the season.
“The timing of the run on that play was vital,” added Krikorian. “Tiana picked her head up and played a nice weighted ball behind the back line and AD is quick. She is pretty clever and crafty and she timed her run nicely. It was a great finish.”
FSU’s Erin McNulty finished the game with four saves, while Harris made six stops. McDonald led the way for the Tar Heels with four shots including three shots on goal. Price was the shot leader for the Seminoles with four including three on goal.
Florida State returns to action at home for the final time during the regular season on Sunday, October 25 as the Seminoles host NC State at 1:00 p.m. It is Senior Day at the Complex as the Seminoles will honor their three graduating seniors in 2009: Kimmy Diaz, Becky Edwards and Lauren Switzer. Admission to the game is free.
“For us to get a result over a senior-laden Carolina team with our young group of kids is an outstanding victory,” added Krikorian. “I think our kids are coming of age.”
Live stats will be available for the match via gametracker, while the game will also be shown live over the internet on Seminoles All-Access.