Aug. 28, 2005
Los Angeles, CA – For the first time in program history the Seminole soccer team opened a season 2-0 by winning both games on the road but it wasn’t easy Sunday. Sophomore Sel Kuralay equalized the game at 88:42 and then got the golden goal at 104:32 to send FSU (2-0) to its second consecutive 2-0 start to a season. The golden goal was the 12th in team history and the win over Loyola Marymount (0-1-1) came in the first meeting between the teams.
“It feels really good to finish this trip 2-0,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “As I have said before there is a good feeling among this group and we are continuing to build on that. Now we get to return home and play in front of our home fans. Coming out here there were a lot of unknowns. There still are some but I thought our group showed a great deal of character fighting back today. We hung in and found a way to win. That says a lot about this team and it was a heck of a win.”
“It feels great to start the season 2-0 against two very good teams on the road,” said Teresa Rivera. “This shows our hard work is paying off. Everyone’s confidence is high and it is a good starting point for us as we return home and continue the season.”
The two goals for Kuralay gives her three on the season. After just two games, she already has as many goals as all but two players from the entire 2004 squad. Both goals in Sunday’s victory came off headers.
“This was awesome,” said Kuralay. “This is only my second game and I never thought I would be able to help my team with both goals including the game-winner in overtime. I just want to continue to build on a good start and continue to try and help this team win games.
“Today was a tough game. We found a way to win and kept pressing as a team. You have to give credit to our wide players who played great balls in all day long and we just weren’t able to reward their service.”
After a fairly even first half, the Seminoles stormed out of the gate once again in the second just like they did versus USC Friday. The Tribe dominated the game out shooting the Lions 10-3 and taking three corners to none for LMU. Despite the constant pressure, FSU was either stymied at the back, by goalkeeper Joslyn Slovek or just inches away from putting together the final piece.
“I thought in the second half we developed a wonderful rhythm,” said Krikorian. “It was nice attacking on our part in a lot of different ways. You have to credit the LMU goalkeeper for making some spectacular saves and also their back line for holding strong. I was very pleased with the way we attacked and the chances we created. We just need to be a little more precise finishing those chances.
“I think our fitness is pretty good and we have been showing a little better in the second half of games so far. We have a number of very bright players on this team and everyone is still trying to figure out not only our opponents but ourselves. Once we get a half under our belts and figure out what our opponents are doing, we have some players who can then adjust and take advantage of certain things.”
Under constant pressure, LMU took advantage of their one opportunity to put FSU on its heels with just over five minutes remaining in the game. With the clock under two minutes to go, Toby Ranck fond newcomer Kuralay in front of the net where the Australian buried her second goal of the season evening the match at 1-1.
“I think we reacted pretty well after LMU broke on top with just over five minutes left in the game,” said senior Rivera. “That was a tough situation to be in but we definitely showed our composure. We got a great service from Toby on the endline and Sel gave us new life.”
The first overtime period was fairly uneventful but in the second 10 minutes Kuralay once again used her head to seal the win. With 5:30 remaining in the match Rivera clipped a ball into the box that Kuralay once again latched onto to move FSU to 2-0.
“Sel is good player and she is capable of finishing chances,” said Krikorian. “We are fortunate to come out to the west coast and go home with two wins. Sel was very good on the weekend for us.”
Florida State looked to get out to a fast start Sunday just as they did against USC and the Seminoles got two corner kicks just five minutes into the match but in the 11th minute they almost found the back of the net. Rivera’s free kick landed right on the head of Kuralay but a diving stop by Slovek kept her shutout streak alive after 110:00 of scoreless play Friday.
The Lions had a chance on goal in the 18th minute. An endline service made it through the box but Ali Mims charged out and took the ball right off the shooters foot.
The second half was all FSU as the Tribe began pressuring the LMU backline right from the start. Just three minutes out of the locker room Kuralay and Melissa Samokishyn combined at the top of the box sending India Trotter in two yards from the post. A sliding tackle by a recovering defender saved the Lions just before Trotter could pull the trigger.
In the 55th minute Rivera’s corner kick found Sarah Wagenfuhr. The freshman’s header forced the LMU keeper into a diving save as the Seminoles continued to come up just inches shy of breaking the game open.
Florida State’s best chance came in the 83rd minute. Viola Odebrecht slotted Trotter a through ball into the 18-yard box. Trotter went far post but Slovek’s finger tip save just pushed the ball around the left post.
Two minutes later the Lions capitalized. Lori Sims made a great run through the FSU defense. Sims beat two Seminoles and then went back the other way just beating Mims inside the near post.
“I think in the game of soccer you see that an awful lot,” said Krikorian. “If you don’t punish them on your chances they might end up punishing you on one of theirs. We had a number of chances in the second half where we created opportunities but you have to finish your chances. The game is about putting the ball in the net.
“I told the team not to panic after LMU scored. Five or six minutes is plenty of time to get a goal back. If we just started launching balls in then we become a little more predictable. I said we need to continue to attack like we were and we will get a chance. I thought our players showed good patience and good composure in a tough situation.”
The Lions celebration was short-lived as Kuralay and Toby Ranck evened the match up in the 89th minute. Ranck served a great ball into the box and Kuralay latched on to the end of it to even the game.
“We were pushing forward at the end and gaining a lot of the possession,” said Kuralay. “I think we were all confident we would get another chance. The most important thing for me was to try and get in the box every time we had the ball out wide. Toby and Holly (Peltzer) had been hitting good balls in all day. This time I was just fortunate enough to reward Toby with a goal.”
The sophomore wasn’t done yet. In the 104th minute she sent FSU off in a celebration. Rivera served a great long ball into the box from the far sideline. The one-timer was headed right to Ceci Shell and Kuralay. The Australian got up in the air over Shell and headed home the winner.
“Towards the end of the game I saw our front runners getting into the box so I thought I would take a chance on knocking it in hoping something good would happen,” said Rivera. “I hoped someone would get on the end of it. I decided to change it up and knock it first time rather than take a touch. Luckily Sel got on the end of it and put it away.”
“I took the risk of jumping over Ceci on that one,” said Kuralay. “I had some contact with the ball and even though Ceci was in front of me I never took my eye off the service. It was a great ball by T and I was just glad one of us was able to put it away.”
The Seminoles return home to open the Seminole Soccer Complex season Thursday, September 1 versus Jacksonville. There is no admission charge at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Fans not able to attend the home opener can follow all the action as it unfolds exclusively via Game Tracker or live on the exclusive audio broadcast at www.seminoles.com, the official athletic website of Florida State University.