PITTSBURGH – Scoring twice in the opening nine minutes, No. 2 Florida State (9-1-1, 3-0-1 ACC) remained unbeaten in conference play with a 2-0 victory on the road at Pitt (1-10-1, 0-4-0 ACC) on Saturday afternoon at Ambrose Urbanic Field. It marked the ninth shutout of the season for the Seminoles and the third against ACC competition. “Certainly when you go on the road in the ACC and you come away with a win, it’s always good,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian.
“But I’ve mentioned all season of how young of a team we have and I think today we showed signs of some of that youth. We were a little immature and imprecise at times, but credit to Pittsburgh for putting us in those challenging situations.
“We were able to get out to a quick lead, but after that it seemed we let off a bit, which is a sign of a lack of experience. We’ll go and continue to teach and work to get better, and it is always nice to walk away with three points. At the end of the day, we have to continue to play the best that we can and I’m not sure we had our best game today.”
Kirsten Crowley got the Noles on the board quickly with a goal at 1:13, heading home a corner from Natalia Kuikka for her first goal of the season. It was the fastest goal of the season for the Seminoles and quickest goal since Dagny Brynjarsdottir found the back of the net at 1:05 against Boston College on October 28 in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 ACC Tournament.
Kaycie Tillman added to the lead with a goal of her own in the ninth minute. Megan Connolly earned her third assist of the season, crossing in a ball from the right that Tillman struck into the net from eight yards out.
The Noles kept the pressure on the Panthers, but couldn’t find any additional goals in the opening half. Dallas Dorosy took three shots, two on goal and had what looked like her fourth shot go off the far post in the 26th minute.
Holly Fritz had a quality chance in the 39th minute, getting on the end of a Haylie Grant cross and firing a shot from 15 yards that was saved by Pitt’s GK Taylor Francis.
Elin Jensen sent a shot in from 25 yards that squarely hit the crossbar in the 41st minute, but the Noles couldn’t add to the chance.
Pitt had several scoring opportunities in the first half, recording four shots, which equaled their entire output in the previous three matches in the series. Siobhan McDonough hit a shot wide in the 19th minute and Alex Wright’s shot in the 39th minute was saved by FSU GK Cassie Miller.
The Panthers also had two dangerous free kicks deep in their offensive third, but Crowley cleared the first chance and Miller secured possession on the second to maintain the clean sheet.
In the second half, both teams had quality looks at the goal, but neither were able to put it in the net.
Taylor Hallmon drove a free kick from the center circle into the six-yard box in the 53rd minute, causing the ball to bounce around in the penalty area. Malia Berkely worked to gain possession and her shot went just wide to the left.
Macayla Edwards sent a through ball up to Kristen McFarland 30 yards from the goal, giving the freshman a breakaway opportunity. McFarland collected the ball and took a shot from 20 yards that was saved by Pitt’s Francis as she came out beyond the penalty spot to challenge the shot and block it away.
FSU’s GK Miller made an equally impressive save in the 72nd minute as Pitt’s Sarah Krause redirected a cross into the box by Bel Van Noorden from five yards out. The redshirt junior keeper showed off her reflexes to catch the ball and preserve the shutout. Miller finished with a season-high five saves in the win.
Fouls by Pitt just outside of the penalty area gave the Noles a pair of free kicks, but the ensuing shots from Connolly went just wide and high of the goal, respectively.
After Pitt’s first corner in the 77th minute, FSU held the majority of the possession over the final 10 minutes to secure the shutout victory. The Noles outshot the Panthers, 15-8 and held a 4-1 advantage in corners.
Next up for the Florida State is a weekend road trip to the Northeast, beginning at Boston College on October 6 and ending at Syracuse on October 9. FSU is 12-1-3 all-time against the Eagles and has won all three matches in the series against the Orange. Live stats for both games will be available through Seminoles.com.
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