Sept. 22, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – If the seventh-ranked Florida State soccer team was looking for small victories, they would have left the field Thursday night feeling pretty good about themselves. For the first time in 18 meetings with North Carolina, FSU out shot the Heels and the Seminoles also recorded their most shots ever in the series. Florida State forced UNC keeper Aly Winget to make seven saves, the most she has made in a game since September 20, 2002 but once again the result was familiar. The top-ranked Tar Heels (9-0-0, 1-0-0) scored three goals in a span of less than three minutes to send No. 7 FSU (7-1-0, 0-1-0) to its first defeat of the season 4-1 in front of a school record crowd of 1,912.
“In this game when you have your chances you have to finish them,” said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. “If you don’t finish them you can pay a big price for it. Carolina has been a great team over the years and one of the things they do best is they score on their chances. We had a few good chances in the first half and just weren’t sharp enough to put the ball in the net and we paid for it.”
“Florida State is superb,” said UNC Head Coach Anson Dorrance. “The margin tonight does not indicate the game in any way. I thought it could have easily have been a tie game. Our keeper came up big on a couple and then we scored three of our goals when our reserves were in at the end of the half. In my mind this game was a tie and maybe at times Florida State had the run. It is exciting to get a result and come out of here with a 4-1 win over a team I consider one of the top teams in the country.”
North Carolina’s Katie Brooks scored her first two goals of the season and doubled her career total but it was Winget who was the star of the night. The UNC keeper kept Carolina in the game in a span of the first half where the game was in the balance at 0-0 and FSU generated numerous dangerous chances.
“We certainly had a number of very good chances or so I thought they were good chances,” said Krikorian. “I thought we put good players in good positions to finish chances and credit to their goalkeeper. She had three or four saves that I thought were fantastic. It is still the same though. You can’t let good chances slide by. You have to finish them. If you do, it’s a different game.”
As much pressure as the Seminoles put on Winget and the Tar Heels in the later part of the first half, it was UNC that took advantage of their opportunities in a stretch of just 2:49 in the closing moments of the period. After a loose ball was picked up and scored by Brooks, Kacey White followed just 1:28 later with another second chance goal on a shot that slipped under FSU keeper Ali Mims and was buried from close range after bouncing off the post. Then with just 2:05 left before half, Brooks struck again with a header off a UNC corner. It was the first goal given up this year by the Seminoles on a corner kick.
“It would have been nice to go into halftime 0-0,” said Hermann candidate Kelly Rowland. “After that first goal, sometimes when it rains it pours. Coach addressed us before the game and told us how good UNC was at scoring on second chance balls. To their credit they took advantage of that when we when gave them a second opportunity.”
“North Carolina is famous for that, they score in bunches,” said Krikorian. “If you let down at all and put your head down, you are going to pay again. This game was about learning lessons. Sometimes you learn lessons in a win and sometimes they come in defeat. We will see how smart we are and be more competitive the next time we play.”
Florida State opened the game with a dangerous opportunity just three minutes in. India Trotter found Toby Ranck down the right wing. She played the ball back to Teresa Rivera who served a great ball to the back post where Sel Kuralay’s header shot went just wide.
Mims then came up big for FSU eight minutes later. Lori Chalupny got a clean look at the goal from about 10 yards out on the right side but Mims was there to deflect the shot preserving the tie.
For the next 30 minutes it was FSU that had the chance to give themselves the lead going into halftime. The first good chance came in the 17th minute when Viola Odebrecht found reigning ACC Player of the Week Holly Peltzer running alone toward the UNC goal. The high ball over the top of the defense landed right at Peltzer’s feet as she went in all alone with Winget. The Seminole sophomore was unable to get much on the shot though as the UNC keeper made the save.
FSU had another great chance in the 28th minute. Rowland sent a dangerous cross in from the left side of the pitch. The service landed right on the head of Mami Yamaguchi but the freshman blasted the header shot right at Winget who held on to the forceful chance.
The next eight minutes provided the Seminoles with their two best chances of the night both from rising star Kuralay. The first came on a stunning ½ bike by the Australian Olympian that Winget had to make a sprawling save on to keep it out of the net. The next was off a Peltzer service. The sophomore got in behind UNC and had a free run to the endline. She sent a beautiful ball to Kuralay’s head but Winget once again made the save on a ball the looked like it may have crossed the line after the initial punch by the keeper.
“I think we had a lot of opportunities that we should have put away,” said Kuralay. “A couple I thought may have crossed the line but the referee made the call and that is the way this game goes. I think we had a few really good patches of play and hopefully next time we will finish those chances.
“On the two plays near the end of the half, they both started with really good deliveries by Holly. They were almost identical services and they were great crosses. I should have finished them. I probably should have placed them better but give credit to their keeper.”
After that Carolina went to work putting in three unanswered goals before half. At the start of the second Winget made another goal-saving play on an Odebrecht shot. The German Olympian took a Rowland throw-in near the mouth of the goal and fired a point blank shot that Winget was able to punch away stifling any momentum FSU tried to build coming out of the locker room.
After he Heels extended their lead to 4-0 on a penalty kick goal by Kacey White in the 72nd minute, Florida State got on the board four minutes later. Odebrecht and Katrin Schmidt built the attack through the midfield and sent Trotter in on the right side of the box about 16 yards out. Trotter one-timed her blast to the far post for her sixth goal of the season.
“The good news was we came out in the second half, fought and played relatively even with them,” said Krikorian. “India’s goal was a nice goal. There were certainly some other chances where we put people in position to have a good chance on the goal. We just weren’t sharp enough to finish it.”
Despite rain throughout most of the late afternoon leading up to the game, FSU fans still came out in record numbers. The crowd of 1,912 beat the previous record of 1,603 set against Florida in 2002. It was the third time that over 1,500 people have come to the Seminole Soccer Complex to watch the Seminoles and Tar Heels face off.
“The crowd was awesome and it was a great atmosphere tonight,” said Rowland. “I just wish we could have given them a better show. They kept us going all night. Hopefully they will continue to come out because we appreciated them being behind us.”
“This is what being at Florida State and playing a high level of college soccer should be about,” said Krikorian. “Come on out, support our group and give us a nice home field advantage. I thought it was a great crowd, they were very positive and it was nice to have the band here too.”
Florida State continues its home stand Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m. versus NC State (4-4-0). The game will be shown live on Sun Sports. Live radio coverage of the match will also be available along with Game Tracker. Both services are free and available at www.seminoles.com, the official athletic website for Florida State athletics.