November 14, 2010 - by
`Noles Advance To Sweet 16

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Nov. 14, 2010

By Zach Mendelson,

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s soccer team continued their strong postseason run as they defeated the South Florida Bulls, 2-1 in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. With the victory Florida State improves to (15-5-1) on the season and advances to the Sweet 16.

The Seminoles will host Marquette Saturday (1 p.m.), November 20th at the Seminole Soccer Complex.

“Overall I thought it was a good, solid performance in the round of 32 by our group,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “I think you saw it was a contrast in playing styles out there. We certainly wanted to have the ball, keep the ball and make the game a little bit beautiful. At times I thought we did so, but at other times we allowed ourselves to get kind of caught up in a more physical style of play. We did what we had to do to advance and at this stage of the tournament, that’s what it’s about.”

The Seminoles struck first with a goal by freshman sensation Kassey Kallman who connected on a shot off a Tiana Brockway corner kick from just inside the box. South Florida would respond with a goal with just fifteen seconds remaining in the first period on a goal by freshman Sharla Passariello that ricocheted off the post from twenty yards out. The goal was Passariello’s second of the postseason as the two teams headed into halftime at a 1-1 stalemate.

Florida State would come out aggressively in the second half, and a penalty against USF on a surging Casey Short inside the penalty box provided junior defender Toni Pressley the opportunity to blast in a penalty kick to give the Seminoles a 2-1 lead at the 59:47 mark.

“I typically do not to choose to go to the left,” explained Pressley, whose shot to the right was uncontested. “I had been practicing it over a couple of practices so I would be more comfortable, and I think that it worked out well. Now I’m more comfortable going both ways and it will help me in the long run.”

The goal was Pressley’s fourth of the season, and her team-leading third game-winner of the season. The Seminoles refused to relinquish the lead and will meet Marquette (16-4-3), a Sunday winner over Wisconsin in penalty kicks, as they make their sixth consecutive round of 16 appearance.

“We have a commitment to excellence here,” added Krikorian. “That’s what it’s about. We’re asking these players every day to make the right choices … Our belief when we’re recruiting the kids is we’re going to teach them how to be pros and national team players.”

The Seminoles are also eyeing a sixth consecutive NCAA quarterfinal appearance.

“The goal is to compete for national championships,” added Krikorian. “That is the goal. We want the best student-athletes we can have, but the goal is to compete for national championships. If we had lost today every one of us would have been disappointed, but we’d go back and re- evaluate on how we can be better. I’m proud of our group … but our work is not done yet.”

The Seminole defense was once against dominant against USF, limiting an opponent to one goal or less for the 18th match this season. Led by redshirt freshman keeper Kelsey Wys and senior Amanda DaCosta, the Seminoles have allowed just fifteen goals on the entire season.

In a strong effort by the Seminole attack, Florida State held the edge in shot opportunities with a 12-5 advantage, but USF held a slight 4-3 edge in corner opportunities. Overall the Seminoles lead the Bulls 6-2 in shots on goal. In a very physical game, Florida State committed an unusually high 11 fouls and was carded for a yellow card, while USF was called for 18 fouls and two yellows.

With the victory the Seminoles improve to 29-9-2 all-time in their NCAA tournament history. Florida State continues to be dominant at home during the postseason, as they improve to 20-1 all-time at home in NCAA Tournament play. Florida State has had tremendous success in the early rounds of the tournament, going 9-1 in NCAA Tournament second round games.

As always, fans can also follow Seminole Soccer action all season long on gametracker, Twitter and Facebook.

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