Sept. 5, 2010
Box Score | Box Score
MACON, Ga. –
No. 5 Florida State (4-1-0) received goals from All-American candidate Toni Pressley on a penalty kick in the first half and from Tori Huster and Lindsay Rice in the second half to gain a 3-0 victory over Mercer (2-3-1) at Bear Field. The Seminoles rebounded from their first loss of the season at Auburn on Friday to earn their third win away from home this season.
The Seminoles quickly stole the momentum from the host Bears team as junior defender Toni Pressley, a preseason All-American candidate, scored her first goal of the season on a penalty kick just 4:37 into the game. Florida State would never look back, as Pressley’s goal proved to be the game winner and the fierce Seminole defense shut down the Bears to register their fourth shutout win of the season.
“At this point in the season, games like this can be kind of difficult, especially on the road,” said Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian. “I think our entire team feels good that we won, but I think we are all a little bit concerned about our overall performance which wasn’t very good. We are going to have be a whole lot better than this as our season goes on, or we will not have the kind of season we are hoping for. We were able to come in and play against a high-spirited, hard working team here in Mercer, and of course it’s great to come out with a 3-0 win, but our level of play has to be better. Mercer dictated the play for much of the game and I think we have to raise our level.”
Up just 1-0 heading into halftime, Florida State came out of the locker room and added to its lead as Junior Tori Huster scored during the 59th minute to put the Seminoles ahead 2-0. Huster’s goal was made possible by a beautiful assist by sophomore defender Tifani Mullen, her first assist of the season.
Following the win, Huster echoed Krikorian’s comments.
“It was pretty hard to bounce back from that loss (to Auburn),” said Huster. “Especially because they were an underdog and we were supposed to win the game. We are just going have to move forward and learn from our mistakes and I think we did that against Mercer. There are still many things we need to work on this early in the season, and us just having a positive outlook on the rest of the season is what we need to keep in our minds and hold steady with that.”
Nearly 30 minutes later after Huster’s goal, Florida State put the game out of reach as freshman Lindsey Rice scored the first goal of her career at the 88:43 mark. Rice became the ninth Seminole to score a goal this season. Huster was credited with the assist.
“I saw Lindsay, she popped off and I was able to get her the ball and she put it away pretty nicely,” said Huster. “It’s good because she is a freshman and it is her first goal, so I think she is really excited about it.”
With the goal and assist Huster led the Seminoles once again in points, along with a career-high seven shots against Mercer. Huster’s three points moves her ahead of senior Janice Cayman for the team lead with nine points on the season.
“I think we were getting into some good positions going forward,” said Huster. “I was probably in the right place at the right time. It was good to get a goal on the game and then get an assist, but that is coming more from my teammates than it is just myself.”
On Huster taking a leadership role, Krikorian added: “She has been sharp from the start and continues to be for us. I think she will certainly have to help us and carry us back, that is for sure.”
Making her fifth career start in goal for Florida State, goalkeeper Kelsey Wys came up with some huge point blank saves in the game in route to posting a career-high eight saves.
Overall Florida State outshot Mercer 18-12, and held a 5-4 edge in corners, but 12 fouls and an offside penalty slightly slowed down the Seminole attack.
Through the first five games the Seminoles have outscored the opposition 14-3, as fifteen different Seminoles have registered at least one point while nine different Seminoles have scored at least one goal.
The Seminoles now return home to play Friday, September 10 as they take on rival, and No. 7 ranked Florida Gators at the Seminole Soccer Complex. In last year’s match, Florida State defeated the Gators 1-0 in Gainesville.
“Planning (for the Seminoles’ upcoming game against Florida) starts right now on the bus,” said Krikorian. “Certainly not for the players, but all of us (coaches) will be looking at some video we brought with us. Starting to get ready, we know that it will be a very tough, emotional game against a very good opponent. We will have to improve our consistency. We had some very good performances and had some that were not quite sharp enough, so in order to be successful over the course of an entire season we have to maintain a certain level game after game, and right now we haven’t been able to do that.”
Huster added: “We had to keep the focus on Auburn and then Mercer this weekend knowing that we had Florida in the back of our minds for this coming weekend. Now the focus is all on Florida and like I said we have to learn some lessons from this weekend, hopefully correct them this coming week, and then play well against Florida.”
Game time for Friday’s contest is slated for 7:00 pm in a “BLACKOUT”. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free blackout t-shirt and the first 250 students will get free pizza all courtesy of Hungry Howie’s.