Aug. 26, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Ninth-ranked Florida State (2-1-0) used an early first half goal by Kassey Kallman and held off a pesky New Mexico (1-1-1) squad to win its eighth straight home opener, 1-0, Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
“It’s another game where I thought we had some decent chances but our attack still isn’t good enough,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “We are trying to possess the ball and keep the ball but there is a fine line between over passing the ball and being dangerous and we are still trying to figure everything out.
“It is good that we got a hard fought win, but I don’t think that anyone on this Florida State team is satisfied with the performance today.”
Florida State and New Mexico struggled to find an offensive attack all evening long as both teams finished the game with nine shots a piece. The Lobos went into halftime with a 4-2 advantage in shots but the Seminoles made the most of their first half shots scoring on their first attempt of the evening.
The lone goal of the game came in the 10th minute of play as the Garnet and Gold took advantage of an early throw-in inside their offensive third. Jessica Price threw a perfect pass into the box where Kallman flicked the ball inside the near post from about 12 yards out for her first goal of the season.
The assist for Price was her second of the season and second game-winning assist on the year. The game-winner for Kallman was the second of her career.
“She threw that thing in so far that I didn’t even have to move,” said Kallman. “I just stood there. She did all the work and I just finished it.”
“Kassey did a great job of getting on the end of it,” said Price. “I just threw it in there as hard as I could and she finished it.”
“It sure is,” added Krikorian on having the throw-in back as a weapon by Jessica Price. “We think that it is a great weapon and we need to be dangerous in those situations. Fortunately for us we were able to score one on it today.”
The Lobos came within inches of knotting the score at one in the 20th minute but Natalie Jenks, who finished with a game-high four shots, hit one off the crossbar. Jenks tried to float a shot over a charging Kelsey Wys, but the ball hit off the crossbar. Tiana Brockway was there for the rebound and kicked the ball out of harm’s way.
With less than 10 minutes to play in the first half, New Mexico continued to look for the equalizer as Jael Fanning found a streaking Jennifer Williams running down the right side of the pitch. Williams made a nice inside out move on Kallman before freeing up enough space to fire a shot on goal, but Wys was there for one of her two saves on the night.
Less than four minutes into the second half, a miscue by the Seminole defense nearly cost FSU its lead. Fanning found the ball at her feet from about 10 yards out and sent a shot on goal, but Wys would have nothing of it making the stop to keep the Noles lead at 1-0.
Price nearly added to FSU’s lead in the 51st minute as her redirect off a corner kick went off a Lobo defender and just wide of the far post.
Ten minutes later, Price got behind the Lobo defense off a beautiful pass from Janice Cayman. Price found herself one-on-one with New Mexico keeper Kelli Cornell, but one touch too many by the Libertyville, Ill., native allowed Cornell to slide in and break up the scoring chance for Price.
Freshman Marta Bakowska-Mathews came up with the save of the night in the 64th minute off a New Mexico corner. The Lobos played the corner kick quickly as Williams sent a pass out to Fanning, who sent a great cross into the box to a wide open Jenks. Jenks one-timed the ball toward the far post, but Bakowska-Mathews played her mark beautifully as she was there on the far post for the save to keep the shutout intact.
“Fortunately for her she was in the right position,” said Krikorian. “She stayed where she should stay and she was able to keep the ball out of the net.”
“We are still working on putting all the pieces together with finishing and getting everyone in the box” added Price. “We need to work on getting the ball into the back of the net, but I think it will come together for us as the season goes on.”
Wys played all 90 minutes in goal for the Noles and made two saves for her 14th career shutout.
“They came after us all game long,” added Kallman. “Kudos to the other team, but we stayed strong. There are a few things we need to work on but we kept the shutout.”
With the win, FSU extended its home unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1) dating back to September of 2010. The Noles also improved to 14-2-1 all-time in home openers.
Florida State returns to action on Sunday, August 28 at 2:00 p.m. against North Florida inside the Seminole Soccer Complex. Gametracker will be available for the contest, while fans can receive updates throughout the game on Twitter at @FSU_Soccer.