TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Second-ranked Florida State (2-0-0) scored three second half goals en route to a 4-1 victory over Minnesota (1-1-0) on a hot, sweltering Sunday afternoon inside the Seminole Soccer Complex.
“Credit Minnesota, they came out and battled hard for 90 minutes this afternoon,” Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian said. “But in the end, I was pleased with how our players handled themselves through the all the different weather we had to play through today to get the result.”
Marta Bakowska-Mathews and Kristin Grubka led all players with three points in the win on a goal and an assist, while Carson Pickett contributed with a pair of assists for her second career multi-assist game. Cheyna Williams and Dagny Brynjarsdottir rounded out the scoring on Sunday with a goal apiece.
Both teams found the back of the net in the first half playing to a 1-1 tie after the first 45 minutes.
Williams scored her first goal as a Seminole on a beautiful move to evade a pair of Golden Gopher defenders following a long pass from Grubka in the 34th minute. The junior transfer advanced the ball forward with a touch off her body and managed to get around two defenders before slotting a low liner past a diving Tarah Hobbs and inside the left post.
Emma Koivisto looked to give the Seminoles a two-goal lead in the 43rd minute but Hobbs came through with an outstanding diving save on a ball headed toward the lower left corner of the net. The rebound went out to Williams who one-timed a shot high and out of play.
Minnesota would find the equalizer right before the half taking advantage of a Seminole foul deep in the Golden Gopher attacking third. The restart was played quickly out to Simone Kolander, who fired a shot that deflected off a Seminole player inside the 6-yard box. The rebound went right to the feet of Ashley Pafko as she one-timed the ball into the back of the net to tie the match at 1-1 with 27 seconds left in the first half.
Florida State came out to start the second half on the attack and it paid off as Bakowska-Mathews and Pickett played a little give-and-go to put the Noles on top for good. Bakowska-Mathews flared a pass to Pickett out on the left who returned the favor with a low-liner inside the 6-yard box that Bakowska-Mathews one-timed into the goal to give Florida State a 2-1 lead in the 48th minute.
“I thought it was huge,” said Krikorian on the quick goal to start the second half. “We talked about responding and we don’t like to give up goals. Certainly not here, or anywhere; I thought our kids responded very, very well. We came out and it was fairly clear in that first few minutes of the second half the focus and concentration of the group was very good. I thought the goal was quality.”
“I saw that I could create a 2v1 with Carson out wide,” said Bakowska-Mathews. “That led to her being open, so I passed her the ball. She crossed it and I was open on the run.”
Just over five minutes later, the match was halted for lightning in the area. The 45-minute weather delay seemed to energize Minnesota as the visitors from the north controlled the tempo from the restart. A few seconds after resuming play, the Golden Gophers were on the attack as Olivia Schultz sent a free kick into the 18-yard box that was headed on frame by Sydney Squires. Cassie Miller was there for the diving save, one of three stops on the afternoon for the redshirt freshman.
A little over six minutes later off a Seminole turnover in Minnesota’s attacking third, Josee Stiever stole the ball and found a streaking Squires sprinting down the right side. The Gopher forward tried to sneak a shot inside the near post but Miller was there for the save.
“We got to be better with that,” added Krikorian on how the players responded after the weather delay. “We lost our rhythm in the play, and certainly rain was coming down and it cooled off a little bit and so on. We can’t accept that. If you want to be a champion, if you want to play at an elite level, you can’t accept that as the standard that’s good enough. We’ll talk about it but much like we did at halftime, we talked about coming back after conceding a goal late and overall I thought our response was very good.”
Florida State shook off the rusty restart from the weather delay and regained the momentum in the 60th minute thanks to a Minnesota foul deep in the Seminoles’ attacking third. Pickett bent the free kick inside the goal box toward the far post. Grubka won the ball flicking a header that ricocheted off the leg of Megan Campbell but Hobbs made the save to keep the Seminole lead at 2-1.
Grubka would find the back of the net in the 67th minute to push FSU’s advantage to 3-1. Following another Minnesota foul down toward the end line, Pickett’s free kick was saved on the far post by a Golden Gopher defender. The Seminoles kept possession of the ball inside the 18 where Isabella Schmid sent a cross from the left side that was deflected by a diving Hobbs. The ball came right to Grubka who hammered the deflection into the upper left hand corner of the net for her first goal of the season.
Brynjarsdottir rounded out the scoring on Sunday in the 74th minute following a double assist from Bakowska-Mathews and Pickett. Off a Seminole corner kick, Pickett played the ball quickly to Bakowska-Mathews who sent a cross into the box. The Icelandic native was there with a header flicking the ball into the goal to give Florida State a 4-1 lead.
With the win, the Seminoles extended their school-record home unbeaten streak to 37 games (36-0-1).
Florida State finished the match on Sunday with the advantage in both shots (21-8) and corners (9-2).
“I think it’s really good that we could get two wins and six points on the board,” added Bakowska-Mathews. “It is hard to come out on a Sunday in the heat, but I think the team did well.”
The Seminoles are back in action next week as they head to the Midwest to take on Oklahoma State (Friday, August 29) and Oklahoma (Sunday, August 31). Seminole fans can stay up-to-date with in-game process through the official twitter page of the Seminole soccer team (@FSU_Soccer).