TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In a match that saw 36 fouls called (22 for Notre Dame and 14 on Florida State) along with three yellow cards issued to ND, it was a back-and-forth battle between the Noles and the Irish on Thursday night before Notre Dame (8-5-3, 4-3-1 ACC) scored the game-winner in the 88th minute to earn a 4-3 win over No. 18 Florida State (10-5-0, 4-4-0 ACC) at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
The Seminoles fought back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie the match in the 55th minute and take the lead in the 60th minute, but Notre Dame was able to outlast FSU, scoring a pair of goals over the final eight minutes.
“I thought on both of the first two [Notre Dame] goals, we could have done a little bit better with them,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “You can’t gift good teams goals, and when you make mistakes it is going to come back and bite you. Credit to Notre Dame, they came in here and earned the win.
“At the end of the day, we have to be better. The kids fought back very well in the second half to come back to equalize and go ahead. I think the fourth goal we may have been a little bit tired from pressing as hard as we did to get back in the game, but again, a good strike by the kid and credit to them.”
Notre Dame controlled the opening 45 minutes, outshooting the Noles 10-3, as the Irish took a 2-0 lead into halftime. They opened the scoring in the 29th minute as a Seminole foul allowed Jennifer Westendorf to take a free kick from 25 yards, lining it over the defensive wall and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
ND’s Sammi Fisher made it 2-0 at 43:47 as she got behind the Seminole defense and took a shot from the right that went off the crossbar, bounced down into the six-yard box and she was able to follow up and easily score on the rebound.
Florida State managed to have significant possession in its offensive third during the first half, and earned seven corner kicks, but were unable to convert them into many shots or dangerous chances. One of the best opportunities came early in the match as a combination of Deyna Castellanos and Kaycie Tillman in the sixth minute worked through the middle of the field to Adrienne Richardson near the penalty spot, but her shot was wide of the goal.
The Seminoles came out from halftime with increased focus and quickly got on the board in the 47th minute on a goal by Castellanos. Tillman took the ball on the left and slotted a ball into the sophomore forward at the penalty spot. She was able to turn her defender and bury the ball inside the post for her 13th goal of the season, cutting the ND lead to 2-1.
A Notre Dame foul to Clara Robbins in the 54th minute allowed a medical substitution to bring in Olivia Bergau, and she quickly made an impact on the game. The junior was able to help tie the match at 2-2 just 67 seconds later, working free in the penalty box and receiving a cross from Tillman after Megan Connolly sent a ball down the right side.
Florida State took the lead five minutes later after Gloriana Villalobos was taken down in the box by Rachel Heard, prompting the referee to issue her a yellow card. Castellanos stepped to the spot and converted the penalty kick to make it 3-2 FSU at 59:54.
The Noles continued the second half pressure, and did not allow a shot in the second half to Notre Dame until the 70th minute. FSU nearly extended their lead in the 75th minute as Castellanos crossed in a ball to Dallas Dorosy, but her shot was saved by ND’s goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas.
Notre Dame tied the match at 3-3 in the 83rd minute as a Florida State foul gave the Irish a free kick from 35 yards in the middle of the field. Similar to her attempt in the first half, Westendorf took the free kick and lined a shot into the upper corner for her eighth goal of the year.
ND built on the momentum and earned a pair of chances in the 86th minute before Fisher scored her second goal of the match at 87:35 to put the Irish in front, 4-3. The Noles earned a late corner, but could not find a shot as time expired.
Overall, Notre Dame outshot the Noles, 16-12, including 9-5 in shots on goal, while FSU had a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Florida State will close out the 2017 home regular season schedule on Sunday, October 22 with a match against Pitt (3-10-3, 0-7-1 ACC), beginning at 1:00 p.m. Prior to the match, we will have an on-field ceremony for the 2017 senior class – Haylie Grant, Ari Hudson, Emma Koivisto and Cassie Miller. Admission is free and live stats will be available on Seminoles.com.
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