TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Battling a physical, top-10 team the Seminole Soccer Complex, No. 16 Florida State (5-2-0, 0-1-0 ACC) came up just short in its ACC home opener, falling to No. 10 North Carolina (5-2-0, 1-0-0 ACC) by a score of 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.
The loss snapped Florida State’s 36-game home unbeaten streak, which was the second-longest streak in program history. It is just the second loss at home for the Seminoles in their last 75 matches, as FSU has posted a home record of 70-2-3 since October 16, 2011.
“Overall, I think our kids executed the gameplan very well,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “Carolina had a few good chances, and most of their chances came toward the end of the game as we were trying to push forward for the goal. But credit to UNC, they are a great program and have been forever and will continue to be. I am glad our kids came out and competed favorably throughout the course of the match and created a few really good chances and a few other half chances, but we weren’t good enough to score today.”
The Noles has a strong scoring chance in the opening minute, as a ball played back to FSU goalkeeper Cassie Miller was driven beyond the midfield circle and the UNC back line for Dallas Dorosy. The junior was able to take the ball into the top of the box, but her shot was saved away by UNC keeper Samantha Leshnak.
It was a physical and technical match between the two teams in the midfield throughout the first half, as neither side would allow significant chances or opportunities to even take a shot as there were multiple spans of over 10 minutes during the first half where neither UNC or FSU was able to record a shot.
Deyna Castellanos nearly matched her performance against Kentucky with a goal in the closing minute of the first half, collecting a ball on the right side and taking a shot at 44:28 that was saved by UNC’s Leshnak as the match remained tied at 0-0 heading into halftime.
The action got started early in the second half with FSU’s Emily Madril finding Castellanos near the penalty spot in the 47th minute, but solid defending by the UNC backline kept her from getting a clean shot off.
North Carolina took the first shot of the second half as Bridgette Andrzejewski got behind the Seminole defense on the right side, but Miller made a solid save at the near post in the 49th minute.
The Noles and Tar Heels traded free kicks from 30 yards in the 53rd and 55th minutes, but neither shot was on frame.
North Carolina scored the match’s only goal in the 58th minute after Dorian Bailey’s shot was blocked away for a corner. Boyles sent the corner kick into the six-yard box and Abby Elinsky headed it back for Bailey to head over the outstretched arms of FSU’s Miller and into the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Seminoles nearly found the equalizer on a pair of headers, but both Dorosy’s shot in the 61st minute and Megan Connolly’s in the 64th minute were secured on quality saves by UNC’s Leshnak.
Miller made two diving saves as the second half continued to keep the score at 1-0. She leaped to her right to deflect away a shot from Alea Hyatt in the 65th minute and dove to her left to punch away a shot by Madison Schultz in the 77th minute.
The final quality chance for the Noles came in the 78th minute, as a counterattack following a UNC corner by Gabby Carle led to Castellanos with the ball outside the penalty box on the right side. The sophomore forward worked to create space and took a shot from 20 yards that just skipped over the crossbar.
The loss is the first in an ACC-opener for Florida State since a 2-0 defeat at Wake Forest in 2011. Overall, the Noles are 10-6-1 in their last 17 matches to open the conference season.
The Seminoles will hit the road this week for a pair of ACC contests, heading up to Louisville on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m., before playing at Virginia Tech on Sunday, September 24 at 1:00 p.m. Both matches will be televised, with the Louisville contest on the Regional Sports Networks and the VT game on ACC Network Extra. Live stats for both games will be available on Seminoles.com.
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