PALO ALTO, Calif. – A hard-fought, physical battle for the entire 90 minutes went the way of the home team on Sunday as Florida State (13-7-1) was defeated 1-0 by No. 1 Stanford (21-1-0) in the third round of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.
“Our kids could not have competed any harder,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “We played against a very good team today and lost to a better team today. Stanford is a very good side and are very talented and very well coached. But our kids battled and hung in there and fought and tried to create some chances. I thought we had a couple of half looks, but not great looks. At the end of the day, the better team won today. We’ll take some lessons away from this game and go back and hopefully get better. But I’m as proud as I can be at the effort that our kids put forth.”
Stanford held the bulk of possession in a scoreless first half, as the Cardinal outshot the Noles 9-1 and held a 6-1 advantage in corners.
FSU goalkeeper Cassie Miller made a pair of nice saves on shot by Stanford’s Catarina Macario, first on a free kick from 25 yards in the 10th minute that bent around the wall and again on a tight-angle shot in the 20th minute.
Stanford nearly scored the first goal of the match in the 14th minute as Macario centered a ball for Andi Sullivan near the penalty spot, but the senior’s strike was wide of the goal.
The best first-half scoring chance for the Noles came in the 44th minute as a Stanford foul near midfield allowed Deyna Castellanos to send a long free kick into the penalty box. Freshman Anna Patten worked into space and got her head on the ball, but the shot was wide of the net.
FSU’s Miller continued her impressive goalkeeping into the second half with a save on a counterattack shot by Macario in the 56th minute, as well as diving on a deflected shot in the box after a Stanford corner in the 57th minute.
Castellanos helped start a pair of quality scoring chances for the Noles, beginning with a ball down the right side for Adrienne Richardson in the 68th minute, but her centering cross could not find a teammate. The sophomore forward later sent in a cross of her own in the 72nd minute, but the header by Megan Connolly was wide of the goal.
Stanford scored the only goal of the match in the 79th minute after Tierna Davidson started a counterattack through the midfield and after driving down into the FSU penalty box, dropped the ball off for Jordan DiBlasi to finish in the net for her first goal of the season.
The Noles earned a corner in the 82nd minute and Gabby Carle’s shot on the ensuing possession was blocked. The final chance for the Seminoles to equalize came in the 90th minute as Castellanos chipped the ball behind the Stanford backline for Dallas Dorosy, but she was unable to get a clean shot off and it was saved by Alison Jahansouz to secure the victory.
The Seminole season came to an end after reaching the NCAA Tournament for the 18th consecutive year and were nationally seeded for the 13th season in a row.
Castellanos and Miller entered the FSU and NCAA record books as Castellanos finished with 19 goals, good for second-most in a single season in FSU history, while her 41 points (19g, 3a) ranked in a tie for sixth. The Venezuelan forward had six multi-goal games which is a single-season school record and is tied for third most in a Seminole career. Miller’s 48 career shutouts – including 13 in the NCAA postseason – ranks third-most in NCAA history and is also an FSU record.
Florida State says goodbye to a four-member senior class – Cassie Miller, Emma Koivisto, Haylie Grant and Ari Hudson – who finished their careers in the Garnet and Gold with a 69-15-0 record, three ACC Championships and the 2014 NCAA National Championship.
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