TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Finding the back of the net three times from the 60th to the 63rd minute, No. 3 Florida State (8-1-0, 2-0-0 ACC) extended its home unbeaten to 29 matches with a 3-0 win over RV Wake Forest (8-2-0, 0-2-0 ACC) on Thursday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Sophomore Megan Connolly opened the scoring barrage at 59:01, while fellow sophomore Dallas Dorosy added her first goal of the season at 60:46 and freshman Kristen McFarland capped the scoring at 62:08. The shutout marked the eighth clean sheet of the season for the Seminoles and extended the current consecutive shutout streak to 516:29, which is the fifth longest streak in school history.
“I think the key tonight was persistence,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “We stepped up a little higher than we often do in terms of our defending, and I think our kids brought an intensity with them into this game that I thought helped to control the game territorially. A couple of the goals are little fortunate, we got on the end of them and they go off a defender and into the net for you. But with that said, we had a few other very good chances where we could have had a goal.”
Freshman Malia Berkely started the scoring chance that opened the floodgates in the 60th minute, taking the ball down the left side and finding Haylie Grant near the corner of the penalty box. The junior sent a shot that bounced off the crossbar and to the foot of Connolly for an easy rebound goal from five yards out for a 1-0 FSU lead.
Just over a minute and a half later, Kirsten Crowley sent a long ball down the right side to McFarland and the freshman forward worked toward the end line before sending a low cross through to Dorosy near the penalty spot. The sophomore took a shot that glanced off a Wake Forest defender and out of reach of goalkeeper Lindsay Preston for a 2-0 advantage.
Crowley and McFarland hooked up again 82 seconds later when the redshirt senior lofted a long ball to the freshman in the middle of the field. McFarland collected the ball near the top of the penalty box off a Wake Forest defender and took a shot that was saved. She fought for possession again and struck home her fourth goal of the season to make it 3-0 Florida State.
The three points on a goal and an assist by McFarland marked the first multi-point game of her career, while it was the second time in Crowley’s career that she had recorded two assists in a game, matching her performance against Pitt on October 3, 2015.
“I think is all about persistency,” said McFarland when asked about her goal. “You’re not going to get the best look and chance every time. Sometimes you are just going to have to keep going and going until it goes in. I just wasn’t going to give up.”
“That is part of Kristen’s quality and that’s part of her character,” added Krikorian. “She’s a hard working kid and she’s a fighter and a scrapper. I think that goal showed off a lot of the great qualities she has.”
Connolly had a solid chance to make it 4-0 in the 86th minute, but her header bounced just wide of the left post. Doriana Moul created the scoring chance with a back heel pass on the left side, leaving the ball for sophomore Olivia Bergau. Bergau’s service across the box for Connolly found its mark, but the sophomore midfielder was unable to get it on frame from 10 yards out.
All of the action in the second half was in contrast to the first 45 minutes where both teams primarily tried to send long balls behind the opposing backlines to break down the defenses. The Noles had two solid chances in the seventh minute, earning a pair of corners and Natalia Kuikka taking a shot from the top of the box that was punched over the crossbar by the Wake Forest goalkeeper.
Preston made another impressive save in the 22nd minute, diving to stop a strike from Dorosy from 20 yards that appeared destined to sneak inside the left post.
Wake Forest was held without a shot until the 38th minute and the Demon Deacons had three quality chances that all were turned away by goalkeeper Cassie Miller and the FSU defense.
Kahla Seymour found space in the box and received a cross from Sarah Medina in the 39th minute, but her shot was saved by Miller. Sarah Teegarden sent a long through ball behind the Seminole backline to Peyton Perea in the 66th minute, but her cross into the box was headed into the air by Crowley and caught by Miller to end the threat. The final chance from WF came on a shot in the 85th minute by Kate Ravenna that was curling toward the near post before being punched away by Miller and cleared by Connolly.
Overall, the Noles outshot the Deacs 12-6 and held a 7-0 advantage in corners. Miller stopped all three shots on goal from Wake Forest, while Preston made five saves on the evening for WF.
Next up for the Noles is a top-five matchup with No. 2 Virginia (8-2-0, 1-1-0 ACC) at home on Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m. The Cavaliers lost on the road at Miami on September 22 and will continue their road trip in Tallahassee. Live stats for Sunday’s game will be available on Seminoles.com and admission is free for all home regular season FSU Soccer matches. The first 400 fans in attendance on Sunday will receive a free T-shirt.
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