TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Even though Clemson (8-5-0, 3-2-0) only had five shots in the match and one on goal, the Tigers made the most of their opportunity and the goal by Miranda Westlake in the 21st minute was the difference on Friday night in a 1-0 victory over No. 10 Florida State (9-3-1, 2-3-0 ACC)
Following the goal, Florida State controlled the majority of the possession and outshot the Tigers 24-2, including six shots on goal, along with six corner kicks, but were unable to equalize and the Noles lost their second home match of the season.
“Clemson had a very good gameplan, were solid as could be in defending, and took their chance when they had it,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “It was a good free kick and a good header on the back post. We always know in this game, when you are around the box, you need to get the ball on the goal and make the goalkeeper deal with it. I thought we had some very good looks, but didn’t hit the target on them.
“Overall, I thought our kids fought hard, competed hard and there was some nice combination play. Maybe the quality of the crosses or the quality in front of the box wasn’t good enough, but we just have to get better, that’s all.”
The Tigers earned a corner kick and took the first four shots of the match over the first 25 minutes as the teams battled through the midfield.
After scoring its goal, Clemson dropped its defense back into a more compact shape which allowed for the Seminoles to more freely build their offense, but that made it challenging to work into dangerous positions in the final third for FSU.
Florida State put its first strong push together beginning in the 31st minute as Kaycie Tillman slipped the ball into Deyna Castellanos and her strong shot from 15 yards was saved away for a corner by Clemson GK Sandy MacIver. Tillman set up Anna Patten with a similar pass in the 34th minute, and the sophomore’s bending shot was saved and cleared away. Castellanos lined a shot less than a minute later, but it was just wide to the left of the goal.
Coming out of halftime, the Noles earned a quick corner in the 48th minute and the ball bounced back out to Castellanos, who cut down to the endline and sent a pass back into the center for Kristina Lynch inside the six-yard box, but MacIver made a quality save.
In the 51st minute, Yujie Zhao took a shot from the top of the box that is blocked by a Clemson defender and the comes back to Malia Berkely for a shot that looked destined to slip inside the upper 90 on the right, but an outstanding leaping save by MacIver kept the Noles off the board.
Patten and Zhao connected on a pair of crosses in the 56th and 57th minutes, but the freshman’s headers went high and wide, respectively. Each of the next four shots by the Seminoles over the next 15 minutes, two from Castellanos and one each of Zhao and Natalia Kuikka, were all blocked away by Clemson defenders.
Zhao worked around several defenders at the top of the box in the 75th minute and drove a shot toward the right side of the goal, but another diving save by CU’s MacIver kept the Tigers in front.
Three of the final six shots of the night for the Noles were blocked by Clemson, marking nine of the 24 shots taken by Florida State that were redirected by the Tiger defense.
The Seminoles will stay at home this weekend and play a match against Wake Forest (6-5-1, 2-3-0 ACC) on Sunday, October 7 at 1:00 p.m. The first 300 fans will receive a free, custom-designed FSU Soccer scarf. Vouchers will be given at the gate and the scarves can be redeemed after halftime. There will be a link for live stats available on the soccer schedule page of Seminoles.com, and admission is free for all home regular season matches at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
Throughout 2018-19, the Seminoles will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Florida State and there are many events and reunions planned for all women’s sports. Head to www.seminoles.com/50th/ for more information that will be updated throughout the year.
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