TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – All 1,756 fans that came out to the Seminole Soccer Complex on Friday night were treated to a match that completely lived up to the hype of a Top 10 matchup as No. 4 Florida State (4-0-1) and No. 7 USC (3-0-1) played to a scoreless draw after 110 minutes.
FSU outshot USC 18-6, including 6-1 in shots on goal, but both defenses stood tall when they were needed most. The Noles and Trojans each had five corner kicks in the draw.
It was the lowest shot total for USC since they tallied six in a 1-0 victory over Georgetown in the 2016 College Cup semifinals, and the four shots in regulation by the Trojans on Friday night were the fewest since they recorded two shots in the most recent meeting of Florida State and USC on August 23, 2015, as the Noles posted a 1-0 victory in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Seminoles continued their scoreless streak to start the season with their fifth shutout in a row and have not allowed a goal in their last 481:36, dating back to a 79th minute goal on the road at No. 1 Stanford in the third round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The five consecutive shutouts ranks in a tie for fourth-longest in school history, while the scoreless streak is the seventh-longest for Florida State.
“We knew that when we scheduled this pair of games with USC and UCLA that we were going to have very good opponents, and USC was excellent tonight,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “It was a very good game and I think that the fans enjoyed the quality of play and the speed of the game with chances on both ends. At the end of the day, both teams’ defending was a little better than the teams’ attacking. We were treated to some very good soccer with some very good players on the field.”
Florida State controlled most of the possession in the first 30 minutes of the match, but struggled to break through the final third. The Seminoles earned their first corner kick in the 13th minute, and the service found Kristina Lynch, but her header was high of the goal.
USC tried to slide a ball through the midfield in the 25th minute, but a deflection off a Florida State defender left the ball in a dangerous position, but Brooke Bollinger smartly came off her line to dive on the ball to end the threat.
The entire Florida State backline of Kirsten Pavlisko, Malia Berkely, Anna Patten and Gabby Carle each had timely tackles on USC possessions in the first half to limit the Trojans’ chances. The best opportunity for USC in the first half came in the 34th minute as a counterattack by Tara McKeown found Penelope Hocking behind the FSU line, but the shot was directly at Bollinger for the save.
FSU had a quality chance in the 45th minute as USC’s Jalen Woodward fouled Gloriana Villalobos and was shown a yellow card. The free kick from 20 yards on the left was taken by Villalobos, but the shot was just wide as the game went to halftime tied at 0-0.
Coming out of the break, the Trojans pressured early with a pair of corner kicks and a shot that was blocked in the first seven minutes.
Carle lined a shot from 25 yards in the 58th minute and Villalobos took a shot from the top of the box in the 64th minute that each required saves from USC’s Kaylie Collins to keep the game scoreless.
Another dangerous counterattack for the Trojans came in the 76th minute as Hocking found Leah Pruitt, but Bollinger read the play well and dove to secure the ball before Pruitt could get a shot off. A breakaway by Hocking a minute later resulted in a shot that was wide left.
Deyna Castellanos nearly put the ball into the net on a free kick from 25 yards on the left in the 83rd minute as the Venezuela native’s shot bent up into the upper right corner but was swatted away on an outstanding leaping save by USC’s Collins. Carle found Kaycie Tillman near the top of the box just two minutes later and the senior’s shot narrowly went over the crossbar as the game went to overtime.
In the first overtime, FSU freshman Yujie Zhao took a free kick in the 91st minute that was blocked and started a counterattack for the Trojans. The Seminole defense did a good job of getting back as Pavlisko and Bollinger helped breakup the transition as the ball safely rolled over the end line for a goal kick.
The Trojans had a strong chance in the 99th minute, but the shot from Natalie Jacobs in the penalty box was blocked away by Patten to force a second overtime.
In the final 10 minutes, the best scoring chance for either side came for the Seminoles in the 108th minute as Berkely worked through the midfield and ripped a shot from 25 yards on the right that hit the crossbar.
The Seminoles continue their current seven-game homestand on Sunday, September 2 with a match against No. 2 UCLA (2-0-1). The match will be streamed on ACC Network Extra, with links for the broadcast and live stats available on the soccer schedule page of Seminoles.com. Admission is free for all home regular season games for Florida State Soccer.
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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