Sept. 2, 2007
Portland, Ore. – No. 4 Portland capped a come-from-behind victory on Saturday night with a golden goal in the 98th minute off the foot of Rachael Rapinoe to give the Pilots a 2-1 victory over No. 7 Florida State at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. The Seminoles got an early goal in the second minute of action by Holly Peltzer but it wasn’t enough as Florida State lost a non-conference regular season road game for the first time since September 12, 2003, a span of 11 straight games. A sellout crowd of 4,892 fans were on hand to witness a fine game between two top 10, nationally ranked teams.
The Pilots controlled the offensive play for a majority of the game out shooting the Seminoles 17-8, while maintaining a 10-6 advantage on corner kicks. Florida State was a little more accurate with their shots as five of the eight shots that were taken were fired on goal.
“I thought our kids battled hard against a very, very good team in a great environment,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “It was definitely a hard place to play in, but we gave ourselves a chance to win the game. Portland is an outstanding team; they are as well coached and disciplined as any other team in the nation. I am proud of our team and with so many young players getting a lot of minutes; I think the future is very bright for this squad.”
It took Florida State just one minute and eight seconds to register its first goal of the 2007 season. Peltzer sent a lower liner into the back left corner for an early 1-0 lead. Freshman Sanna Talonen started the play as she took a pass down the left hand side of the pitch and sent a cross into the box finding Mami Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi redirected the ball to a wide open Peltzer on the right side, who delivered for her eighth career goal and first since the 2005 season.
“Sanna worked hard to get around the Portland defender on the side,” said Peltzer. “I was waiting for the ball to go through. It (the ball) found me and I was able to put it in.”
“We were ready to play,” added Peltzer. “We were excited that this was the first time we got to play with each other. We were able to score first which got us on top. But it was tough holding on to that lead. Portland is a good team and they had a great crowd out there tonight.”
Portland dominated the offensive flow in the first half posting eight shots to just three for Florida State. The Pilots got their first scoring opportunity of the half off their first corner. Michelle Enyeart sent a close shot on goal from inside the left wing, but freshman keeper Erin McNulty was there for her first collegiate save.
It wasn’t until the 35th minute when the Seminoles would register just their second shot of the half. Yamaguchi fired a shot towards the upper right corner from 35 yards out, but a diving stop by Portland goalkeeper Kelsey Davis kept the score at 1-0. Three minutes later Katrin Schmidt would get her first shot of the season sending the ball high over the crossbar from the top of the box.
Portland’s Angie Woznuk had a good look at the goal in the 41st minute as she rifled a shot from just outside the box, but McNulty was there at the left post to corral the ball for her second save of the game.
FSU had a goal taken away off a corner kick in the 43rd minute as Kirsten van de Ven headed a shot into the back of the net. But the Seminoles were called for interferance in the box keeping the FSU lead at 1-0.
The second half was pretty much the same as Portland kept the offensive pressure on the Seminoles firing seven more shots including four on goal.
The Pilots got two early chances in the second half off a Florida State foul deep in Portland territory. Keli Cronkrite blasted a shot from the top of the box that deflected off the hands of McNulty and ricochet off the crossbar. Rachel Rapinoe was there for the rebound but her shot from inside the box sailed high.
Portland looked to tie the game in the 49th minute off a shot by Rapinoe but Schmidt was there on the near post to head the ball away and preserve the Seminole advantage.
The Pilots limited Florida State to just three shots in the second half with two coming in a span of a minute and three seconds. Rachel Brown and Yamaguchi were credited with a shot on goal as both attempts were saved by Davis.
Portland broke through with its first goal of the season as Natalie Budge found the back of the net in the 66th minute. The Seminoles had trouble clearing the ball out of the zone and Budge was there finding the upper right corner from 12 yards out to tie the game at one. Enyeart was credited with the assist on the play.
Talonen looked to give FSU the go ahead goal with just over five minutes remaining but an offside call negated the goal keeping the game tied at one. It was the only offsides call against the Seminoles all evening. That would be the final scoring chance for either team as the game would go into overtime.
The 96th minute featured a pair of scoring chances one for each team. Enyeart sent a header shot towards the upper middle of the goal, but McNulty snatched the ball out of the air for her fifth save of the evening. Yamaguchi countered with her third shot of the game as the Tokyo, Japan native fired a shot from the top of the box which was deflected over the crossbar by Davis.
The Seminoles couldn’t counter on the ensuing corner as a header shot by Kirsten van de Ven sailed high.
On the very next position, Portland would register the golden goal in the 98th minute as Rapinoe held off the Seminole defender and one-timed a shot just beyond the diving McNulty and into the side of the net for the win.
McNulty played well in her first game in net for the Seminoles as she made five saves. Yamaguchi led the Seminoles with three shots, all on goal.
“I thought our defending was solid,” explained Krikorian. “But again, we weren’t able to get a hold of the ball and keep the ball enough tonight to really link passes together and create scoring chances.”
Florida State will remain in Portland for two more days and take on Cal State Northridge on Monday, September 3 at 3:00 EST at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. Fans can follow all the action over the Internet as gametracker will be available for the contest located at www.portlandpilots.com.