TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Second-ranked Florida State (16-1-1, 9-0-1 ACC) was scary good Friday night inside the Seminole Soccer Complex as the Noles sent their senior class out in style with a 2-0 victory over Duke (8-9-1, 4-5-1 ACC) on Halloween.
A pair of seniors provided all the scoring in the regular season finale as Marta Bakowska-Mathews and Dagny Brynjarsdottir each found the back of the net Friday night.
“Both of them are very good in front of the goal,” said Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian. “Marta’s timing was very good. I thought the quality of the serve was fantastic as well. And Dagny has been a handful for everyone. She has developed into one of the best players in the country, if not the best player in the country. She puts herself in positions to score goals and her composure in front of the goal and inside the box has been very good.”
FSU’s win over the Blue Devils clinched at least a share of the ACC regular season title for Florida State and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming ACC Women’s Soccer Championship which begins November 7 in Greensboro, N.C., at the UNCG Soccer Complex.
“To win an ACC regular season title is a credit to our kids,” said Krikorian. “They continue to put in the hard work day after day and to go unbeaten in this league is not something you see every year. There are a lot of great teams in the ACC, so to perform this feat is a great accomplishment to everyone associated with this team.”
The regular season title for the Seminoles is their third in the last five years.
The Florida State defense, led by senior Kristin Grubka, was once again dominant Friday night limiting Duke to just three shots in 90 minutes of action including just one shot on goal. The Seminoles registered their 12th shutout of the season and finished the regular season allowing just two goals in ACC play – the fewest allowed against league opponents in school history.
Cassie Miller played all 90 minutes between the posts as she registered a save in earning her 16th win of the season.
“The entire defending from front to back tonight was very good,” added Krikorian.
The Seminoles outshot the Blue Devils 18-3 in the match including 11-1 in the first 45 minutes. Florida State controlled the offensive tempo from the start and had several good looks on goal but could not find the back of the net until Bakowska-Mathews broke the scoreless tie in the 36th minute.
Megan Campbell began the scoring chance sending a long ball down the left side of the pitch to Berglind Thorvaldsdottir. The sophomore forward collected the ball and turned a Duke defender around before sending a beautiful cross to the top of the 6-yard box where Bakowska-Mathews timed her run beautifully with a diving header inside the left post for her ninth goal of the season. Both Campbell and Thorvaldsdottir were credited with assists on the play.
“It means a lot,” said Bakowska-Mathews to score on Senior Night in the regular season finale. “I did it last year. I like to score, I like to assist and my primetime is the last part of the first half so it’s expected of me to come on and make a difference and luckily I was able to do that tonight.”
Brynjarsdottir sealed FSU’s fourth straight victory over the Blue Devils in the 85th minute scoring her team leading 13th goal of the season. Campbell slipped a great ball behind the Duke backline right to a charging Brynjarsdottir, who then made a few dribbles before slotting a low lining shot off the hands of Duke keeper EJ Proctor and inside the left post for the goal. The Icelandic senior has now scored in five straight matches.
“Our team has been playing really well, giving me good balls and putting me in positions to finish the plays,” added Brynjarsdottir.
Campbell tied a career-high Friday night with her second two-assist game of her career.
Cheyna Williams and Brynjarsdottir led all players with three shots a piece in the win. Duke’s Kara Wilson paced the Blue Devils with two shots including the lone shot on goal in the 86th minute.
To put in perspective what this year’s Senior Class has accomplished, the six-member class has tallied 77 total wins including 32 in the ACC the last four years. They have appeared in three straight College Cups, claimed two ACC titles (2011 & 2013), two ACC regular season crowns (2012 & 2014) and played in the national championship game in 2013. The six-member senior class included Grubka, Bakowska-Mathews, Jamia Fields, Hikaru Murakami, Morgan Kennedy and Brynjarsdottir.
“Senior night was a night to experience,” added Brynjarsdottir. “The time has flown by. I feel like I just started my freshman year, so it’s crazy that it was Senior Night tonight. But it was awesome to have the band (Marching Chiefs) and it was a good crowd tonight.”
“Those kids have had just great careers,” said Krikorian on the 2014 Seminole senior class. “They have been great ambassadors for Florida State, in the classroom, in the community and on the soccer field. It’s a bitter sweet day. But we are thrilled that they have come to this stage of their careers and we are going to miss them for sure. Just watch their performance on the field; these kids just make great contributions. It’s nice for them to go out with a win on senior night.”
Florida State will now focus its attention on the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship where the Seminoles will be joined by North Carolina, Virginia and Notre Dame in this year’s four-team field. Action begins Friday, November 7 at the UNCG Soccer Complex in Greensboro, N.C. Both semifinal matches will air on ESPN3.
“All along I thought we had the potential to be a very good team,” said Krikorian. “Mike Bristol has done a very good job with the team’s defending and with Cassie Miller in the goal. And then of course Wes (Hart) working with the attack where we have been able to create all sorts of chances. We have been scoring goals at a pretty good clip through the course of the season. I think we are in a good spot right now. We know that the ACC Tournament will be very challenging. I hope we will be ready and prepared for it.”
The Seminoles are the defending ACC champions and are looking for their third conference crown in the last four years.
Live stats will be available for the semifinal match at Seminoles.com. As always, in-game updates will be posted on the official twitter page of the Seminole soccer team (@FSU_Soccer).