TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Battling an in-state rival, along with the elements throughout a 47-minute lightning delay in the second half, No. 3 Florida State (6-0-1) remained unbeaten in 2018 with a 1-0 victory over Florida (2-4-1) on Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The 3,379 fans on hand marked the third-largest home crowd in program history.
Kristen McFarland scored the game-winner in the 88th minute, putting away a rebound off a shot from Deyna Castellanos to secure the victory.
The Seminoles have now won five of the last seven matches in the Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown and have a combined record of 18-3 in their last 21 games against the SEC, dating back to 2010.
“I thought we had a good performance tonight,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “We weren’t clinical enough around the goal. But for the most part, the build-up was good, the play in the midfield was pretty good and we got it around the goal, though maybe some of the shots were a little naïve.
“It took us a long time to crack the code and put one in the net. McFarland is an aggressive kid and is responsible in the way she plays. Her following up the shot and burying her chance at the end was vital for us.”
The Seminoles earned a quick corner in the second minute of the match, but Jaelin Howell’s header was wide of the goal.
Florida earned their only shot of the first half in the 10th minute on a free kick from the left side by Briana Solis that was saved by FSU GK Brooke Bollinger.
The Noles created a few more opportunities over the next 15 minutes on a pair of corner kicks, as well as two shots by Castellanos, but the score remained tied.
Sophomore Gabby Carle made a nice play on the left in the 33rd minute, driving into the box, but her shot was blocked by the UF defense. Carle had the best scoring chance of the first half a few minutes later as Anna Patten sent a cross from the right into the six-yard box on the left at 35:05 and the Canadian native made a great run and headed the ball down that nearly bounced over the keeper, but was punched away for a corner.
Clara Robbins was fouled on the right side near the corner spot in the 39th minute and Malia Berkely’s free kick found Patten for a header, but it was wide of the goal.
UF had a decent scoring chance near the end of the first half as Mayra Pelayo worked down to the endline, but her cross was caught by Bollinger to end the threat.
The second half started uneventfully until lightning struck within eight miles of the Seminole Soccer Complex to put the game into a lightning warning in the 52nd minute. The match was delayed for a total of 47 minutes before play resumed at 9:00 p.m.
The Seminoles came out strong after the delay with seven shots in less than eight minutes, including two from Castellanos that were saved, as well as Berkely’s second shot of the season that has gone off the crossbar.
Florida mounted a counterattack in the 64th minute and Pelayo dropped the ball back to Lais Araujo for a clean shot from 20 yards. FSU’s Bollinger came off her line and punched the ball away with her right fist and it was cleared away from danger by Berkely.
Possibly frustrated from the shot, Araujo was shown a yellow card 11 seconds later after a foul. She was shown another yellow card, along with a red card and was ejected in the 68th minute after taking down Gloriana Villalobos in the midfield, forcing the Gators to play with 10 members for the rest of the match.
Florida State controlled possession through the remainder of the match, but could not effectively break down the Florida defense. An FSU corner was headed wide in the 69th minute, Yujie Zhao’s blast from 20 yards was wide at 73:45 and Natalia Kuikka worked up from the backline for a shot at 83:12 that was blocked.
Howell helped start the scoring chance in the 88th minute by passing through the midfield to Castellanos, who took a shot from 25 yards that was stopped by UF’s GK Kaylan Marckese. She blocked it cleanly in front of her, but McFarland raced to the ball and finished the rebound into the back of the net for her second goal of the season.
Florida had a last-chance effort with 10 seconds left as a Seminole foul allowed the Gators to take a free kick from midfield. UF’s Marckese took the kick and sent a quality ball into the FSU penalty box, but Bollinger was able to leap and catch the ball to end the game.
Overall, the Seminoles outshot Florida, 23-3, including 9-3 in shots on goal and a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Seminoles will close out the weekend with a match against South Alabama (2-4-0) on Sunday, September 9 at 6:00 p.m. A link for live stats will be available on the soccer schedule page of Seminoles.com and admission is free for all home regular season soccer games.
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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