TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Recording a shutout for the 13th consecutive time at home in the NCAA postseason, No. 5 ranked Florida State (16-4-2) advances to the second round of the 2018 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship after a 1-0 victory over Loyola Chicago (11-7-1) on Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
Anna Patten’s goal in the 52nd minute proved to be the difference as the Seminoles improved their home record to 42-1-0 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, and have not allowed a postseason goal at home since 2013 – a span covering over 1,190 minutes.
“We feel great that we were able to score the goal and will continue on in the NCAA Tournament,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “A great deal of credit goes to Loyola Chicago. Absolutely fantastic performance by that group. Great game plan by their coaches and great execution by their players. They certainly gave us all that we could handle and we are fortunate to move on.”
The Seminoles controlled possession throughout the first half and outshot the Ramblers 19-0 in the opening 45 minutes and put seven shots on goal, but FSU couldn’t find the back of the net.
Deyna Castellanos had a strong shot in the 15th minute from 25 yards out that was saved in front of the goal. Kristen McFarland raced toward the rebound, but couldn’t get a clean touch on it as it was cleared by the Loyola defense.
Kaycie Tillman made several quality passes to set up scoring chances, but Castellanos’ shot in the 22nd minute was blocked and a shot by Gloriana Villalobos at 26:03 was wide of the net.
One of the best scoring chances for the Noles in the first half came in the 36th minute as a corner kick from Malia Berkely found Natalia Kuikka near the penalty spot and the senior’s header was directed inside the right post. The ball went past the goalkeeper, but the Loyola defender on the post, Taylor Lambouris, jumped up to head the ball off the line.
Villalobos slid a near-perfect pass to Castellanos in the 44th minute, but the Rambler goalkeeper, Kate Moran, closed out to save the shot from 15 yards just after it left her foot.
The Seminoles got on the board at 51:56 as Castellanos sent a pass to Villalobos in open space on the right. The Costa Rica native drew defenders to her and made a drop pass to Anna Patten near the corner of the penalty box and the sophomore stepped up and shot the ball on her first touch, burying it into the net for her fourth goal of the season.
Loyola created a dangerous situation in the 59th minute as a long ball was flicked forward on a header by Sienna Cruz and LUC’s Jenna Szczesny and Madison Kimball, along with FSU goalkeeper Caroline Jeffers all met at the ball at the same time and all three fell to the pitch after a collision as the ball rolled loose. FSU defender Natalia Kuikka came through to take possession and clear the ball.
The Ramblers took their first shot of the match in the 84th minute as a free kick from near midfield was headed by Szczesny from 15 yards, but Jeffers made the save.
Loyola had another scoring chance at 84:43 as Lambouris found space on the left, but her shot from 25 yards went over the cross bar.
The Noles maintained possession the rest of regulation, earning two more of their 12 total corner kicks in the final two minutes to secure the win. For the match, FSU outshot Loyola, 26-2, including 10-1 in shots in goal.
The Seminoles will host the second and third rounds on November 16 and 18 and the teams and match times will be announced after all NCAA first round games are completed.
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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