TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 7 Florida State soccer team (6-0-2) defeated Louisville (4-2-2) in the Seminoles’ ACC home opener 5-1 on Thursday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Tonight’s match was dedicated to honoring suicide prevention month and promoting the normalization of mental health.
For the fifth consecutive game, the Seminoles scored at least five goals, outscoring their opponents 26-1. Florida State has proven to be a second-half team with 20 of their 30 goals scored this season in the second half. At home, the Seminoles are a dominant with 246-46-16 all-time record. Jenna Nighswonger led the offense with a career-high five points consisting of three assists and one goal. Mia Justus remains unbeaten this season with a 3-0 record.
Tonight’s win marked the ninth consecutive victory over the Cardinals and a perfect 5-0 at home against Louisville. Prior to tonight’s match, Louisville had only allowed four goals in seven games before letting up five to the Seminoles. Florida State wasted no time gaining the lead in the second minute with a penalty kick from Nighswonger. Jody Brown earned the penalty for the Seminoles when she was dragged down inside the box by a Cardinal defender.
Beata Olsson doubled the lead in the 13th minute with her fourth goal of the season. The play leading up to the goal started in the midfield with LeiLanni Nesbeth. Nesbeth found Heather Payne deep on the right side behind the Cardinal defensive line. Payne one-touch slotted the ball directly to Olsson’s feet, finding the back of the net.
The Cardinals scored their only goal against the Seminoles in the 32nd minute on a penalty kick by Maisie Whitsett. The penalty kick was awarded after a scramble and a handball in the box from Florida State. Mia Justus chose the correct side but could not get behind the shot enough, resulting in the first goal she let up this season.
As usual, the Seminoles were successful on the offense in the second half, resulting in three more goals. Nesbeth got things rolling with a header off Nighswonger’s corner kick in the 50th minute. Nighswonger sent the ball bending into the box from the right corner with her left foot and Nesbeth got just enough on the ball to redirect it around the keeper.
Onyi Echegini scored her sixth goal of the season in almost the same exact manner as Nesbeth. Once again, Nighswonger sent the ball in from the corner on the right side, but Echegini was there to send it in with her head in the 58th minute.
Less than a minute later, Clara Robbins scored the night’s final goal. Payne found herself in a familiar position, receiving the ball on the right side from Nesbeth deep in the middle. Payne sent the ball into Nighswonger at the top of the penalty box who dropped it off to Robbins in the middle. Robbins one-touch finished it in the lower left corner. Robbins now has three goals on the season.
Florida State is back at home on Sunday, September 25 at 1 PM to take on No. 14 Clemson.