CARY, N.C. – Posting a come-from-behind win for the first time this season, No. 7 Florida State (14-4-2) defeated No. 11 Virginia (15-4-0) by a score of 3-1 in the semifinals of the 2018 ACC Championship on Friday night at WakeMed Soccer Park. Combined with their 2-0 win over the Cavaliers on October 21, Florida State is the only team this season to score multiple goals in a game against Virginia.
The Seminoles advance to the ACC Championship on Sunday, November 4 and will face No. 3 North Carolina (17-2-1). The Tar Heels topped No. 23 Clemson in their semifinal match, 1-0, earlier on Friday night. Kickoff for Sunday’s championship will be at 12:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Florida State will play in its 11th ACC Championship Game in school history and are seeking its sixth conference title. FSU now holds a record of 9-3-2 all-time in the semifinal round of the ACC Tournament and will take on UNC in the championship game for the seventh time, winning the most recent title game matchup between the two schools in 2016.
“I thought in the first half that we had two or three good looks,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “(Gloriana) Villalobos had a good look at the end of the first half and (Deyna) Castellanos had a great look. We know that we have some pretty good firepower if we get ahold of the ball and start passing it around as we have several kids who can finish. Fortunately, in the second half, that happened for us.
“Coming from behind tonight may come in handy as we go further as our kids have shown on a bigger stage that we can fight our way back while under pressure and find a way to win.”
Florida State nearly opened the scoring in the third minute as a cross from the right by Gabby Carle was redirected by Virginia’s Phoebe McClernon back toward her own goal. UVA goalkeeper Laurel Ivory jumped up and punched the ball into the cross bar and away from danger.
The Noles earned a pair of early corners in the first 10 minutes and Natalia Kuikka took the first shot by FSU at 7:46 that was saved by Ivory.
Virginia created offense in the middle of the first half and had shots from within the box from Montana Sutton in the 14th minute and two shots from Alexa Spaanstra in the 23rd and 24th minutes, but neither of them were on frame.
The Cavaliers scored the first goal of the match in the 43rd minute after its second corner of the match bounced out to Ayan Adu. The midfielder drove a low shot from 35 yards that went through and under several players in the box and was stopped on a diving save by Brooke Bollinger. She was unable to secure the ball and the rebound came out to UVA’s Zoe Morse to put it back from three yards away.
The Seminoles tied the match shortly after halftime as Kristina Lynch found Deyna Castellanos in space at the top of the box in the 50th minute and the Seminole forward buried her shot inside the right post.
Carle helped create FSU’s second goal of the game in the 66th minute driving the ball to the end line on the right and sending a cross through the six-yard box. UVA’s Ivory dove into traffic to punch the ball away and crashed into several players. The ball came to Castellanos near the penalty spot and she scored in the open net as Ivory was unable to get back into position.
The goal was her ninth of the year and 35th of her career, passing Sanna Talonen (2007-08) to move into fourth place in FSU history. It also marked the eighth multi-goal game of her career, which ranks third in school history.
The Seminoles closed out the scoring in the 82nd minute as Castellanos started a counterattack. She passed the ball forward to Kaycie Tillman in the midfield circle and she was flanked in a 3v2 situation by Kristen McFarland on the left and Yujie Zhao on the right. Tillman got the UVA defender to commit to her and slid the ball to McFarland alone in front of the goalkeeper. The redshirt sophomore shot it over her shoulder for her sixth goal of the season.
For the match, FSU outshot Virginia, 11-9, with a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal and 5-3 in corners.
Link for the broadcast and live stats for Sunday will be available on the soccer schedule page of Seminoles.com. Tickets for the ACC Championship Game are $10 and are available on www.theacc.com.
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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