CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The second-ranked Florida State soccer team (6-0) stayed unbeaten after defeating No. 11 Virginia (5-2-1) 4-3 in a high scoring contest. It was a typical Florida State vs. Virginia game as it was decided by a single goal for the 18th time in 24 meetings.
It was Florida State’s third win over Virginia in their last five meetings and ninth win in their last 16 meetings. It was also Florida State’s second-ever win in Charlottesville.
Sophomore LeiLanni Nesbeth got things started for the Noles as it seems she has all season. She grabbed her fourth goal of the season in the 11th minute of the game. The goal came off of an assist from freshman Kaitlyn Zipay, the first of her career. Redshirt Senior Malia Berkely sparked the offensive possession with a deep pass down the right side of the field to Zipay who then crossed it from the baseline towards the top of the penalty box. Once the ball got to Nesbeth she showed her rocket leg and fired it into the top of the net.
Not even two minutes later the Seminoles extended their lead to 2-0 on a goal from redshirt senior Clara Robbins. It was her first career goal in 52 games played. Junior Jaelin Howell picked the ball up at midfield and pushed it up field before sending it to the middle of the box where Robbins would get a hold of it at the top of the six-yard box and send it into the right side of the goal.
Virginia would bounce back to bring the score within one with their first goal of the game in the 34th minute. The goal was scored by Alexa Spaanstra and was scored on a penalty kick. UVA was pushing the ball up field when senior Gabby Carle fouled Rebecca Jarret inside the 18-yard box resulting in the PK.
Florida State would strike back in the 42nd minute making it 3-1. The third goal of the game for the Noles was an own goal by the Cavaliers that came off of a Yujie Zhao corner kick.
Virginia pulled back within one in the 58th minute on a goal from Diana Ordonez. The goal was assisted by Lizzy Sieracki. It marked the first time this season that the Seminoles had allowed more than one goal in a game.
The Cavaliers tied the match in the 64th minute on a corner kick. Just like the Seminoles’ third goal, Virginia’s third goal came on a corner kick that resulted in an own goal by FSU.
The tie was broken in the 81st minute on yet another corner kick. Zhao bent one in perfectly from the left corner that would get kicked around a few times before it ended at the feet of Robbins once again. Robbins would find the back of the net for the redshirt senior’s second career goal.
The Seminole defense would come through in the final 10 minutes as Florida State would earn their first ranked win of the season over No. 11 Virginia.
With 22 goals in the first six ACC games, Florida State broke their previous record of 16 goals scored in the team’s first six conference games. Those 22 goals have been scored by nine different players, with both Brown, Madril and Robbins all scoring two goals each and Zhao and Nighswonger both scoring three. Nesbeth leads the team in goals scored with four.
Nine of FSU’s 22 goals have been scored from players coming off of the bench. Florida State has scored at least four goals in five of the first six games this season.
Hot Start in ACC Play
Florida State has started ACC play 6-0 for just the fourth time in program history. This also marks the sixth time that Florida State has started ACC play unbeaten through the first five games.
Sharing the Wealth
Through six games this season, the Seminoles have had nine different players score a goal and 13 players record at least one point. This is the 25th time that the Seminoles have had at least nine different goal scorers in a season.
Florida State has an unprecedented shot advantage over their opponents, as the Seminoles have out-shot their opponents 113-16 through six games. Florida State has put 53 of those 113 shots on goal (.469) as their opponents have had 11 of their 16 shots on goal. This has led to a 22-4 goal advantage for Florida State.
Florida State is off next weekend before they cap off the regular season at home against Duke (Oct. 29) and Clemson (Nov. 1)
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