Nov. 1, 2009
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Third-ranked Florida State (14-3-1, 7-2-1 ACC) closed out the regular season with a 2-1 victory over No. 17 Virginia Tech (13-6-0, 6-4-0 ACC) on a cold, overcast Sunday afternoon in Blacksburg. With the win, the Seminoles claimed their first ACC regular season title in school history.
The Seminoles become just the second school outside the state of North Carolina to claim the ACC regular season title. FSU joins Clemson, who finished first in the league standings with a 5-1-1 record in 2000.
"This was a tough victory," said head coach Mark Krikorian. "Virginia Tech is a good team and this is a hard place to play. I give our kids a great deal of credit for having the fight to come in and compete. We knew what was at stake this afternoon and to find a way to get the result and end up with the No. 1 seed is a compliment to our team.
"It means a lot in a lot of different reasons," explained Krikorian on claiming the school's first ACC regular season title. "The body of work we put together over the course of the season is pretty good and coming in first in the ACC is meaningful for all of us. More importantly, it will help us with our NCAA seed."
Sophomore Tiffany McCarty accounted for both Florida State goals in the win as it marked her fourth multi-goal game of the season and seventh of her career. She moved into second place all-time at FSU for career multi-goal games just two behind school record holder Sanna Talonen, who finished her career with nine.
"Tiff took her chances well," added Krikorian. "She was outstanding and is getting better and better as each game goes by. She trains hard and wants to be good. I think she was rewarded for her efforts this afternoon."
FSU remained unbeaten all-time against the Hokies moving to 7-0-1, while the Seminoles recorded their seventh win in eight chances against a ranked opponent in 2009.
Florida State struck first on Sunday with a goal by McCarty in the 18th minute. Off a Seminole throw-in, Jessica Price sent a ball inside the 18-yard box that bounced around for a couple seconds before Becky Edwards sent a shot on frame that was blocked by a Hokie defender. The ball remained in the zone until McCarty found the back of the net from six yards out for her team leading 14th goal of the season. Edwards assisted on the play, her sixth of the season.
Price made nice run down toward the end line in the 28th minute that created a great scoring chance for the Seminoles. After closing in on the near post, the redshirt sophomore sent a shot on goal that was blocked by Virginia Tech keeper Kristin Carden. The ball bounced back to the top of the box where Amanda DaCosta one-timed a shot high.
Following a Seminole foul in the Hokies attacking third, Robin Chidester bent a cross to the far post where Jennifer Harvey sent a header high over the cross bar in the 36th minute.
FSU closed out the first half with an 8-2 advantage in shots.
Virginia Tech's Julia Goldsworthy registered the first shot of the second half sending a blast towards the near post from about 23 yards out that was easily handled by FSU keeper Erin McNulty.
A failed clear by the Hokies in the Seminole attacking third led to FSU's second goal of the game in the 51st minute. Rachel Lim tracked down the loose ball sent out by Carden and immediately sent the ball back up field finding McCarty. The Laurel, Md., native slipped a defender just outside the 18-yard box, made a couple dribbles to her left and fired a shot inside the right post for her second goal of the afternoon and 15th of the season.
In the 61st minute, Marika Gray got behind the Seminole defense on a run toward the end line. The junior forward sent a dangerous cross into the box that Edwards was able to get a header on by Edwards went to #22 who one timed the shot from 16 yards but was saved by McNulty
Virginia Tech scored on a bizarre play in the 83rde minute as Kelly Lynch sent a long ball down the field from just inside midfield. With McNulty coming out to retrieve the ball, the ball skimmed off the wet turf and took a crazy bounce, skipping over McNulty's head. The FSU keeper tipped the ball but could not recover in time for the save as the ball snuck inside the crossbar for the goal.
The Hokies fought hard to come up with the equalizer in the waning minutes of regulation but the Seminoles held strong to come away with the one-goal victory.
"I think it gives us a lot of momentum headed in to the ACC Tournament," added DaCosta. "We worked really hard this afternoon to get this victory; we definitely deserved to come out on top."
With Sunday's victory, the Garnet and Gold wrapped up the regular season in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time in school history. It marks the ninth year in a row that the Seminoles have finished no lower than fourth place in the league. Florida State will now turn their attention to the ACC Tournament which begins Wednesday, November 4 at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C. The time and opponent for the Seminoles will be determined on Monday morning as announced by the league office.