Sept. 24, 2006
Raleigh, NC - After a disappointing Thursday night loss to No. 4 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the top-ranked Seminoles bounced back in a big way Sunday afternoon. Florida State (7-1, 1-1) downed ACC rival NC State (6-2-2, 1-1) 2-0 for the team's sixth straight win over the Wolfpack, an FSU record versus any ACC opponent. Hermann Trophy candidates Selin Kuralay and India Trotter each scored a goal and Ali Mims recorded her fourth shutout of the year. Mims is now tied for first all-time at FSU with 13 career clean sheets.
"I thought our effort was good and at times we played some decent soccer," said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. "It was a hard fought win on the road versus a good ACC team."
Florida State held a distinct edge in every offensive category Sunday. The Seminoles dominated possession while taking five corners to none for the Pack, out shooting NC State 13-7 and putting two more shots on frame than the Wolfpack as well.
"We were able to keep the ball a little better today than we were Thursday," said Krikorian. "We still have some things to work on like our passing and timing. We saw some good signs."
"I think we were better than previous game," said Trotter when asked about the FSU offense. "We connected and found each other better. Our runs off the ball were better today as well."
For Mims, the shutout was a big milestone. The sixth-year senior keeper now either owns or shares ownership of every major record for a Seminole goalkeeper. She is already the winningest keeper in school history picking up her 35th victory Sunday. Now she is even with Joy McKenzie and Melissa Juhl with 13 career shutouts.
"I didn't realize that record was close but it is always nice to accomplish something like that over your career," said Mims. "A shutout is a team stat but it is great to be in the record books at Florida State with all the great keepers that have played here. Whatever records are broken, you can always contribute more to the team's success and that is what I want to do."
For Kuralay, the junior has now scored a goal in five of Florida State's games this season and she has scored four game-winners. In just over a season the Australian striker has 10 game-winning goals and she is just one away from tying for the career record at Florida State.
"It doesn't really matter because it is all about the team being successful," said Kuralay about the record. "I just want to help the team win and getting those game-winning goals comes from just trying to help this group when they need it the most. I like to step up and try help us win whether that is scoring myself or setting someone else up. It is a team sport."
The goal for Trotter marks her third straight game with a goal. After scoring in the season opener versus Portland, the All-American was held without a goal for four straight games. She has now scored in back-to-back ACC games and her two goals in conference play are already half as many as she had in her previous three years combined.
"I think we are just connecting better up front," said Trotter of her recent success. "We have been making better runs and the passes are more precise. That has been the main difference the last few games."
The Seminole offense showed signs of life right off the bat. In the sixth minute Trotter's aggressiveness almost paid off for FSU. The senior was running shoulder-to-shoulder with a defender trying to get around the corner on the right side. Trotter got around the end but her service was blocked out for a corner kick.
Six minutes later FSU launched another dangerous attack. This time it was Iraia Iturregi who started the play. She made a great move at the top of the 18 to hold the ball and gain a little space. She then played a square ball to Kuralay who ripped a shot just wide of the goal.
Kuralay didn't miss on her next opportunity though as she put FSU up 1-0 at 27:18. Kelly Rowland started the play doing a great job of holding the ball at the top of the 18 with her back to the net. She played a ball back to Becky Edwards who bent her service to the backpost where Kuralay was waiting to bury the header.
"That was a really good ball in by Becky," said Kuralay. "She had a good look. I have been trying to get in behind the backline a little bit more. Trying to penetrate from the middle. A lot of times defenders get caught ball watching in those situations. I was able to get in behind and Becky served a great ball. I was there to finish it off."
"Kelly played the ball back to me," said Edwards. "I knew from our previous games that my teammates wanted that ball served to the backpost. So I hit it with my right foot and bent it so the keeper wouldn't be able to get to it. Sel made me look good."
Just 2:49 seconds out of half, the Seminoles doubled their lead. Once again it was Rowland who helped generate the attack. She and Trotter played a great 1-2 as Rowland delivered the ball right back to Trotter. The senior blasted her shot over top of the keeper and to the backpost.
"We talked about that exact thing at halftime," said Rowland. "India is obviously a very dangerous player running at a defense with the ball. She told me to get to the top of the box and lay it off for the 1-2. That's what we did and it worked out well."
"The coaches told us at half that Kelly needed to post up so we could work the 1-2 combination," said Trotter. "That is exactly what happened. It was a good job on their part and we just made it happen on the field."
About 10 minutes after the Seminole goal, FSU went back on the attack. Katrin Schmidt made a dangerous overlapping run down the wing. Mami Yamaguchi hit her in stride with a wonderful back heel pass. As Schmidt cut towards the box she was chopped down from behind ending the attack.
Two minutes later Iturregi had another dangerous attack. This time she dribbled around in a tight space atop the 18 making three defenders miss. She fired a shot to the right side but the keeper just got her fingers on the ball.
A heavy rain followed and slowed play down for the final part of the match. The skies opened up but then the rain stopped for the final minutes of the game.
Florida State returns to action Thursday for a huge match with No. 8 Virginia. The Seminoles have never defeated the Cavaliers in 14 meetings. The game will be the second Seminole soccer match broadcast live over the Internet. Game Tracker will also be available for the game. For information on streaming video or Game Tracker log on to the official website for Seminole athletics at Seminoles.com.