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Florida State Advances To Championship Final With 5-2 Win over Wake Forest
Courtesy: Seminoles.com
Release: 11/09/2007
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Nov. 9, 2007

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Lake Buena Vista, Fla. - Third-seeded Florida State (13-4-3) used four second half goals en route to a 5-2 victory over second-seeded Wake Forest (12-6-3) in the second semifinal game of the 2007 ACC Women's Soccer Championship at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Junior Mami Yamaguchi and sophomore Lauren Switzer each scored two goals as the Seminoles advanced to the championship final for the second straight year and for the third time in the last five years.

"I am really happy with our performance tonight," said head coach Mark Krikorian. "We were pretty good in the first half and controlled the tempo of the game pretty well. In the second half, we made some adjustments, came out and were able to score a quick one. Overall, I was pleased with the performance of our team."

The win over Wake Forest on Friday night avenged a 3-2 loss to the Demon Deacons back on October 25 in Winston-Salem. The Seminoles remained perfect against the Deacs in the ACC Tournament running their all-time record to 2-0-2.

The five goal performance by the Seminoles is the most scored in a tournament game since a 7-2 victory over Maryland in the first round back in 2001.

"First of all, this felt so great to avenge a loss from earlier in the season," stated Libby Gianeskis. "It felt great to get the win over Wake Forest and get back to the ACC finals. As a senior, it's not only a personal goal, but a team goal to win an ACC Championship. Obviously, we are very pleased with the way we played today. We hope we can bring the same focus and intensity into Sunday's final against North Carolina."

Florida State struck first in the 15th minute on a goal by ACC Offensive Player of the Year Mami Yamaguchi. The play started as freshman Sanna Talonen fed Yamaguchi streaking down the middle of the field following a goal kick by Demon Deacon keeper Laura Morse. Morse came out to disrupt the break away by Yamaguchi but the Tokyo, Japan native slipped the ball behind the keeper, took a few dribbles to her left and sent a cross into the lower right corner of a wide open net for a 1-0 lead. Talonen was credited with an assist on the play, while the goal was Yamaguchi's 20th of the season.

Although Florida State held the halftime lead, Wake Forest ended the first half out shooting the Seminoles 6-3, while maintaining a 4-2 corner kick advantage. Bess Harrington led the Deacs with three shots in the first half.

It took the Seminoles less then two minutes into the start of the second half to add to their lead as Yamaguchi registered her fifth multi-goal game of the season with her second goal of the evening. Freshman Amanda DaCosta took a long dribble down the left side of the pitch and sent a beautiful cross into the box where Yamaguchi one-timed a shot into the back of the net passed Amanda Barasha, who entered the game at the start of the half. Yamaguchi made a great finish off the pass as she received it in the middle of the box from six yards out to push the Seminole lead to 2-0. The assist was DaCosta's eighth of the season.

"Tonight was great," said Yamaguchi. "We played our style of soccer and just finished our chances. It was a lot of fun out there tonight. At the beginning of the second half, AD (Amanda DaCosta) was awesome. She made a nice pass and I had to finish. I felt that goal was a huge motivator for us."

Yamaguchi and DaCosta would hook up again in the 54th minute, this time it was DaCosta with the goal. Yamaguchi sent a long pass down the right side of the pitch to DaCosta as she beat a Wake defender to the ball. The freshman midfielder made a quick move to her left and one-timed a shot from just inside the box to give FSU a 3-0 lead. Yamaguchi was credited with the assist on the play, her team-leading 10th of the season.

In a span of seven and a half minutes, the Garnet and Gold would pad their lead to 5-0 on a pair of goals by sophomore transfer Lauren Switzer. Switzer was on the receiving end of a great ball served in by senior Kirsten van de Ven. Van de Ven snuck a pass just beyond the out stretched leg of a Wake defender where Switzer was there to take care of the rest. The St. Charles, Ill., native dribbled toward the end line where she sent a shot past the diving Barasha and into the lower right corner for her first goal of the season. Annie Stalzer and van de Ven registered assists on the play.

"What a relief," stated Switzer on scoring her first two goals of the season. "I am just glad that we are starting to pick up our play here at the end of the season."

In the 71st minute, Switzer struck again looping a ball over the head of the Wake keeper from about 12 yards out.

The Seminoles made a keeper change following the fifth goal of the evening as Kate Milstead entered the game replacing starter Erin McNulty. McNulty did not allow a goal while posting three saves.

Wake Forest would add two late goals by Laura Colven and Maggie Horne, but it wasn't enough as the Seminoles will advance to Sunday's championship final where they will face top-seeded North Carolina.

"Getting into the finals is something that we are proud of," explained Krikorian. "We positioned ourselves to play for an ACC Championship and that is what we will do on Sunday. I feel very good about the result against Boston College and then again tonight. It seems like we are peaking at the right time and hopefully Sunday's game will help prepare us for the NCAA Tournament."

It marks the second straight year that these two schools will square-off for the conference title as the Tar Heels defeated the Seminoles 2-1 in overtime last year in Cary, N.C.

Earlier this season, North Carolina came back from a goal down in the second half to beat FSU 2-1 in an overtime contest played in Tallahassee.

Both Florida State and Wake Forest registered 12 shots Friday night, while Wake held the corner kick advantage at 9-2.

Sunday's championship final will be televised live on Sun Sports and Fox Sports Net South with coverage beginning at 1:00 pm. Fans can also watch the game over the internet as gametracker will also be available for the event.

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