Sept. 28, 2006
Tallahassee, FL - Usually when Florida State and Virginia play it is a close game. Each of the last eight regular season meetings between the two premier programs was a one-goal game. The problem for FSU is that they were on the losing end of each and every one of those close matches. Not only did FSU lose every regular season game with the Cavaliers they lost six of those games in the final 10:00. Thursday night that did not happen. While FSU (7-1-1, 1-1-1) may not have gotten the program's first ever win over Virginia (7-2-2, 2-0-1), the Seminoles did not leave the game with a broken heart as the two squads battled to a 0-0 double overtime draw.
"This isn't a loss, that's about all we can say," said senior All-American India Trotter. "Next time we come out we just have to finish some goals and hopefully get the win."
Opportunities on the opponent's goal were few and far between for both teams. The squads each put just four shots on goal in 110 minutes of play and much of that credit has to go to both defenses. The Florida State and Virginia backlines were both very difficult for the offense to solve on the night.
"I really liked our shape, I really thought our defending was pretty good," said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. "In the first half we were outstanding. In the second half we may have been a little bit fatigued and some seams opened a little more than the first half but on balance it was a good performance by our group."
The match was about as even as you can get statistically. Florida State held a slight edge in shots at 15-13 while Virginia took three corners to two for FSU. Both keepers were forced to make four saves and each side had a quality chance or two to win the match.
"I thought it was a good game between two good teams playing nice soccer," said Krikorian. "There was a lot of organization in the defending both ways. We had a couple chances but you know we didn't finish the chances. That's how the game goes. I thought we had a couple of chances. I thought they had a couple of chances. That's how the game goes. Probably 0-0 was a fair score tonight."
"It is fun to play against another team that plays soccer," said Sarah Wagenfuhr on the similar style FSU and Virginia play. "You know you won't be doing sprints, you get to have fun and play."
While the scoreboard didn't get much of a workout, the night was special for senior Ali Mims who recorded a school-record 14th shutout of her career. The six-year senior has now recorded five clean sheets on the year and shutout back-to-back ACC opponents.
"I think the back four did a good job of communicating today and it was nice to be a part of Ali getting a record," said Wagenfuhr. "We all knew our responsibilities of not letting them in behind us and keeping players wide. We all did a very good job tonight defensively."
While the Seminole defense was stellar, the offense continued to struggle to put up goals. This was the fourth straight game where FSU was unable to score against Virginia as the team has now gone 410:41 without a goal in games versus UVA.
"We played very well today but it was hard because they are very good and play a similar style of soccer to us," said Trotter. "You keep saying to yourself the only thing you can do is finish the ball to change the game. It was a step up for us. We played well. I just think their back four is phenomenal. They are a good group. I played with them growing up. I just think if we had made a better final pass a few times we could have put one in. Give them some credit."
"I certainly think that is a credit to them. Their organization and defending," said Krikorian. "We had a couple of chances. You have to have concentration in the penalty box, take your chances and finish them. I think it is as much about us as it is about them."
The game started as even as it ended. The first 15:00 were played strictly between the 18's. The first sign of any offense was a Virginia corner kick in the 14th minute.
It took 32 minutes until either side had a shot and it came on maybe Florida State's best chance of the night. Becky Edwards played Trotter into the Virginia box. The senior got in alone with UVA keeper Christina de Vries. Trotter drove her shot low to the near post but de Vries just got a finger on the shot to push it wide.
The only other serious chance of the first half came on a Kelly Rowland shot. The senior made a run to about 25 yards from goal. She tried to loft a shot over the top of de Vries but the shot was just a little high and over the top.
The Seminoles came out in the second half and for the first five minutes applied a lot of pressure to the Cavaliers. Just five minutes in Trotter got another chance when she took a shot from 20 yards from goal and she too tried to go over the top of de Vries and once again the ball landed atop the net just over the crossbar.
"In the first half it was a little hard to figure out for the backs and the forwards," said Wagenfuhr. "The forwards were obviously having a hard time connecting. We talked about it at half and figured it out. What kind of runs to make. To get the ball wide and I think we did better in the second half."
After a dominating start to the half for FSU, Virginia came right back and started to control the play for the next five minutes except for one serious FSU chance that came on an Iraia Iturregi service. The junior whipped a ball into the box that Selin Kuralay nudged to the far post but the glancing header went just wide.
The first shot of the game for Virginia came in the 57th minute but it was FSU that still was manufacturing the most dangerous chances. In the 67th minute Trotter waited on her run and received a ball at the back post at a very sharp angle. The senior tried to squeeze the shot between de Vries and the near post but she hit the side netting.
With just over a minute left in regulation Rowland once again tried to test de Vries over the top but once again the shot was just a little too high as the game moved into extra time for the first time in the series since a four OT game in the 2001 ACC Tournament semi-finals.
Virginia had the most dangerous opportunity of the first overtime and it came just under a minute in. Kara Frederick caught Mims just a step off her line and decided to chip a shot over the keeper and to the backpost. Mims was unable to catch up to the shot which hit off the crossbar and bounced out.
The best chance for FSU in the first OT period came with less than one minute on the clock. This time it was Rowland who played a great diagonal ball into Kuralay. The junior got in on the right side and ripped a shot that hit de Vries right in the chest.
Florida State returns to action Sunday versus Virginia Tech (5-4-1, 1-2-0) Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Live radio and Game Tracker will both be available for the game. For information on streaming audio or Game Tracker log on to the official website for Seminole athletics at Seminoles.com.