Nov. 4, 2009
CARY, N.C. - Third-ranked Florida State (15-3-1) registered a pair of second half goals including the game-winner from Tiffany McCarty in the 71st minute as the Seminoles went on to post a 2-0 victory over Duke (8-8-4) in the opening game of the ACC Women's Soccer Championship.
FSU moved to 2-0-0 all-time against Duke in the ACC Tournament while pushing its unbeaten streak to five straight over the Blue Devils.
McCarty, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, broke a scoreless tie half way through the second half timing her run perfectly on a through ball by Amanda DaCosta. With Duke keeper Tara Campbell charging on the play, McCarty made a nice move to her left to beat the Blue Devil net minder before slotting a low liner inside the right post for her team leading 16th goal of the season.
The goal was McCarty's fourth in the last four games as she has now been responsible for the last four Florida State goals dating back to the Seminoles 2-0 victory over NC State on October 25.
"The quality of the ball was very good," said McCarty. "I ran on to it, composed myself and finished it. The pass from Amanda was a higher ball so I wasn't surprised to see their keeper charging on the play. I expected her to be there. When I saw her, I took a touch around her and made sure to find the back of the net."
The Seminoles extended their lead in the 86th minute thanks to an own goal. Off a Florida State throw-in, Jessica Price send a long pass into the box that deflected off the head of a Duke defender and into the back of the net giving FSU a 2-0 lead.
"Obviously a hard fought game," said head coach Mark Krikorian. "In the first half, I felt we had pretty good possession of the ball while maintaining good rhythm. We had some pretty good chances but just couldn't finish. Overall, I felt the first half was a good half for us. The second half was a little more sluggish for us; we didn't have as much rhythm as I would have liked to have seen."
Duke had its scoring chances in the second half but had them thwarted away by FSU goalkeeper Erin McNulty.
"T-Mac timed her run nicely on a ball by DaCosta and eluded the goalkeeper for a nice finish. Erin was strong in the goal and I felt she held us together quite well."
Elisabeth Redmond had a one-on-one opportunity against McNulty in the 59th minute, but the Seminole keeper made a diving save on a low-liner to keep the game knotted at zero.
In the 84th minute, the Blue Devil's Kendall Bradley sent a dangerous cross into the box that McNulty went up to grab but was knocked to the ground by a Duke player trying to make a play on the ball. With no foul called on the play, Carey Goodman ran on to the loose ball and sent a shot wide of the net from 10 yards out.
McNulty made her final save of the game with exactly two minutes remaining in the game on a shot by Nicole Lipp to record her fourth shutout of the season.
FSU's first scoring chance came in the 15th minute as Toni Pressley fired a shot on goal that was tipped over the crossbar by Campbell. Pressley made a long run down the middle of the field to create the scoring opportunity off a pass from Ines Jaurena.
In the 17th minute, McCarty made a great move sliding the ball in between the legs of a Duke defender before a sending a shot that ricocheted off the far post.
Off a Florida State corner, Casey Short sent a header on goal that was poked out by Campbell on the far post. The rebound went to Price as her shot was saved off the line by a Duke defender.
Duke looked as though they would take the lead into the break as Goodman went top shelf to find the back of the net. But after a brief discussion with the sideline official, the head referee disallowed the goal as the ball did not cross the plane of the goal line before time expired.
"We had some opportunities throughout the first half and unfortunately, couldn't finish," added Krikorian. "Duke played aggressively. At halftime, they probably felt they were very much in the game, which they were. I can't say that I was nervous, I was more concerned with our defending and our positioning."
Florida State finished the game outshooting Duke 22-11, while maintaining an 11-3 advantage in corner kicks. McCarty and Rachel Lim led the Seminoles with four shots a piece.
The Seminoles advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the seventh time in school history and for the fourth time in the last five years. FSU evened its record to 6-6-3 all-time in first round action of the tournament while moving to 8-12-5 all-time.
The Garnet and Gold will face the winner of Virginia Tech and Wake Forest on Friday, November 6 at 5:00 p.m.