Sept. 4, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Fifth-ranked Florida State (4-0-0) kept its unbeaten streak alive in 2009 with a thrilling 2-1 victory over 10th-ranked Penn State (2-2-0) Friday evening in front of a packed crowd of 1,388 at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Junior Rachel Lim registered the game-winner with less than 10 minutes left in the second half to give the Seminoles the victory.
The win was FSU's second straight over Penn State and first over a ranked opponent this year. With a record of 4-0, Florida State starts the season with four straight victories for the fourth time in school history, all coming under the direction of head coach Mark Krikorian.
"We had two strong teams coming out here facing off against each other," Krikorian said. "We feel good to come away with a result tonight and get the victory. We were certainly pushed and tested and we have some things we have to get back and work on."
After a scoreless first half in which both teams combined for six shots, the two teams came out of the locker room and turned up the offensive intensity.
Florida State struck first in the 58th minute on a goal by sophomore Tori Huster. Following a throw-in by Jessica Price, Becky Edwards won the ball with a nice header flicking a pass inside the left box where Huster collected the ball and one-timed a shot passed Penn State keeper Alyssa Naeher and inside the left post for her second goal of the season.
Less than four minutes later, the Nittany Lions were on the attack but FSU goalkeeper Erin McNulty came up with a diving save on a shot by Danielle Toney. Toney used her speed to separate herself from the Seminole defense, but a smart, diving play by McNulty kept the Seminole lead intact.
A brilliant save off the line by a Penn State defender kept the lead at one in the 69th minute. Price got in behind the Nittany Lion defense off a long pass down the left side of the pitch by Toni Pressley. Price dribbled towards the end line beating a couple defenders before shooting a pass back towards the top of the box to Amanda DaCosta. DaCosta one-timed a shot from about 17 yards out but the shot was saved off the left post by a PSU defender.
Penn State came up with another team save in the 77th minute denying a header by Lauren Switzer off a Seminole corner.
The Nittany Lions finally found the back of the net with just over 10 minutes to play to tie the game at 1-1. Following a series of touch passes by Katie Schoepfer and Christine Nairn from the top of the 18 yard box, Toney went down the left side towards the end line before chipping a shot from 6 yards outs into the back of the net for her third goal of the season.
The goal was the first allowed by the Seminoles this year snapping the consecutive scoreless minutes streak at 349:17.
The lead was short lived as the Seminoles went right back in front just 58 seconds later. Following a Seminole corner kick, Penn State attempted to clear the ball out of the zone. The ball went right to Lim, who collected the pass and drilled a brilliant shot from 25 yards out inside the right corner for the goal. The score was Lim's third of the season and second career game-winning goal.
"Not exactly," she answered to whether or not she knew she had scored. "Everything happened in slow motion."
"The fact that they came back and scored and then we came back and responded was big," Krikorian added. "Limmy's goal was magnificent. A quality strike in a difficult situation; we are pleased that our team responded as they did."
Switzer had a good look on goal in the 82nd minute but her shot went just wide of the right post.
Penn State had one last chance to tie the game for the second time on Friday but McNulty came up with another big save tipping a shot by Nikki Watts off the crossbar and out of bounds. The ensuing corner by the Nittany Lions went by the way side.
Florida State finished the game out shooting Penn State 16-9. The Seminoles also held a 12-3 advantage in corner kicks. McNulty played all 90 minutes in goal to pick up her fourth win of the season.
"When you play good teams your goalkeeper is going to have to come out and do a good job for you to steal a ball out of the net or two," Krikorian said of his keeper Erin McNulty. "I thought Penn State put some decent chances at her and she handled them pretty well."
"I think it was good for me to see where I am at and what I need to work on," McNulty said.
Tiffany McCarty led the Seminoles with four shots on Friday night as all four shots were on frame.
Florida State remains at home to face Washington State on Sunday, September 6 at 1:00 p.m., as the game will broadcast live on Sun Sports. Following the game, kids in attendance are encouraged to stick around for a free Youth Skills Clinic sponsored by the Seminole Soccer program. As always, fans can also follow Seminole Soccer action all season long on gametracker, Twitter and Facebook.