Sept. 17, 2006
Boca Raton, FL - Boca Raton, FL - No. 1 Florida State remained perfect on the 2006 season with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Florida Atlantic Sunday afternoon in Boca in front of a school record 612 fans. The Seminoles got a goal and an assist from Iraia Iturregi and from hometown hero India Trotter to improve to a perfect 6-0 on the season. The winning streak is the third-longest in school history and the second longest win streak to start a season. With the win over Florida Atlantic (3-3-1), FSU improved to 34-4 this decade versus in-state opponents.
"(FAU Head Coach) Brian (Dooley) and his team are a good group," said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. "They created a couple of problems for us, which we expected. They are well coached, organized and disciplined. They gave themselves a good chance to win the game. I give our kids credit for coming down to a tough environment, working hard and finding a way to win."
Trotter, who grew up playing her club soccer on the fields of FAU had a huge impact on the game in her last regular season appearance in South Florida. She recorded an assist on FSU's first goal and then scored the game-winner in the 63rd-minute. It was the 18th goal of her career and the sixth game-winner. She has now scored three times in her last two games versus the Owls.
"It is a good feeling," said Trotter. "It is always nice to be playing in front of your family and friends and players you grew up playing against. To get a good result in front of familiar faces is nice."
"India is a big time player," said Krikorian. "She has a bright future in front of her. She is going to continue to get better and better. My biggest regret is that she is a senior. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to work with her for a couple more years. She came in here and we needed a big time player to step forward and she did it."
The game was also a coming out party for Spanish National Team player Iturregi. The junior recorded three points on the day as she scored the first goal of her collegiate career and had her first assist as well.
"The first thing is the team winning," said Iturregi. "When the team wins and you score a goal or get an assist, you feel better for contributing to that. Today I was happy to help us win."
The Seminoles controlled play throughout much of the first half and didn't have to wait long to go in front. With just over two minutes gone, FSU broke on top with an opportunistic goal. An FAU turnover in the back led to an uncontested Trotter shot. Owl keeper Megan Coyne came up with the save but she could not control the rebound. The shot came right to Iturregi who buried the rebound for the first goal of her collegiate career. The goal was the quickest scored by the Seminoles this season at 2:36 and the quickest since an own goal versus Maryland at the 2:09 mark October 6 of 2004.
"I thought that we imposed ourselves on the game pretty well early on," said Krikorian. "I thought we had a couple of other chances where we could have scored. We weren't precise enough around the penalty box."
"India shot the ball and I was thinking that the keeper might not hold on to it," said Iturregi. "That is exactly what happened and I was there to finish the goal."
FSU almost got back on the board in the 15th minute on a set piece. Mami Yamaguchi's corner kick was played to the backpost where freshman Onnie Trusty was waiting. The defender's header from about five yards out hit the post.
The Owls didn't really mount their first attack until 21 minutes in but Florida State continued to put the pressure on and had another scoring chance about eight minutes after that and it was a Trusty header once again. This time Sarah Wagenfuhr launched a free kick into the box. Trusty was there with her back to the goal and flicked a header shot on frame but Coyne was there to save the chance.
Florida Atlantic started to turn the tide with about 15 minutes remaining in the half and at 36:37 the effort paid off. Owl junior Alicia Tirelli made a long uncontested run through the Seminole defense and inside the 18. The midfielder fired low past a charging Ali Mims evening the match. It was the first goal ever surrendered by FSU to FAU in three meetings and ended the Seminoles shutout streak at 267:44.
"We are still trying to find our way," said Krikorian. "It is still early in the season for all the teams and obviously we want to clean that up a little bit. The kid made a heck of a run out the back third and right through our midfield. It was a good finish. We have to address that but I give the kid a lot of credit. It was a heck of a run.
"It is a 90:00 game and there are going to be peaks and valleys throughout. We are not going to get too panicked too often. Obviously we had a breakdown. Florida Atlantic took advantage of it and scored a nice goal. We knew in the second half we would come out and basically do the things that made us successful. Keep the ball on the ground, move and try and attack. We want to come out strong in the second half but we knew we had 45:00 to get control of the game and play it at the tempo we wanted."
FSU did just that coming out of the half and ten minutes in the Seminoles had the first chance at breaking the 1-1 tie. Trotter and Selin Kuralay played off one another and Trotter got endline on the left side of the goal. FSU had three attackers in the box and nobody pressuring the ball. Trotter bent her service to the backpost but it was over all three Seminoles.
In the 62nd minute the Seminoles almost broke the tie once again. Becky Edwards came down the right wing and served a great ball to Kuralay at the top of the 18. The junior worked herself free and fired a shot. The strike was blocked but still rolled just wide of the post.
Just minutes later FSU broke back on top. Iturregi continued to have an impressive day. The junior from Spain collected a pass outside the 18 down the right side. She muscled her way past the defender and sent a great driven service into the box about eight yards out where Trotter re-directed the pass past new keeper Jessica Badders.
"After they scored the first thought is to react, respond," said Trotter. "They scored now it is up to us to get it back. You can't take it back. You can't go back in time. All you can do is react or respond to it.
"I saw Iraia get in. She was able to get endline. There was nobody really in the box so I decided to make a run and was in position to finish it."
Mami Yamaguchi came close to extending the Seminole lead in the 72nd minute. The play started with Toby Ranck's run to the endline. The senior's cross was cleared out to Yamaguchi at the top of the 18. The midfielder hit a shot with the outside of her left foot off the crossbar.
Top ranked Florida State returns to action Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. versus fifth-ranked North Carolina as both teams open conference play. The game will be nationally televised on the Fox Soccer Channel and it is the first meeting between the squads since their epic NCAA quarterfinal meeting last season. The Seminoles and Tar Heels were picked to finish first and second in the preseason ACC coaches' poll. Game Tracker will be available for the game at Seminoles.com, the official athletic website for Florida State University.