Sept. 8, 2006
Tallahassee, FL - With a record crowd 3,000 above listed capacity, 4,582 fans packed the Seminole Soccer Complex, the hills in the stadium and the parking garage across the street Friday night. They weren't disappointed. Selin Kuralay's goal from 30 yards out with less than three minutes remaining in the first half was the only score in the game as No. 1 Florida State (4-0) downed No. 24 Florida (2-2-1) 1-0. It was the first shutout ever recorded by FSU in the series and it gives Florida State six wins in the last nine meetings between the rivals.
"I thought for the first 60:00 we played pretty good," said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. "I think after that we took the foot off the gas a little bit. Give credit to Florida. I thought they increased their intensity. It was probably a combination of them imposing themselves on the game and us maybe not concentrating as much towards the end."
"To get a win over the Gators in your senior year is special," said FSU All-American India Trotter. "Florida put up a great fight. It was a great game, great crowd, great atmosphere. It was a 1-0 game and Sel's shot was amazing. What a night."
Kuralay's goal came on FSU's final shot of the first half and with just 2:57 on the clock. The junior buried a shot to the backpost, upper 90 from 30 yards out. It was the third goal for the Australian versus the Gators in two games and she is now third all-time in career game-winning goals.
"I saw (their keeper) off the line," said Kuralay. "Last year's keeper also did the same thing. I think they get a bit confident. I spotted her off her line and tried to bend it in over the top of her. This is a big rivalry so it is nice to be able to help my team out in these games."
"That was a nice goal," said Krikorian. "She's capable of striking balls from different distances and angles. I thought she took her chance very well. It is a ball that I don't think can be saved."
Last season Kuralay scored the first two goals for FSU in Gainesville versus the Gators. One was on another long range shot. With her game-winner in Friday's game, Kuralay joins former Seminole Jez Ratliff as the only FSU players to ever score three career goals versus UF.
"It was a different kind of goal but it was similar to the long distance strike from last year," said Krikorian. "We know she can do that against any team. It was a heck of a strike. Anytime someone hits one of those balls, on our team or the opponent, you pat them on the back and tell them well done. Then you move on."
In a game that was decidedly different from last year's six-goal match, Ali Mims and the Florida State defense were in the spotlight Friday night. It was the first time Florida State had ever held the Gators scoreless in a game and it has now been 150:50 since the last time a Gator scored versus Florida State.
"Getting a shutout feels pretty good," said Florida State sophomore defender Katrin Schmidt. "When Florida was able to break us down in the back, Ali (Mims) was there and did a great job. It was a great game."
The clean sheet was the 11th in Mims' career. She is now just three away from establishing a new career mark at Florida State. Although she is still behind two former keepers, she is the only one who will be able to say one of her shutouts came against Florida.
"Shutting out Florida is a great accomplishment for this team," said Mims, a sixth-year senior. "I just felt this was a complete team effort tonight. The shutout was just the icing on the cake. The defense played awesome tonight. We had a couple lapses. We bent but didn't break."
The fact that FSU's first shutout of the Gators coincided with the return of Sarah Wagenfuhr, wasn't lost on her teammates or coach. The sophomore returned home from Russia where she was playing in the FIFA World Championships with the US U-20's. The freshman All-American missed the first three games of the season while playing with her country.
"I think we adjusted very well to having Wags back and it happened pretty quickly as well," said Schmidt. "She started every game in the middle last year so we are familiar together. She did a great job."
"I think it was an adjustment for Wags coming back from Russia just a few days ago," said Krikorian. "I don't think this will be her best performance on the year but she was good when she needed to be. She won a number of balls and made some good hard tackles. We are pretty confident she will be a pretty good player for the next three years."
The largest soccer crowd in Florida State history began to arrive an hour before game time when a crowd was gathered outside the gates and the Seminole faithful didn't stop showing up all night. The 4,582 fans beat FSU's previous record of 1,912 set last season versus North Carolina. It was the second largest crowd to ever watch an FSU/UF soccer game. The record was set in Gainesville in 1999 when 4,745 showed up to watch the first match of the season for each team.
"This crowd was simply amazing," said Trotter. "It is always great to play at home but I would never have imagined 4,500 people showing up. Are you kidding? They are all behind you and you want to play well for them to thank them for coming out to the game."
"The crowd was magnificent," said Krikorian. "They came out and showed their affection for our team. The home crowd advantage was certainly felt tonight. Our players feel very good about themselves tonight and that has a lot to do with this wonderful support we received."
Top ranked Florida State returns to action Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. versus UCF. The game is at 7:00 p.m. at the Seminole Soccer Complex. It will be broadcast by SUN Sports and there will be no admission charge for the match. A live radio broadcast will be available for the game as well as Game Tracker at Seminoles.com, the official athletic website for Florida State University.