Nov. 30, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida State is headed back to the Women's College Cup for the third consecutive season and for the fourth time in five years defeating Connecticut 3-2 in double overtime Friday evening in front of a jammed back crowd of 1,703 at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Freshman Sanna Talonen capped off an incredible evening scoring the golden goal in the 104th minute for her third goal of the evening and second hat trick of the tournament.
The Seminoles fought back from a goal down twice in the match before Talonen capped off the come-from-behind victory with a diving header into the lower right corner to give Florida State its first overtime victory of the season. The win also kept the Seminoles perfect at home in the NCAA Tournament running their all-time record to 14-0-0.
The victory was the first over Connecticut in this the third meeting between the two teams. All three meetings have come in the NCAA Tournament.
Connecticut was first to strike in the quarterfinal match scoring just 3:51 into the match as Brittany Tegeler scored off a corner kick for her third goal of the season. Meghan Schnur sent a bending ball into the box where Tegeler connected from 15 yards out to give the Huskies an early 1-0 lead. The goal was the first allowed by the Seminoles in the postseason snapping FSU's scoreless streak in the tournament at 324:34 which dated back to last year's semifinal match against Notre Dame.
Florida State drew even in the 18th on Talonen's first goal of the evening. Junior Katrin Schmidt sent a cross to Mami Yamaguchi who one-timed a shot from 14 yards out. Huskie keeper Stephanie Labbe made a diving save to her left, but was unable to control the ball as Talonen was there to put away the rebound to tie the game at one. The assist was Yamaguchi's seventh of the tournament.
The Huskies took their second lead of the game on a goal from Annie Yi at 57:47 in the second half. Yi took a long dribble down the middle of the field and fired a shot from just outside the box. The ball found the back of the net for an unassisted goal to give UConn its second lead of the evening at 2-1.
With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Talonen brought the Seminoles even once again deflecting a shot into the back of the net off a pass from Schmidt. Yamaguchi and Schmidt played a give and go from the left corner of the box allowing Schmidt enough room to fire a shot on goal. With Labbe falling to her right to make a save, Talonen was there to redirect the shot for her second goal of the game.
After 90 minutes of action, the two teams would head into overtime tied at 2-2. Both teams each registered a shot on goal in the first overtime period with either team able to find the back of the net. In the second extra frame, the Seminoles outshot the Huskies 5-0 but no shot was sweeter than Talonen's diving header for the game-winner. Schmidt send a beautiful cross to the far post where Talonen came rushing in to find the lower right corner of the net for the game-winner, her team-leading sixth of the season.
The goal was Talonen's 17th of the season and seventh goal of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
Florida State outshot Connecticut 23-12 for the game, while each team took three corner kicks apiece. Labbe made 10 saves on Friday night, while Seminole goalkeeper Erin McNulty made three saves.
The Seminoles will now advance to the Women's College Cup in College Station, Texas where they will meet Notre Dame in the semifinals, a rematch of last year's semifinal game in Cary, N.C. The Irish defeated Florida State 2-1 last year, before falling to North Carolina 2-1 in the championship game.
FLORIDA STATE QUOTES
Head Coach Mark Krikorian:
On the game in general:
Well that was one exciting college soccer game. I think at different moments during the season we had defining moments and I think we had a couple of them tonight. We got down by a goal, we fought back to equalize, got down by a goal the second time, fought back to equalize, and of course had the finish at the end to assist us moving forward to another final four. UConn came in here and put up a heck of a fight. Well-coached, organized discipline, hard-working team. We had to work as hard as we could to get this win.
On making it to the third straight College Cup:
"We've asked the kids to come in every day, work hard, just a very professional approach by the players. We believe that if you have good fundamentals and if you have good habits, you do things the right way, that in the end you'll be rewarded. I think tonight we played good soccer. And at the end of the day we were rewarded for the soccer that we played. I'll leave it to others to look and analyze what it means in terms of three Final Fours, three College Cups. We're all excited. What's happened in the past has happened in the past we're focused on what's going on now. We look forward to a re-match. I understand that we'll be facing Notre Dame and we're excited about that."
On the aggressiveness of the game:
"I thought it was physical but I thought the referee did a fine job. I thought he controlled the game very nicely, when there were fouls he blew the whistle both ways. But that's this time of year. I mean you're fighting for your lives and a chance to go the final four, I thought our players battled as hard as they could, I thought the Connecticut kids did as well. In my mind I thought this was an epic soccer classic, between two teams that jiust didn't want to lose. Our kids fortunately for all of us in the end found a way to get the ball in and get the result.
"Well I thought that they did a very good job of compacting the space and eliminating the opportunities for us to get to the goal, but I do think also we did create a number of decent chances where maybe if we're a little more precise, maybe we finish those chances. We had one or two that were called back for offside, which again that's small details and if we're a little bit better on our timing of our movement, the ball's in the back of the net and the game comes easier to us. But I thought that we had enough chances we probably could have scored a couple of earlier goals to make the game easier for us. But I tell you what, their first goal was absolutely fantastic. As I said to the kids at half time, that's the kind of goal you go and pat the kid on the other team on the back and say that's a great goal and you move on. I felt that our attacking was pretty good for an awful long period of the game, at this stage of the tournament you don't expect to go and win 3, 4, 5 to zero. If you can squeeze out a result in some fashion, whether it be in overtime or penalty kicks or whatever it is, you smile at each other and move on."
"We're playing total soccer, our outside backs can go ahead and go forward and we'll balance back and protect the space with other players. But it very easily could have been Sutton serving that ball in, and Sanna [Talonen] getting on the end of it. We want to play beautiful soccer. Part of the reason that [Amanda DaCosta] is here and the other kids are here and Sanna is here, is because they want to become better technical players. They want the ball on the ground and I thought for the first three or four minutes of the game we absolutely played beautiful soccer. Then they go down to the other end of the field and get a corner kick and we're down one nothing before we even blink. Then we came and established a rhythm again through much of the first half. Part of our philosophy is, we want to play attacking soccer. I mean yeah sometimes you leave yourself open here and there, but we want to make the game and develop the game. [Schmidt] is an attacking midfield player who was playing in the back and she's developing into one of the best left backs as a defender that there is in the country, her attacking quality is second to none, so we could be having the best of both worlds in her. And Sutton is also a midfield player who's now taking the role as a right back and her defending is fantastic now too. She can lead the attack just as easily, so we think that we're pretty multidimensional right now whether it be with our outside backs, our outside midfield, or our central players--[DaCosta] and [Kirsten] van de Ven aren't half bad either."
#13 Amanda DaCosta
On teammate Katrin Schmidt:
I think she's great. Coach said it so many times, she plays like outside midfielder. She gets up and down the field creating our capping. We attack a lot with Erica Sutton and [Katrin] both on the outside back, they start everything up for us. She takes people inside, opens up everything, people can't handle her technicality."
On the game in general:
"I definitely think it was a roller coaster. They came out like Coach said, that was a heck of a shot. We're not used to being down--especially on our home field, especially in the past games we've played. We really had to fight and come back and it was a battle. We tied it, they were up again, we were only up--the first time we were up was at the end of the game. So it was definitely a game of inches, it just came down to that last second."
On UConn scoring a goal in the fourth minute of the game:
"I thought it was a pretty big surprise, because like Coach said we were playing really well at the beginning of the game. We had a complete hold on it and then they just came down in our end--corner kick, good shot and we're down one nothing. But I think at the same time we knew `Okay, this doesn't happen, we've got to get back,' and that's what we did."
#7 Kartrin Schmidt:
On the game-winning assist:
"I had the ball outside the box on the side and I just tried to serve the ball in and Sanna did a great job getting it in.
On going to her third-straight College Cup:
"It's amazing, I'm so excited. Today was such a hard game and you could see how everyone fought for each other and wanted to win that game. I think we showed character and we deserve to go to the College Cup. Having been there twice, I want to get further now."
Coach Len Tsanantiris:
Opening statement: "Well it was a good game for both teams. Our kids worked really hard, we got ahead a couple of times. Unfortunately we gave up that second goal. That was tough but we did play, we pushed forward. We thought we were going to get another one but they got a great goal in the end, that's the way it goes. I think for our kids traveling from the west coast to the east coast and back and south in the span of two weeks, they did a great job. The tempo--defending, going forward, fighting for the ball--it was great and overall. That's the way it is in the Elite 8. You've got two good teams going at each other. It was a great game."
"Overall we did okay defending. I think we disrupted them a lot. I mean, 11 [Mami Yamaguchi] did not really do the stuff that she normally does. And number 25 [Sanna Talonen] she was not that free to go. I think what happens is with the backs coming forward--which is not a problem, it should have been to our advantage really. But if we played them again I think it would be to our advantage--we're going to counter. And I think we did that, but what happened was, we didn't get that high tempo going forward at the right time, we did it a couple of times but not consistent. If somebody does that consistent it's going to be a problem and the other thing that we normally don't do, we normally don't give up the ball that much. And I think it's a tribute to them for coming forward and disrupting our play as well. But to answer your question, I mean every team is different and I know my team, I can't tell somebody else how to play. Every team is different."
"We were ahead most times. We should have won this game. That's the cruelty of the game. We scored the goal for them, the second goal. Maybe they should have scored on the play before that the keeper made a great save, and when I saw that I thought maybe we're going to win here. The other team has got to do what they've got to do and we've got to do what we're good at. If I'm going to take something out, we could have done two things better: keep the ball--I thought we defended very well. They only scored one good goal. Usually this team scores good goals--we watch them, we know how they score goals. But they got two goals that they normally don't score. Defensively we did very well everywhere. We disrupted them. They were not very comfortable, 11 [Mami Yamaguchi] was not very comfortable today. I think that's what gave room to number 7 [Katrin Schmidt] to go and she's a good player and she did a lot of good things for the team. The things that we did not do is that we could have kept the ball better and we could attack quickly--we could attack in the restraining line. We didn't get our players there quick enough. We made a lot of changes, we almost got it. We changed and we had a lot of diversity on our team and that I don't know it maybe was the day, maybe was the travel, I don't know what it was but we did not do that. Had we done that well maybe it's a different game because at this stage of the game you've got to perform at a high level and do it consistent throughout the game and I didn't think we did that."
#11 Meghan Schnur:
"I think that they do a good job. They're obviously a very technical team and they like to attack with every player. I think that that's something that's difficult to play against. It's hard when we're trying to clear the ball out and it goes to their center back and she dribbles up the field. It's something we're not accustomed to. But they did a good job and they're a great team and we wish them luck."
On the contribution of Katrin Schmidt:
"She contributed very much. I think no matter what, on any team, even if you take our team for example and any team across the country, when you have an outside back who can come forward it's obviously an advantage and it kind of sets the opposing defense off guard because they're not used to having this extra attacker come forward and I think she did a good job. We just gave her a little too much room to the inside, because she's definitely right-footed--she got the ball every time and cut it to her right. Where we had a problem is when we forgot mentally that we had to push her left and make her use her left foot. She did do a good job, but if we saw her again maybe it would be a little different, but I think we could have done a little better job getting our outside backs forward too."
#24 Karyn Riviere
On their experience in the NCAA Tournament:
"I think, looking back on it, it's been tough. But we never made any excuses. I mean from day one we knew it was going to be a hard road. Our first game was BC, I mean that's not an easy game and we fought and fought and fought. That's one way our team's been different than past years because we always found some way to make an excuse why we lost--why we lost at home, first round, second round--I mean we fought time and time again away and I think that sets us apart from this year."