Nov. 23, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida State topped Texas 4-0 Friday evening at the Seminole Soccer Complex in front of a crowd of 1,091, the second largest home crowd this season. Freshman Sanna Talonen recorded her fifth game-winner of the season, while National Player of the Year candidate Mami Yamaguchi tallied her 11th multi-point game of the season with a goal and two assists. The Seminoles remained perfect at home in the postseason pushing their all-time record to 13-0-0.
It was the first meeting between the two teams and the first against a Big XII opponent in postseason play. With the win, the Seminoles advance to play in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third straight year.
"I thought our team defended very well limiting Texas to a few chances and I thought we were quite dynamic in the attack," said head coach Mark Krikorian. "Beautiful possession plays at times, attacking a variety of ways out of the back through the midfield, up front and a combination play in a lot of areas. Overall when you're sitting here advancing to the final eight you have to feel good. We got through it without any injuries. Now we move on and wait for the results from Stanford and Connecticut and we start our preparation for them later tonight or tomorrow."
"I'm so excited to have come this far from playing the first game against Portland to now," said senior Holly Peltzer. "We've just come so far, we're so excited. We're playing well, we're playing like we would like to and that's all we can ask for."
Florida State had its chances early as Talonen sent a header off the far post 41 seconds into the game. Freshman Marissa Kazbour sent a pass into Talonen from the left side of the field. The header by Talonen beat Texas keeper Dianna Pfenninger but it caromed off the right post and was cleared out of the zone by the Longhorn defense.
After several near misses in the early goings, the Seminoles finally broke through with a goal by Talonen in the 38th minute off an assist from Katrin Schmidt. The Tampere, Finland native took a nice ball from Schmidt, dribbled two touches to her right and sent a bending ball into the right corner of the net just beyond the outreached hands of Pfenninger. The goal was Talonen's 14th of the season and fourth of the tournament.
Talonen led all players on Friday night with seven shots, followed by Schmidt with six.
The Seminoles took a 1-0 lead into halftime maintaining a 15-3 shot advantage.
Similar to their second round victory over LSU, the Seminoles came out of the locker room on fire exploding for three second half goals. Florida State took a 2-0 advantage just a minute and 47 seconds into the second period as Yamaguchi scored her team leading 23 goal of the season. Senior Holly Peltzer sent a beautiful cross to the far post that cleared the Longhorn defense and right to Yamaguchi who was there with a well placed header into the lower left corner. The assist was Peltzer's first of the season.
"That second goal I thought just killed the mood of our team," said Texas defender Kasey Moore. "I have to give them all the credit in the world, I think that's the most dynamic front line we've played against all season long. I could see them going on and winning the National Championship, they were amazing."
"I don't know, but I thought it was a good time because it was the beginning of the second half," added Yamaguchi on her goal early in the second half deflating the Longhorns. "We knew they were coming out strong because they were losing 1-0. I think my goal motivated us a lot."
In the 68th minute, Kazbour made it 3-0 Florida State has she scored on a lofted shot from five yards out. Yamaguchi fed the freshman midfielder streaking down the left side of the net. Kazbour made a few touches toward the endline and then sent a soft touch into the upper right corner for the score. The goal was Kazbour's third of the season and first since September 15 against Auburn. It was the third straight game Kazbour registered a point as she has a goal and two assists in three postseason games.
"It's just awesome to come out and play another tournament game," said Kazbour. "Just to come out every game and do what I know I have to do. If I get a goal or assist, that's great, I want to contribute to the team."
Just over two minutes later, freshman Rachel Lim gave the Seminoles a 4-0 lead putting away a cross from the right side from about four yards out. Yamaguchi contributed with her second assist of the game, while Lauren Switzer also received an assist on the play. The Tokyo, Japan native fired a cross from the left side where Lim was there to find the back post for her fourth goal of the season.
Yamaguchi has scored a point in 20 of 24 games this season and moved into third place all-time at FSU in NCAA Tournament scoring with 12 points (3 goals, 6 assists). With her two assists Friday night, Yamaguchi moved ahead of Jez Ratliff for the all-time assist lead in the NCAA Tournament.
The Seminoles defense once again came up huge limiting the Longhorns to just five shots on the evening. It tied for the fewest shots taken by Texas this season as the Longhorns took five in a 1-0 victory at Arizona State. The shutout was the third straight in the tournament setting the school record for shutouts in a postseason.
"It's definitely a great time to be coming together as a team, especially defensively in the post season, especially against a quality opponent like Texas," explained sophomore defender Becky Edwards. "It's good to see us come together and keep possession like we are doing."
"We got outplayed by a very good team tonight and I don't know if we were ever really in the game," said Texas head coach Chris Petrucelli. "They did a tremendous job of keeping the ball. We chased them. They created chances and down one-nil at halftime, but it seems like it was four or five, and certainly the early goal in the second half really sort of ended the game. Congratulations to Florida State, they were great."
Freshman Erin McNulty had another solid effort earning her 16th win in goal. She made two saves in posting her eighth shutout of the season. The shutout moved McNulty into a first place tie with Joy McKenzie, Ali Mims and Kerry York for shutouts in NCAA Tournament play.
"I just think the team is playing very well," added Erin McNulty. "I am happy with the way we are playing."
With the win, Florida State moves into the quarterfinals where they will face the winner of Stanford or Connecticut. The Cardinal and Huskies are playing at 10:00 EST Friday evening. Game time and location will be announced either Sunday or Monday. Please stay tuned to www.seminoles.com for further details.