The Florida State women's soccer team looked worthy of their No. 1 seed in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, cruising to a 5-0 win over South Alabama.
For most of the first half the visiting Jaguars kept Florida State off the score sheet, repelling Seminole chance after chance. The Noles fired 11 shots in the opening 44 minutes, but found no luck on goal as South Alabama clung to a 0-0 draw.
"I though that the University of South Alabama gave us a hard time today in the game and it took as 44 minutes to crack the code", Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian said.
That changed in the 45th minute as a Megan Campbell cross found the head of Dagny Brynjarsdottir giving the Noles a 1-0 lead just before the half. The senior defender flashed down the left side before sending a ball into the box to Brynjarsdottir, who buried the pass for her team leading 15th goal of the season.
"We know that the team is built with a lot of options and sooner or later we feel we will take advantage of situations", Krikorian said.
The Noles totaled 12 shots in the first half including seven corner kicks but yielded just that one goal at the intermission.
The second half was a different story as FSU's possession oriented, patient attack yielded fruitful results. Junior Cheyna Williams connected on her ninth goal of the season in 53rd minute while junior Carson Pickett tallied her second goal of the season in the 63rd, pushing the lead to 3-0. Both goals came off crosses from freshman Emma Koivisto, who tallied three assists on the night.
"Possession is a big thing for us because we know how much talent we have going forward in attack", senior Megan Campbell said. "That's how we score with being patient and pushing forward and when we get a chance to send one in the people in the box get on the end of it."
Florida State tallied two more goals in the 73rd and 79th minutes with goals from sophomore's Berglind Thorvaldsdottir and Nickolette Driesse, respectively, pushing the tally to the final score of 5-0. Driesse's goal in particular, was a wonder strike as she blasted a shot from 20 yards out into the upper right 90, the first of her Seminole career. For the night FSU finished with 23 shots and 11 corner kicks.
The Noles are looking to make another run to the College Cup where they lost last season to UCLA in the championship game. With 14 returning players from that finals team a season ago FSU seems poised for another deep push at the school's first ever National Title.
"I think we have a very mature group that everyone understand the process that we prepare one game at a time", Krikorian said. "We're enjoying the process of going one game at a time."
Florida State advances to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament with the win and will host the winner of Northeastern and Boston.
"We have to take it one game at a time because obviously if you lose you're out, we can't look ahead", Campbell added.