(14) Florida State (12-3-2, 5-3-1 ACC) defeated (6) Virginia (13-3-0, 6-3-0 ACC) by a 2-0 score this afternoon in Charlottesville, VA.
Virginia started the game well earning most of the possession. In the 10th minute the Cavaliers had a nice opportunity when Meghan McCool found Taryn Torres. Torres unleashed an unsuccessful shot from 19 yards out.
In the 18th minute the Cavs committed a huge mistake. Defender Brianna Westrup sent a backpass to goal keeper Laurel Ivory. Ivory received the ball but took a heavy touch and Deyna Castellanos was in the right place (as usual) and she stole the ball from Ivory and one-timed it into the back of the net. It was the team leading seventh goal of the season for Castellanos. This goal did come against the run of play but it was an example of the Noles taking full advantage of an opponent’s miscue.
In the 20th minute the Seminoles executed a counter-attack after a UVA free kick. Kristen McFarland sent a nice ball to Castellanos. Deyna tried her luck from about 25 yards out but Ivory was there to block her shot.
In the 24th minute Rebecca Jarrett drove the ball into the box after a steal. Jarrett dribbled the ball down the right side for a dangerous shot but Brooke Bollinger made a nice diving save to keep the Hoos off the board.
In the 27th minute Nole defender Natalia Kuikka was called for a foul. On the ensuing free kick Ayan Adu tested Bollinger with a ball ticketed for the upper corner of the goal. However, Bollinger was there to tip it safely over the crossbar. The Cavaliers took the ensuing corner kick and the FSU defense didn’t get a good clearance. The ball ended up pinging around in the mixer and eventually McCool found it inside the six yard box. She sent a shot to the net but Bollinger was there to deny her with an athletic save.
In the 30th minute UVA attacker Alexa Spaanstra got behind the FSU defense. She sent a shot toward goal but Bollinger is able to get a finger on it to turn it away.
In the 43rd minute Florida State demonstrated the type of sparkling teamwork that they are capable of unleashing on opponents. This time it was Gloriana Villalobos to Megan Connolly to Natalia Kuikka to Anna Patten. Villalobos drove the ball down the middle of the field eventually finding Connolly on her right side. Connolly delivered a beautiful ball to Kuikka that just missed the outstretched foot of a UVA defender. Kuikka calmly received the ball in the box and drew goal keeper Ivory to her. Once she had Ivory committed she laid off a perfectly weighted ball to Patten who had hustled up to be in front of the goal. Patten beat a defender to the ball and knocked it into the open net to give the Seminoles a 2-0 lead. Illustrating the impressive depth on this team, the only starter who touched the ball in this glittering sequence was Kuikka.
In the 57th minute UVA earned three straight corner kicks. However the Nole defense was up to the challenge and was able to fend them off harmlessly.
The Cavaliers applied a ton of pressure on Florida State for the entire second half. In the 70th minute McCool and Bollinger were going after a ball in FSU’s 18 yard box. Bollinger got there first but there was contact between her and McCool. McCool ended up going down and Kuikka took exception to her aggressiveness after Bollinger had secured the ball. Kuikka stood over McCool and had words for her.
In the 71st minute Betsy Brandon stole the ball at midfield for Virginia with a nice bit of physicality. She eventually laid it off for Anna Sumpter who drove the ball toward the goal. Sumpter was able to beat multiple Nole defenders and get a shot from about 10 yards out but the shot went well wide. This was UVA’s best chance of the second half but fortunately for the Noles Sumpter was not able to get off a good shot.
In the 77th minute Jarrett was at it again. The speedy forward streaked down the left flank but her last touch betrayed her. It was a bit heavy and it allowed Bollinger to make another great play and knock it safely away.
Jarrett wasn’t finished. She is only a freshman. Her speed will be tough to handle for the next four years. This time she received a beautifully struck ball from Betsy Brandon. Brandon’s service released Jarrett who was able to get past the FSU defense. However, her last touch was a little heavy and Bollinger was quick off her line to smother the chance.
In the 80th minute Kaycie Tillman found Anna Patten running up the middle of the field. Patten sent a nicely weighted ball for Dallas Dorosy. Dorosy was able to split the UVA defense and had keeper Ivory dead to rights but unfortunately Dorosy’s shot was right at Ivory and the UVA keeper made the save.
From there the Noles were able to deny the Hoos any more dangerous chances on the way to a huge road victory.
Virginia outshot FSU 13-10 but FSU led in the important shots on goal category 7-4.
FSU’s Jaelin Howell picked up the only yellow card of the game.
Brooke Bollinger had four saves while UVA keeper Laurel Ivory had five.
Bollinger was simply huge in this game for FSU. Taking into account the level of opposition and the amount of work she had to do this was probably her best game of the season. It is significant that it came at this time considering that Bollinger was shaky against N.C. State and she missed the Pitt game with a stomach bug. Bollinger is a redshirt freshman. It is a very good sign that she is already displaying the mental toughness as such a young player to come back from the recent bit of adversity to turn in this kind of performance.
This was one of the very few games in which an FSU opponent had the lion share of the possession. Head coach Mark Krikorian remarked at halftime that he thought that his team was giving the ball away too easily at times. In the second half the UVA pressure only increased as they threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Seminoles but the Nole defense was up to the task. It should be pointed out that Florida State was not bunkering in at any point. It was the quality of UVA that allowed them to have so much of the possession in the second half. However, it is a credit to FSU’s defense that the Hoos had so few quality chances.
This was Gabby Carle’s first game in Garnet and Gold since the North Carolina game on Sept. 14th. Carle missed seven games due to being called up by Canada’s senior national team for the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship which also doubles as the region’s Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament. Gloriana Villalobos was also called up by her national team (Costa Rica) but she returned for the Pitt game.
With Carle’s return the Noles are now at full strength. This team is not perfect but when it is at full strength and it is playing up to its capability (as it mostly did today) the talent level is really impressive.
This win was absolutely huge for Florida State on multiple levels. FSU is now tied for 5th (Boston College) in the ACC. The top four teams in the conference get home games to start the ACC Tournament so FSU is now in striking distance. This also gives Florida State a very impressive top 10 road win that will improve their standing in the polls and in the RPI which will help in the race for a high NCAA seed. The Noles were seventh in the RPI entering the week (UVA was 12th) and with two road wins (which are valued higher by the RPI formula) during the week the Seminoles have a great chance to move back into the top five of the RPI.
Florida State will travel to Coral Gables on Thursday, October 25th to face the Miami Hurricanes. The game will kick off at 7pm and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.