(6) Florida State (5-2-0) defeated (24) Colorado (6-1-0) in Tallahassee tonight by a 3-2 score in overtime.
The Seminoles started the game on their front foot. In the fourth minute Gabby Carle put a nice move on Buffalo defender Stephanie Zuniga. Carle managed to get open and launched a left footed shot on goal which was stopped by Colorado keeper Jalen Tompkins. However, Tompkins spilled the ball. Fortunately for her Abbey Newton was too far away to capitalize before Tompkins could scoop up the ball.
In the ninth minute, Heather Payne found Deyna Castellanos at midfield. Castellanos turned and drove the ball up the field before delivering to Yujie Zhao racing down the left flank. Zhao took a couple of dribbles and let loose a hard drive toward goal that was caught by Tompkins.
in the 12th minute Jalen Howell drove the ball through the midfield. She was dispossessed by strong tackle from Kayleigh Webb. Fortunately for FSU the ball went straight to Carle who was trailing the play. Carle found Jenna Nighswonger down the right flank. Nighswonger drove into the box and switched the field finding Gloriana Villalobos on the left side of the box. Villalobos delivered a perfect ball to Zhao who one-timed it toward goal from the penalty spot but the ball went straight to Tompkins who had no trouble stopping it.
In the 20th minute Castellanos was tripped up by Taylor Kornieck about 21 yards from goal. It was a tough call as Kornieck got a lot of the ball. Nevertheless, Castellanos stepped up to take the free kick. She drove a ball that was ticketed for the upper left corner of the goal but Tompkins came through with an impressive diving save to preserve her clean sheet.
In the 25th minute there was controversy. CU midfielder Kayleigh Webb was issued a yellow card for dissent. Colorado head coach Danny Sanchez came a few feet on the field to argue about it with the referee Carmen Serbio. Serbio immediately ran over to Sanchez and showed him yellow. I can’t be sure because I wasn’t close enough to hear but it seems that the yellow was issued because Sanchez went onto the field and not for anything that he said at that time. The Colorado coaches continued to protest and seconds after showing Sanchez yellow Serbio pulled out a red card and sent off Colorado associate head coach Jason Green.
Green’s absence didn’t slow down the Buffs however. In the 28th minute Colorado earned a corner kick. Zuniga stepped up to take it for CU. She lofted a lovely ball up to 6’1 Taylor Kornieck about seven yards from goal. Even though Kornieck was marked well by Castellanos and Carle she used her height to its greatest advantage to get a head on the ball and send it to goal. FSU had Kirsten Pavlisko guarding the post. Pavlisko did manage to get a head on the ball but she wasn’t able to stop it from getting into the goal.
In the 32nd minute, Carle took the ball over midfield from her defensive position. She passed to Nighswonger on the right flank. Nighswonger crossed the ball into the box to a cutting Kristen McFarland. McFarland was being marked by Buffalo defender Hannah Sharts. McFarland went down in the box. Referee Serbio ran in and pointed to the spot ruling that Sharts had taken down McFarland. Replay showed that while McFarland did go down it looked like Sharts never touched her. Nevertheless Serbio awarded a penalty kick to FSU while also showing yellow to Sharts. Castellanos was tapped to take the penalty and she calmly slotted the ball into the lower left side of the goal.
In the 58th minute the Noles earned a corner kick. After taking the corner Zhao got it back and sent a ball into the box. Castellanos was there and tried to line up a bicycle kick but it was deflected and eventually snagged by Tompkins.
In the 60th minute Carle switched the field finding Villalobos on the left flank. Villalobos ran at Buffs defender Gabbi Chapa. Chapa stood her ground and rode Villalobos to the end line with a shoulder to shoulder tackle as the ball eventually went over the touchline. However, referee Serbio thought that Chapa’s defending was too aggressive and he awarded FSU its second penalty kick of the night. This time Nighswonger took the penalty but the result was the same as Castellanos’ effort as Nighswonger beat Tompkins with a ball perfectly placed in the lower right corner of the goal to give the Seminoles a 2-1 lead.
In the 65th minute Tessa Barton hustled to get the ball from Malia Berkely in FSU’s box. Heather Payne came over to support Berkely but the referee called her for tripping up Barton and he awarded a penalty kick to Colorado. Kornieck took the kick for the Buffs and she calmly fired it into the goal to tie the score at 2-2.
In the 71st minute Jaelin Howell intercepted a ball at midfield. She executed a nice give and go with McFarland and drove the ball to the Colorado 18 yard box. Before she could get there she was tripped up by Libby Geraghty about 20 yards from goal. Castellanos took the free kick and hit a hard low shot that Tompkins got down on to make a nice save.
In the 75th minute the Seminoles had another opportunity. Kristina Lynch collected a deflected ball just inside the box. She passed it toward the six yard box. McFarland tried to run onto it but she couldn’t control it and Tompkins came out to disrupt McFarland and the ball rolled out of bounds for a goal kick.
In the 87th minute Zhao sent a gorgeous cross from the right flank into the box. McFarland gets up to get her head on it from about seven yards out but the ball goes straight to a perfectly placed Tompkins who has no trouble catching it.
The game went into overtime as the game was tied at two apiece in regulation.
In the 92nd minute Gabby Carle beat a defender and crossed the ball into the box for Pavlisko. Pavlisko fired a shot that was blocked to Zhao who redirected it Castellanos. Castellanos teed it up and fired for goal from about 25 yards but her shot went just wide.
In the 96th minute Nighswonger drove the ball into the box, beat a couple of defenders and fired a left footed shot that Tompkins just barely pushed wide.
In the 100th minute Carle drove the ball to the endline on the right flank. She crossed the ball back into the box where Nighswonger was waiting. An unmarked Nighswonger one-timed the ball past Tompkins into the lower left corner of the net to win the game for Florida State.
Colorado has a right to feel hard done in this game as the referee made a couple of questionable decisions that led to penalty kicks for the Seminoles. However, FSU did look like the best team for most of the game so the final result was probably not too unfair.
The first goal for the Buffalos came off a corner kick where Taylor Kornieck simply leaped over a pair of FSU defenders. There is not much more the Noles could have done there as defenders Castellanos and Carle were giving up six and seven inches respectively to the 6’1 Kornieck. FSU head coach Mark Krikorian remarked after the game that Kornieck will probably be the best player in the air that FSU will see all season. That may very well be true but the Noles are not a big team and defending players in the air - particularly on set-pieces - will likely be an issue for this team going forward.
Florida State is playing their typical possession style that keeps the ball from their opponent forcing them to chase. That’s great but the Noles aren’t generating the opportunities that they usually get when dominating possession. FSU did greatly outshoot the Buffaloes tonight (28-6) but many of those shots came from distance - especially in the first half - and they weren’t great opportunities. FSU is winning games because they are very talented and they are able to often wear down opponents who get tired from chasing all game.
However, if the Seminoles want to be in a position to defend their title they need to find a way to translate all of the possession into better chances and then capitalize on those opportunities. The good news for Nole fans is that this is a team that is still growing and (like last year’s team) may end up playing its best soccer at the end of the year when it matters most.
Florida State will head to Pennsylvania to face Villanova this Sunday at 1pm.