After taking down Penn State 3-1 in the Sweet 16, No. 1 Florida State Seminoles soccer is taking on a familiar foe in the Elite 8 — No. 9 Duke.
From our Prince Akeem Joeffer:
If opponents don’t figure out a way to disrupt FSU’s possession it will be very hard to beat the Seminoles. One way to do it is to take control of the midfield. However, the midfield is FSU’s strength. The Seminoles have several extremely good midfield players. It is Florida State’s strongest position group. It is very hard to control the midfield against players like Jaelin Howell, Yujie Zhao, Clara Robbins, Jenna Nighswonger, etc.
The other way to beat FSU is to catch them on the counter attack. Penn State actually did this today for their first goal. The Nittany Lions executed the counter perfectly and were rewarded with the goal. The problem is that teams will probably need to hit the counter attack more than once or get lucky in some other way because it is very hard to successfully absorb FSU’s pressure for 90 minutes. PSU wasn’t able to do it today and I’m not sure that there is a team in this tournament that can do it but we’ll see.
It looks like Florida State is really starting to find a groove in this tournament. However, as we all know it only takes one bad game to get sent home. FSU will try again to avoid that bad game on Sunday.
How to Watch
Live stream seems to be the only option for watching — if you see a TV channel or WatchESPN link, drop it in the comments.
Some game notes and team stats from FSU Sports Info:
- Sunday’s meeting between the Seminoles and the Blue Devils will be the 33rd meeting between the two programs.
- Florida State is 16-10-6 all-time against Duke. Florida State is 3-1 in games played in Cary, N.C. The Seminoles are 14-4-4 against Duke under head coach Mark Krikorian.
- Florida State has out-scored Duke 45-35 with 14 shutouts in the first 32 games of the series.
- Since Krikorian took over the Seminoles in 2005, Florida State has out-scored the Blue Devils 31-16 with 12 of their 14 wins coming by way of a shutout.
- The two teams met twice this season: FSU shutout the Blue Devils 1-0 on a last second goal by Jaelin Howell in the first meeting and shut them out once again in the semis of the NCAA Tournament, 4-0.
- Duke is led offensively by Tess Boade. She has 15 points on the season, coming from six goals and three assists. Caitlin Cosme and Olivia Migli both have six goals of their own as well. In goal, Duke is led by Ruthie Jones. She has played in 19 games this season and has only allowed 14 goals with 48 saves.