No. 1 Florida State (8-0, 1-0 ACC) defeated Boston College (6-2-1, 0-1 ACC) by a 4-1 score tonight at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
While Florida State controlled most of the possession there weren’t many dangerous chances early for either team. In the 18th minute Kirsten Pavlisko drove the ball through the midfield. She slipped a beautiful ball to Jody Brown who immediately attacked Michela Agresti on the left side. Brown dribbled the ball into the box drawing Samantha Agresti over before laying the ball off to LeiLanni Nesbeth who was lurking in the box. Nesbeth fired a one-timer to goal but her shot was blocked by Sonia Walk. The ball ricocheted back to Clara Robbins who took a couple of touches before driving a hard right footed shot toward goal. Boston College keeper Wiebke Willebrandt was there to make the tough save diving to her left.
In the 21st minute Robbins received the ball in the midfield. She turned and spotted Brown making a run into the box. Robbins delivered a gorgeous ball for Brown to run onto in the box. Michela Agresti ran over to defend but Brown got by her with a nifty move eventually cutting the ball back for Nesbeth. Once again, Nesbeth tried a right footed one-timer and once again it was blocked by Walk.
In the 23rd minute the Eagles generated their first good chance. FSU attempted to clear a corner kick but Walk kept the ball in the FSU defensive third. Walk sent the ball back into the box but Jaelin Howell knocked it back out. Walk raced over and headed it back to Michela Agresti who was battling Nesbeth at the edge of the box. Agresti was finally able to get off a right footed shot that barely went wide right.
In the 42nd minute Gabby Carle found Ran Iwai on the left flank. Iwai took a touch to the edge of the 18 before sending a left footed cross that went across the goal at the edge of the six yard box. Gianna Mitchell was there but her shot was blocked by Michela Agresti. Mitchell recovered the ball and turned for the goal but her shot was again turned away by Agresti and then eventually cleared away.
In the 48th minute Emily Madril drove the ball through the midfield eventually spotting Robbins on her right. Robbins aggressively drove the ball toward the 18 eventually unleashing a left footed laser from about 19 yards out. However, Willebrandt was up to the task diving to her right to make a sparkling save to deny Robbins and keep the score tied at zero. The ball went over the endline for a corner kick.
Nesbeth stepped up to take the corner. Nesbeth sent a curling ball into the six. Willebrandt reached up and managed to get both hands on the ball but she couldn’t control it and the ball fell to the ground. Madril pounced on it and sent a right footed shot that snuck between the post and Sarai Costello who was guarding the post for BC. The goal was the second of the year for Madril and FSU had a 1-0 lead.
GOOOAALLLLL!!!!!— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) September 18, 2021
Emily gives the Noles a 1-0 advantage!
: ACCNX pic.twitter.com/LlSzK0H3Lc
In the 50th minute the Noles generated another chance. Pavlisko found Robbins in the midfield. Robbins turned and drove the ball to the middle of the field drawing the defense to her. Robbins spotted Kristina Lynch unmarked on the left flank. Lynch took a touch in the box and then tried to slip the ball past Willebrandt but her shot went wide right.
In the 55th minute Lynch again tried her luck sending a right footed screamer toward goal but again Willebrandt dove to her right to make another impressive save.
On the ensuing corner, Nesbeth sent the ball to the far post. Lauren Flynn was wide open because Samantha Agresti (who was marking Flynn) had left her to jump up and try to head the ball away. Agresti completely missed the header allowing Flynn to head the ball toward goal beating Willebrandt with perfect placement. It was the first of the year for Flynn and the Seminoles had a 2-0 lead.
Another corner, another goal for the Noles!— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) September 18, 2021
This time it is Lauren Flynn!!!
: ACCNX pic.twitter.com/JOV1HyF5Kz
In the 62nd minute FSU kept the heat on the Eagles. Robbins received the ball in the midfield. She took a touch and spotted Brown streaking down the right flank. Brown used her speed to catch up to the ball in the box. Brown one-timed a cross that made it all the away across the field to Lynch who was racing in on the left flank. Lynch one-timed a shot that went just wide of the goal.
In the 71st minute BC tried to get on the board. Ella Richards retrieved a ball in FSU’s defensive third. She found Jenna Bike on the right flank. Bike went to work. She split a pair of FSU defenders and headed for the box where she beat a third Seminole before delivering a cross into the six that was knocked over the endline by Madril. The Noles were (wrongly) awarded a goal kick on the play.
In the 73rd minute FSU struck again. Howell found Jenna Nighswonger open in the midfield. Nighswonger took a couple of touches before slipping a pass through the BC defense to Zhao in the box. Zhao timed her run perfectly and met the ball just outside the six. She then one-timed a left footed shot that beat Willebrandt ending up in the right corner of the goal. It was the second goal of the season for Zhao.
Nighswonger ➡ Zhao!— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) September 18, 2021
Noles take a 3-0 lead!
: ACCNX pic.twitter.com/2sCgf7NYha
However, BC kept playing. In the 82nd minute Bike spotted Sam Smith racing down the left flank. Pavlisko sprinted over to challenge her but Smith got off a left footed cross into the box. Gabby Carle was there but she whiffed on the clearance. The ball went to the feet of Ella Richards but fortunately for FSU Richards was not able to control it. The ball bounced away and Flynn missed her clearance as well but the ball bounced off Linda Boama’s thigh before Madril could control it.
In the 83rd minute the Seminoles tacked on another goal. Pavlisko knocked the ball upfield for Zhao who was open in the midfield. Zhao took a couple of touches before sending the ball over for Nighswonger in the middle of the field. Nighswonger spotted Iwai who was charging down the left flank. Iwai one-timed a beautiful left footed chip that sailed over a leaping Willebrandt into the back of the net. It was the first goal that Iwai has ever scored in Garnet and Gold and it gave the Seminoles an insurmountable 4-0 lead.
However, to their credit, the Eagles didn’t quit. In the 84th minute Michela Agresti drove the ball into the box from the right flank. She was challenged by Flynn. The ref blew the whistle and immediately pointed to the spot. On replay it looked like the foul occurred about a foot outside the box but the Eagles were awarded the penalty kick anyway. Linda Boama stepped up to take it and she sent her shot to the left as FSU keeper Mia Justus dove in the opposite direction. BC avoided the shutout but the game ended with Florida State earning a 4-1 victory.
Florida State outshot Boston College 26-5 with 16 shots on goal to BC’s two.
FSU also enjoyed 70% of the possession.
This was a great way for FSU to start the ACC schedule. The Noles earned a very comfortable win over a quality opponent. The Eagles are not scrubs. They have a real chance to make the NCAA Tournament but they weren’t near FSU’s level especially in the second half.
BC decided to play honestly instead of bunkering. This strategy didn’t work well as the Noles were able to keep possession and therefore were able to apply continuous pressure to the Eagle backline. This pressure eventually translated into the goals.
The Seminoles again showed how deep they are as 18 players got into the game. That does not include Beata Olsson and Heather Payne who were unavailable for tonight’s game as they were both called up for national team duty.
The bottom line is that Florida State once again proved their quality. This game is another successful step on the quest for a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State will host the #19 Pitt Panthers (7-2) on Thursday. Pitt fell to Clemson 2-0 last Thursday.