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No. 3 FSU soccer falls at no. 17 Notre Dame

This wasn’t FSU’s day.

Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK

No. 3 Florida State (9-1-2) was defeated by No. 17 Notre Dame (11-2-0) by a 4-0 score today in South Bend, IN.

Game Recap

Notre Dame jumped on FSU early. In the fifth minute Korbin Albert stole the ball from Lauren Flynn. She then took the ball down the left flank and fired a low left footed shot past the outstretched leg of Mia Justus to score the first goal for Notre Dame.

In the 10th minute the Irish added another. Olivia Wingate received the ball in midfield. She executed a brilliant turn to get by Flynn. Wingate then raced for the goal as no one from FSU stepped to stop her and she unleashed a rocket past Justus to give ND a 2-0 lead.

In the 13th minute the Seminoles generated their first good chance. Justus boomed a ball downfield that bounced in Notre Dame’s box. Clara Robbins raced after it but she was taken down from behind by Brianna Martinez. The whistle sounded and the ref pointed to the spot. Jenna Nighswonger stepped up to take the penalty for Florida State but her shot went just wide left.

In the 21st minute Nighswonger received the ball in the attacking third. She quickly laid it off for a charging Jody Brown on the right flank. Brown fired a low hard shot to goal but Mackenzie Wood was there for the save.

In the 22nd minute Nighswonger chipped a beautiful ball over the defense. Beata Olsson ran onto it and tried to volley it with her right foot. Wood deflected it and Olsson tried to toe poke it into the open net but her shot sailed high.

In the 72nd minute the Irish added on to their lead. Wingate received a ball on the right flank. She got past Flynn and charged for the box. Wingate passed the ball back for Korbin Albert who missed it. However, it rolled right to Maddie Mercado in the middle of the box and Mercado made no mistake.

ND added a fourth goal in the 84th minute. Wingate used her speed to slice through the FSU defense to chase down a through ball. She then took a couple of touches before sending a left footed shot by Justus into the right corner of the goal.

FSU kept playing. Also in the 84th minute Olivia Garcia received a ball on the left flank. She then squared a pass for Onyi Echegini who was open in the middle of the box. However, Wood was there to save Echegini’s low drive.

In the 86th minute ND almost added another score. Wingate received the ball in the attacking third and ran at the Florida State defense. She got a step and then sent in a left footed shot that was just deflected by the outstretched left foot of Mia Justus.

From there neither side had a promising chance and ND walked away with a big 4-0 victory.

Post Game

Notre Dame outshot Florida State 13-9 (10-5 on goal).

FSU led in possession 55%-45%.

Heather Payne was unavailable for this game as she is still on international duty with Ireland.

FSU conceded two goals in the run of play in the first 10 minutes of this game. That is the same amount that the Noles have given up all year prior to this game. This was also the first time that FSU has trailed in a game this year.

It’s not particularly surprising for the fourth ranked team in the RPI to win at home. However, we are not accustomed to seeing Florida State lose under any circumstances especially not 4-0. The Seminoles have been like a metronome for the last few years. The consistency has been astonishing.

However, this year things are a bit different. We have discussed how tough a stretch this is for FSU. Also, today’s game was made even tougher by the circumstances of being on the road for two straight games against RPI top 10 teams. It also must be noted that the road games are geographically distant so they required additional travel. South Bend is not near Charlottesville. It’s not like the Noles were playing Duke and Wake Forest back to back. Florida State also only has 19 players available so depth is an issue.

Also, this was a noon game played in the central time zone. Therefore, it was like starting at 11:00 am for Florida State. Perhaps it was no coincidence that the first two goals were scored in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Lastly, FSU gets everyone’s best shot as defending national champions and the fact that they have been top dogs in the ACC for the last few years.

This is not to take anything away from the Irish. ND took it to FSU from the start. They were able to disrupt Florida State’s possession as again the Seminoles had trouble passing. The Irish were also very clinical with their finishing.

Florida State also had very little productive buildup. ND didn’t let the Noles dominate the midfield. When FSU isn’t controlling the midfield the offense can get discombobulated and that happened today.

It’s one game. It’s shocking to see in large part because of how consistent FSU has been in recent years. However, it is unlikely that this is a harbinger of things to come.

Florida State will have to regroup as the Gauntlet is not over. The saving grace is that the next two games will be at home and there will be a week between them so the Noles will have extra rest.

Next Game

On Thursday Florida State will welcome Duke to the Seminole Soccer Complex. The game will kickoff at 6pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.