No. 1 Florida State (15-2-3) defeated LSU (10-4-7) by a 4-1 score tonight at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Tallahassee, FL.
LSU got off on the front foot in this game. In the tenth minute Angelina Thoreson drove down the right flank. She sent a dangerous ball into the box. The ball bounced in the six before Wasila Diwura-Soale darted in and knocked it past Cristina Roque to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Young Moolah @DiwuraSoale— LSU Soccer (@LSUSoccer) November 18, 2022
Of course, the Seminoles had an answer. In the 21st minute LeiLanni Nesbeth ran at the Tiger defense through the midfield. Nesbeth spotted Beata Olsson making a run into the box. Olsson deftly touched the ball back for Jenna Nighswonger who was trailing the play. Nighswonger one-timed a left footed drive over goal keeper Mollee Swift’s head and the Seminoles were level at 1-1.
Off the sweet left foot of Nighswonger! #OneTribe— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) November 18, 2022
: ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/hG73r0UXA9
In the 52nd minute the Noles struck again. Onyi Echegini chipped a gorgeous ball out of the midfield. Jody Brown used her speed to run onto it. Brown put a few moves on the defense before unleashing a left footed drive for goal. Swift got down and made an impressive save. However, she couldn’t control the rebound. Ran Iwai came out of nowhere to hustle over to the loose ball and pound it into the back of the open net for the 2-1 lead.
Ran's hustle leads to a 2-1 FSU lead! #OneTribe— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) November 18, 2022
: ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/voxadvgNCh
Florida State would net an insurance goal. In the 54th minute FSU earned a corner kick. Nighswonger stepped up to take it. She a long curving ball to the edge of the six. Onyi Echegini leapt up over Taylor Dobles and snapped off a beautiful header to beat Swift and give Florida State a 3-1 lead.
Onyi showing her hops! #OneTribe— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) November 18, 2022
: ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/QX3xC6q35d
The Noles weren’t done. In the 79th minute Heather Payne sent a perfectly placed cross into the box from the right flank. Amelia Horton positioned herself beautifully sneaking inside the defender. Horton then knocked the ball past Swift with her right knee for the final 4-1 margin of victory.
Amelia Horton becomes the Seminoles' 16th goal scorer of the season! #OneTribe— FSU Soccer (@FSUSoccer) November 19, 2022
: ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/4fOn0a0oO5
From there the Seminoles were able to keep the Tigers off the board to advance with a 4-1 victory in chilly Tallahassee.
Florida State outshot LSU 27-5 (8-1 on goal).
FSU had 65% of the possession to 35% for LSU.
LeiLanni Nesbeth took a boot to the face and didn’t return. However, the staff believes that she should be fine for Sunday’s game.
Florida State got off to a bit of a slow start in the game. The Noles were the team applying most of the pressure early but LSU’s modified low block defense was frustrating them. Also, FSU was struggling to connect passes early especially in the final third.
LSU’s early goal was a bit against the run of play but it was an impressive bit of soccer from the visitors. The Noles were able to strike back fairly quickly and that was key. There wasn’t enough time for FSU to feel any negative pressure before they secured the equalizer.
Overall, the Seminoles were able to play the game that they want to play. The Noles had the lion’s share of possession but were also able to take shots down the field with longer passes.
There will be quick turnaround before the Sweet 16 game on Sunday but Florida State is heading into that game with good momentum.
Florida State will take on the Pittsburgh Panthers on Sunday in the Sweet 16. The game will kickoff at 5pm and will be broadcast on ESPN+. FSU defeated Pitt 1-0 on October 23rd in Pittsburgh. Pitt starting keeper Caitlyn Lazzarini had to leave the game against Georgetown this afternoon with an apparent knee injury with a little over six minutes left in the game. Lazzarini was seen after the game with an ice pack wrapped around her knee. Pitt Head Coach Randy Waldrum was unsure of her status for Sunday’s game.