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No. 12 FSU soccer takes down Boston College

Onyi Echegini’s hat trick helps the Noles claim their first ACC victory.

Courtesy of Florida State Athletics

No. 12 Florida State (5-0-2) defeated Boston College (4-2-3) by a 6-0 score this afternoon in Newton, MA.

Game Recap

Florida State came out like gangbusters in this game. In the second minute Onyi Echegini stole a BC throw-in. Echegini battled several Eagle defenders before turning and firing a perfectly placed chip from just outside the box on the left flank. The ball lofted over BC keeper Wiebke Willebrandt’s outstretched arm before nestling in the upper right hand corner of the goal to give the Seminoles an early 1-0 lead.

The Noles kept the pressure on and generated another second minute opportunity. Laura Gouvin miss hit a pass and it was picked off by Beata Olsson. Jody Brown made a run and Olsson found her with a nice pass. Brown took a touch and then nailed a left footed shot toward goal but Willebrandt was there for the nice save. Brown collected the rebound but her chip went over the goal.

In the eleventh minute the Seminoles widened the lead. Michela Agresti tried to pass the ball out of the back for BC. However, her pass was intercepted by Brown. After a couple of touches Brown spotted Echegini wide open on the left flank. Echegini took a touch and then fired a left footed blast before the defense could recover that beat Willebrandt and gave FSU a 2-0 lead.

In the 12th minute BC generated their first good look of the game. Sam Smith drove the ball up field. She got the ball over to Ella Richards who turned and laid the ball off for Samantha Agresti who was making a run down the left flank. Samantha Agresti one-timed a cross that deflected off of Heather Gilchrist right to Richards. Richards one-timed a shot that went just wide left.

In the 20th minute the Noles earned a corner kick. Jenna Nighswonger sent in a dangerous ball. Willebrandt and Echegini went up for it and the ball bounced into the back of the net. However, the referee called the Noles for the foul and the goal was disallowed.

In the 33rd minute BC almost scored their first goal. Sam Smith sent a dangerous ball into the box. Andi Barth came in to receive the cross and was challenged by Sophia Nguyen. Barth managed to get by Nguyen and tried to chip the ball over a charging Cristina Roque. Barth’s chip was headed straight for the goal but a hustling LeiLanni Nesbeth dashed over and saved the ball off the line with her left foot to preserve Roque’s clean sheet. BC desperately appealed for the goal to count but the referee did not allow it. Replays showed that the referee made the right decision as the ball never got completely over the line before Nesbeth cleared it.

In the 42nd minute, Sophia Lowenberg took down Maria Alagoa with a hard tackle. The whistle sounded and Lowenberg was called for the foul and shown yellow for the infraction. On the ensuing free kick from about 23 yards out, Emma Bissell sent in the free kick that hit the crossbar and bounced over the goal.

In the 55th minute the Seminoles increased the pressure. Clara Robbins received the ball in the BC defensive third. Robbins immediately found Echegini streaking down the left flank. Echegini took a touch and then fired a well placed shot past the outstretched foot of Willebrandt to earn her first career hat trick and power the Noles to a 3-0 lead.

However, Florida State wasn’t done. In the 60th minute the Seminoles earned another corner kick. Nighswonger stepped up to take it. Jenna sent in a beautiful curving ball that hit the inside of the right post and then bounced off Sarai Costello’s arm and ended up in the back of the net.

However, to their credit, the Eagles wouldn’t give up. In the 64th minute Barth touched the ball away from Gilchrist. Sydney Segalla pounced on it and sent a shot for goal that went just high over the crossbar.

The onslaught continued in the 75th minute. Nguyen sent a searching ball into the box. The ball whizzed past the heads of a couple of players before deflecting off of Éabha O’Mahony’s leg into the goal.

The Noles scored one last goal in the 84th minute. Kaitlyn Zipay received a pass from Olivia Garcia. Zipay then played give and go with Emma Bissell. Zipay got the ball back and sent a blast into the lower left corner of the goal to give the Noles the final 6-0 margin of victory.

Post Game

Florida State outshot Boston College 24-6 (16-1 on goal).

The Noles won the possession battle 60% to 40%.

Onyi Echegini is extremely clinical. She is a tough, physical player who takes her chances well. It’s very likely that Echegini is on this team only because Olivia Smith decided to transfer. Smith is an extremely bright talent who will likely be great for Penn State in time. However, it is hard to argue that she would have given FSU more than Echegini has this year. As a senior, Echegini is a mature, experienced player who has been a perfect fit for the Seminoles on the left wing.

This particular game is reminds me of a basketball team that hits 60% from three point range in a blowout. This was just FSU’s day. Boston College will probably end up as a middle of the road ACC team. Florida State is a better team than Boston College and would have probably won in any case but when a team like BC gets blown out 6-0 that is abnormal.

We are now almost at the midpoint of the regular season. FSU has played seven of the sixteen regular season games. Therefore, we can start to have some more reasonable impressions about this team. Overall, they are better than I thought they would be at this stage. They haven’t played the best competition lately but 21-0 in the last four games is nothing to sneeze at and that record shouldn’t be overlooked. The Noles have conceded only two goals all year and the offense (especially lately) speaks for itself.

However, we still need to see how the defense will react when put under more consistent pressure. Also, FSU has gotten very lucky with injures so far (knock on wood).

Right now the staff has to be pleased with what they are seeing (especially lately) but there will definitely be tougher challenges ahead.

Next Game

Florida State will welcome Louisville to the Seminole Soccer Complex on Thursday. The game will kickoff at 7pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.