Florida State soccer opened up ACC play today by hosting the Louisville Cardinals in Tallahassee. Coming into the game, head coach Brian Pensky and the ‘Noles knew that Louisville would be looking to put up a fight.
The game started off with an early Seminole favor as the Cardinals committed a foul in the 18 yard box. The penalty kick went to Senior Jenna Nighswonger as she set up to face the Cardinals’ goalkeeper, Olivia Pratapas. Nighswonger’s kick into the left side of the net was left unchallenged by Paratpas and the ‘Noles took an early 1-0 lead.
Two corner kicks went unsuccessful for the ‘Noles as they continued to test the goalkeeper. A yellow card was issued to Louisville in addition to the three fouls they also accumulated. Heading into the 13th minute, Heather Payne and LeiLanni Nesbeth connected to find Beata Olsson cutting across the box. Olsson’s shot slipped past Paratpas and FSU went up 2-0.
In the 31st minute, after a handball in the box led to a penalty kick, FSU starting goalkeeper, Mia Justus faced her first test of the game. For the Cardinals, Maisie Whitsett took the shot and was able to get it past Justus, cutting the Seminole lead in half.
At the half, Florida State led their first ACC opponent of the season by a score of 2-1. Coming back from the break, each team took a single foul, but the error by the Cardinals would come to cost them. With a corner kick set up, Nighswonger looked to capitalize, and she did just that. Her second corner kick goal of the season put the ‘Noles back on top by two goals.
After the goal by Nighswonger, FSU started to press the Louisville defense. Another corner kick in the 56th minute led to another goal, this time by Onyi Echegini, with the assist from Nighswonger.
The fifth and final goal came by way of veteran Clara Robbins in the 58th minute. After her teammates scored two goals, less than ten minutes apart, Robbins came in clutch. Heather Payne and Nighswonger assisted the shot by Robbins as the ‘Noles took a 5-1 lead.
With a sizable lead, Pensky took the opportunity to play his underclassmen. In total, eight players came in as substitutions in the second half. Sophomores Amelia Horton and Maria Alagoa both had shots. In total, FSU outshot Louisville by 17-4 and had five corner kick opportunities.
Afterward, Pensky shared his thoughts on his team’s showing in ACC play.
Jenna Nighswonger issued her thoughts on this year’s team and their outlook on the season looking forward.
Senior Jenna Nighswonger credits her coaching staff as well as fellow teammates. She doesn’t count out her team despite changes to this years squad pic.twitter.com/LTae0e3NUg— gwyn (@okaygwyn) September 23, 2022
Florida State will stay at home this weekend as they host the 14th ranked Clemson Tigers. Game time is set for 1 pm and will be aired on ACC Network Extra on Sunday