No. 10 Florida State (2-0-2) defeated Florida (2-4) by a 5-0 score today in Gainesville.
FSU got off to a strong start. In the 11th minute, Beata Olsson received the ball at the edge of the box from Ran Iwai. Olsson was challenged by a diving Madison Young. As Young went to the ground she was called for a hand ball. Jenna Nighswonger and LeiLanni Nesbeth stood over the ball. Nesbeth tapped the ball to Nighswonger and Jenna sent a left footed rocket for goal that went just wide left.
In the 16th minute FSU cracked the scoring column. Olivia Garcia received the ball on the left flank from Clara Robbins. Garcia drove against the Gator defense and spotted Jenna Nighswonger wide open in the middle of the field. Nighswonger one-timed a left footed blast from the edge of the 18. Her shot was perfectly placed beating a diving Alexa Goldberg and ending up in the right corner of the goal. It was Nighswonger’s second goal this season.
In the 22nd minute the Noles generated another chance. Nighswonger spotted Clara Robbins who was breaking open in the middle of the field. Robbins took a couple of touches before firing a hard left footed shot from the edge of the box. The shot was blocked but Garcia scooped up the rebound. Garcia sent a shot for goal that went inches wide right.
The Seminoles started the second half strongly. In the 46th minute Garcia touched the ball away from Anna DeLeon. Nighswonger jumped on it and executed a perfect chip over the defense for Garcia who had snuck behind the UF backline. Garcia was 1v1 with the keeper and she tried to put a move on her. However, Goldberg made a fantastic play by diving down and taking the ball off of Garcia’s foot.
In the 48th minute FSU widened the lead. Sophia Nguyen drove the ball to the edge of the box before laying it off for Jody Brown on the right side. Brown one-timed a cross into the middle of the box where Olivia Garcia was lurking. Garcia slammed the ball into the back of the net with her right foot. It was Garcia’s first career college goal.
In the 57th minute Florida State continued the onslaught. Nighswonger drove the ball up field. She found a wide open Jody Brown on the right side. Brown took a touch and blasted a right footed shot for goal. Goldberg tried to come out to cut off Brown’s angle but the shot was hit before she could get to her spot. It was the first goal of the season for Brown.
In the 68th minute UF conceded an own goal. Sophia Nguyen sent a ball into the box. Njeri Butts tried to clear the ball out of danger but it glanced backward off her foot into the goal to give the Seminoles a 4-0 lead.
In the 85th minute the Gators tried to scratch the score sheet. Oakley Rasmussen kept the ball in FSU’s defensive third. The ball was deflected to Ashley Tutas who fired a left footed shot toward goal but FSU keeper Mia Justus made a nice save diving to her left.
In the 87th minute FSU earned yet another goal. Maria Alagoa spotted Emma Bissell open on the right flank. Bissell one-timed a gorgeous right footed cross into the box. Beata Olsson was there to head the ball straight down toward goal. The ball bounced in front of the goal before ending up in the back of the net and the Seminoles had a 5-0 lead.
In the 90th minute UF kept fighting. Syd Kennedy collected a deflection on the left side. Kennedy drove the ball into the box and sent a left footed shot for goal but the ball went inches wide right.
That was the last play of the game as FSU walked away with an impressive 5-0 victory.
Florida State outshot Florida 19-3 (7-2 on goal).
The Seminoles won the possession battle 66% to 34%.
This victory gives FSU five straight wins over Florida.
The game was delayed by 20 minutes due to rain and lightning in the area.
Heather Payne was not available tonight as she is currently playing in World Cup qualifiers for the Republic of Ireland.
Jenna Nighswonger is playing inspired soccer. It is early in the season but if she keeps this up she will not only be in line for the All-ACC team but she will also get strong consideration for All-American honors.
Jody Brown terrorized Florida all night with her speed.
Lauren Flynn had a good game directing things in the back and distributing the ball out of the defensive third.
Florida is struggling as a program right now. The Gators are in full rebuilding mode. They just don’t have the talent to keep up with FSU. However, we haven’t seen Florida State in 10 days. It was good to see that the Noles came out and played (mostly) without rust.
Florida State will welcome Florida Gulf Coast to the Seminole Soccer Complex on Thursday. The game will kickoff at 7pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.