No. 5 Florida State (5-0) defeated Florida (4-1-2) by a 1-0 score today at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
In the 10th minute Florida State generated the first good chance of the game. The Seminoles earned a corner kick. Taylor Huff stepped up to take it. Huff sent a dangerous ball into the box. Jordynn Dudley did a great job to create space for herself before leaping up and snapping off a header that clanged off the crossbar before rebounding over the goal.
In the 21st minute FSU earned another chance. Again it came of a corner. Huff drove the ball outside the six yard box this time. The ball pinged around in the mix before Heather Gilchrist knocked it toward the goal. The ball fell for Lauren Flynn who was standing right inside the six. Flynn quickly turned and laced a shot for goal but UF keeper Alexa Goldberg was there to make a nice reflex save to knock the ball away.
In the 29th minute Florida State earned a throw-in. Ran Iwai took it and put the ball right in the path of Huff who was making a run into the box. Huff one-timed a chip into the box. The ball was headed away by Daviana Vaka but it went straight to Dudley who was unmarked about 10 yards from goal. Dudley controlled the ball well with her chest but her shot went wide of the goal.
In the 76th minute Florida State finally broke the scoring ice. Onyi Echegini headed a Goldberg goal kick down to Jody Brown’s feet. Brown quickly toe poked it to Beata Olsson before turning and sprinting for goal. Olsson deftly found Brown making that run. Brown used her speed to get by Lauren McCloskey before clinically chipping the ball over Goldberg’s head into the back of the net to give the Noles a 1-0 lead.
The Gators refused to quit. In the 79th minute McCloskey took the ball down the left flank. She crossed the ball into the box where Lena Bailey got her foot on it but she couldn’t keep her shot on frame.
From there the Noles were able to salt the game away and earn the hard fought 1-0 victory.
Florida State had 10 shots (3 on goal) while Florida had three shots with none on goal.
Today’s goal was only the second goal that Florida has conceded all season.
Florida didn’t just sit back in a bunker to absorb pressure but the Gators still struggled to generate chances which was reflected in the fact that they had zero shots on goal. However, UF was successful much of the day in frustrating the Seminole attack. The problem for Florida was that Florida State has so many weapons that it is hard to keep all of them down for 90 minutes even when you have an organized and disciplined defense.
This game was hardly a masterpiece but FSU was able to gut out the win on a day when the offense wasn’t clicking. Florida State won this game on talent. The Noles didn’t have their A game today (at least on offense) but they have a lot of dangerous players and one of them was able to strike for the game winning goal.
Going forward it would be good to see FSU try to build a bit more through the midfield out of the back rather than have Lauren Flynn or Heather Gilchrist always trying to go over the top. It’s fine to do that on occasion but it probably shouldn’t always be FSU’s first choice. Attacking down the flanks could also be a fruitful option.
However, it must be noted that the Seminoles are still undefeated and in the top five nationally so the team isn’t exactly struggling. Nevertheless, as ACC play begins and the schedule starts to toughen up Florida State may need to diversify the attack particularly in the buildup.
Florida State will travel to Clemson, SC to face the Clemson Tigers on Friday. The game will kickoff at 4pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.