Aug. 23, 2010

Courtesy of Florida State

PULLMAN, Wash. - Sixth-ranked Florida State (1-0-0) needed just one goal from senior captain Amanda DaCosta, the 14th goal of her career, as the Seminoles opened the 2010 campaign with a 1-0 road victory over No. 21 Washington State (0-1-0). DaCosta hit her game-winning goal from just four yards out, delivered by a precise pass from senior midfielder Rachel Lim who was credited with the assist, the 12th of her career.

"Overall I thought it was a good solid performance," said head coach Mark Krikorian. "It was a good first game against a very good opponent. I think we set up our kids a little bit to be in a challenging situation, traveling across the country and playing against a top 25 team. I think our kids passed an awful lot of tests, but there are still some areas for us to get better."

The Seminoles have now won three straight season openers, while improving to 10-5-1 all-time on opening day. The month of August has been especially good to the Seminoles as they improved to a perfect 10-0 under Coach Mark Krikorian and to 18-5-1 all-time, including twelve straight victories. The Seminoles have outscored opponents 65-26, including ten shutouts during the opening month of August.

DaCosta, an All-ACC Second Team selection in 2009, scored her fifth career goal in her fourth career season-opening game.

"It was a really good build up and Jordan Johnson got off a great cross," said DaCosta. "Rachel Lim fought for the ball and played it back to me. Fortunately, I was able to finish the goal."

"It was a good build up," echoed Krikorian. "The ball was spun wide to Jordan Johnson who bent a nice cross in that Rachel who really fought hard to get a touch or two on and dug the ball back toward the 18. Amanda ran onto it and finished in clean."

The Seminoles had 16 shots, including nine shots on goal. Three of Florida State's shots were excellent scoring chances with the first coming in the seventh minute as junior Tori Huster delivered a blast from 25 yards out that was tipped over the crossbar by Washington State keeper Meghan Berlingo. DaCosta added another fantastic shot during the 17th minute that Berlingo stopped with a diving save near the far post.

"It felt really good to finally get out there against some really good competition," said DaCosta. "We stepped right in and put up a really good fight, which I think helped us throughout the game. We fought really hard, defended hard and everything else just kind of fell into place. Overall it was really solid all over the board, especially since it was one the few times we have all played together against outside competition. Casey Short did a really good job as the game went on, just tracking back and really shutting down all their counter attacks. She kind of held it together in the middle for us."

Washington State had 13 shots of its own, with six being on goal.

Redshirt freshman goalie Kelsey Wys delivered a shutout with six huge saves earning her first career win for the Seminoles.

"Kelsey was huge," said DaCosta. "Kelsey had some really good saves. She was strong in her box, really confident, and that helped us a lot because she is the back of our defense, she is the last person so we feed off of that and definitely recognize it when she comes up big for us. It definitely helped with our energy, and it was good for her to get that under her belt." Wys had two crucial saves, one coming at 76th minute as she came out of the box and made a sprawling save from about 15 yards out and then again during the 77th minute on a tough angle from the left side from Washington State's Tiara Pittman from 12 yards out and made the save on the near post.

"I will tell you, Kelsey was a tower of strength," said Krikorian. "She played her position strong, confident, and with good handling. Kelsey had to deal with some situations that were a little bit difficult and she dealt with them all pretty well. I would say she showed very well in her debut."

The backline defense led by junior defender Toni Pressley, a Soccer America pre-season All American, shut down the Cougars along with the efforts of sophomore teammates Ines Jaurena, Tiana Brockway and freshman Kassey Kallman. The defense came out strong early, holding Washington State to five shots in the first half.

"I thought the whole group defended pretty well together", said Krikorian. "The collective defending was good, good organization, eliminating chances for Washington State, so across the board I thought the team defending was pretty good."

Florida State will return back to the field on Sunday, August 20 at 2:00pm against Gonzaga and then head home to host Stetson on Sunday, August 29 at 2:00 p.m. in its home opener.

"We had a chance to watch Gonzaga beat Utah earlier, and the young woman who scored, boy she had two very goals," said Krikorian. "We are going to have to be a little bit careful with her, and they have another midfielder who I thought was very good as well. Overall they are a good solid team, and beat a good team in Utah. We are going to take a little bit time tonight to go have dinner and give our kids some rest and relaxation, and come tomorrow start up our preparation for Gonzaga."