CORVALLIS, Ore. — One goal was all that was needed Friday night in Corvallis as No. 5 Florida State opened the 2011 campaign with a 1-0 victory against 19th-ranked Oregon State in front of a packed crowd of 1,127.
Tiffany McCarty scored the lone goal of the match breaking a scoreless tie in the 52nd minute off a pass from Jessica Price to give the Seminoles the victory.
“The goal felt good,” McCarty said. “We had a lot of chances tonight which was frustrating but we ended up with the win in the end.”
Following two direct free kicks deep in the Seminoles’ offensive third, FSU finally found the back of the net in the second half thanks to McCarty’s 29th career goal. Price weaved her way inside the middle of the field before slipping a pass into McCarty, who sent a low liner that went through the legs of Oregon State goalkeeper Colleen Boyd for the only score of the game.
The score moved McCarty into fourth place all-time at Florida State for goals scored and into sole possession of fifth place with 71 career points. The assist for Price was the 17th of her career. It also marked the ninth time since 2009 that McCarty and Price have combined to score a goal.
“It’s fantastic to have them back,” head coach Mark Krikorian said. “Jess made a great turn, slipped a nice ball through and Tiff ran onto it and finished it nicely. My hope is that we are going to see a lot more of that this year.”
With the win, Florida State has won four consecutive season openers all in shutout fashion. The Seminoles improved to 11-5-1 all-time on opening day, while running their record to .500 (4-4-0) when opening on the road.
“Overall, I thought our performance was pretty good,” Krikorian said. “We created a number of good chances, but the quality of the finishes around the box was not good enough. The good news is that we did not give up a great deal of chances tonight. Oregon State is a good team. Their front kids are really dangerous; they are athletic, dynamic in their movements and make good passes as well. We feel very good about coming out of this first game with a win against a very good Oregon State team.”
The Seminole backline of Toni Pressley, Kassey Kallman, Tiana Brockway and Ines Jaurena was solid in the season opener limiting the scoring opportunities for the Beavers all night long. Kelsey Wys had a great start in goal for FSU as she made all seven saves in 90 minutes of action to earn the shutout.
“We certainly want to have a clean sheet every time out,” Krikorian added. “Our collective defending traditionally has been quite good, and I thought it was again tonight. It starts with the forwards; they make the game predictable and easier for the midfield players. I thought Kelsey came up with one or two very good saves. She did what she had to do and the backline was solid as can be.”
“It was a hard fought win,” Brockway said. “I think we made it a little harder on ourselves tonight. Playing away from home makes things difficult but with that said we fought all 90 minutes. We didn’t let up and finally got that goal. We did a good job of shutting them down on defense.”
Freshman Jamia Fields finished with a game-high five shots.
Florida State opened the match taking the first four shots but it was the Beavers who countered with the game’s first scoring opportunity in the 15th minute of play. On Oregon State’s first corner kick of the evening, Megan Miller sent a long pass to the far post where Chelsea Buckland collected the ball, took a quick dribble and fired a shot on goal. Wys was there to make the save on the far post to keep the game deadlocked at zero.
Two minutes later, FSU looked to get on the board as freshman Dagny Brynjarsdottir put a shot on goal from just outside the 18-yard box forcing Boyd into a diving save.
Wys thwarted away another Oregon State scoring chance with a diving save in the 24th minute of action. Off an errant pass by the Seminole backline which resulted in a nearside throw-in for the Beavers in their offensive third, Jenna Richardson took the throw-in and fired a shot from about 22 yards, but Wys was there to stymie the attack.
Florida State went into the half with a 7-4 advantage in shots, while both schools recorded two saves and a pair of corner kicks. Fields led all players with three shots in the first half.
The Seminoles came out of the gates at the start of the second half looking to push the tempo as Jaurena and Price recorded shots in the first three minutes of play.
Following McCarty’s goal, the Beavers immediately looked to counter after a Seminole foul deep in OSU’s defensive third resulted in a pair of point blanking scoring chances. Brittany Galindo sent a long ball into Oregon State’s 18-yard box where Erin Uchacz and Melinda Ingalls both recorded shots, but Wys was there to make both saves to maintain FSU’s one-goal advantage.
Oregon State would not go away as Wys came up with her sixth save of the evening on a header by Ashley Folsom in the 67th minute.
Kallman put a shot on goal in the 72nd minute off a direct free kick. Brockway sent the ball into the box where Tori Huster put a header on the ball creating a scoring chance for Kallman.
The Beavers managed just one more shot over the final 15 minutes as the Seminoles held on for the one-goal victory.