Florida State soccer's lone first-half goal enough to outlast No. 11 Portland
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- One goal with just one second left in the first half was all Florida State needed Friday night as the second-ranked Seminoles opened the 2014 season with a 1-0 victory over No. 11 Portland.
“I give an awful lot of credit to Portland, coming in here, playing in the heat and humidity, and battling and making it very difficult for us,” said Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian. “We started off a little slow, a little bit sluggish and then as we started to play a little bit we started to get better rhythm in the run of play. But we will have to be a bit better in the penalty box and in and around the goal as we move on this season.”
With the clock winding down late in the first half, Berglind Thorvaldsdottir took a pass from Morgan Kennedy and fired a shot from about 30 yards out that beat Portland keeper Hanna De Haan. The score remained the lone goal of the game. The ball crossed the plain of the goal just under the crossbar with one second left in the half to give the Noles the lead at the half.
“We won the ball and I saw the goalkeeper was real ahead of the line,” Thorvaldsdottir said. “I thought, 'hey I’m going to go for it.' And I did and it scored.”
“Obviously a very opportunistic goal at the end of the first half by Berglind,” Krikorian said. “But overall, I think when you walk away and have a win against a top 20 team, and you have a shutout with a few good chances, I think you feel reasonably good about it.”
The goal would hold up as the Seminoles extended their school-record home unbeaten streak to 36 games (35-0-1). Florida State also improved to 14-5-1 all-time on opening day, including a mark of 9-1-1 when opening at home.
“It felt great,” said redshirt sophomore defender Kirsten Crowley. “I mean, the crowd was awesome and it was a great atmosphere. It was easy to get motivated tonight.”
Florida State has now played in 17 one-goal games dating back to the start of last year with the Seminoles claiming 15 victories, including eight by a 1-0 decision.
The Seminoles finished the game out-shooting the Pilots 23-8, including 16-4 in the second half. Florida State also held the edge in corner kicks at 8-3.
Florida State tried to add more in the second half but was denied by De Haan and a pair of clutch team saves by Portland’s defense.
Check out a full photo gallery from Friday night's win over Portland http://t.co/vIWP7DwOfw— FSU Soccer (@FSU_Soccer) August 23, 2014
The Seminole defense, led by Grubka, Crowley, Emma Koivisto, Schmid and Carson Pickett, was solid on Friday night limiting the Pilots to just two shots on goal.
“I think we played really well tonight,” Crowley said. “We had a bunch of chances and I think when we go back and watch the film, we will tweak a couple things. We are going to start scoring a lot of goals. Our attack is really good. Defensively, we are very organized and it is a good start to the season.”
Florida State is back in action on Aug. 24 as the Seminoles play host to Minnesota.