Seminoles Upset Gators, 4-2
GAINSVILLE, Fla. -- The Mark Krikorian era of Florida State soccer just keeps getting better and better. The first year head coach led his ninth-ranked Seminoles (7-0-0) into Gainesville and upset the seventh-ranked Gators 4-2 in front of 3,249 fans on Sept. 16. The win was the seventh in a row for FSU and the second this season over a ranked team. It was the most goals FSU has ever scored against UF (4-2-0) and it was also the first ever regular season victory for FSU in Gainesville. Sophomore Holly Peltzer scored the first two goals of her FSU career, including the game-winner with less than 14:00 remaining in the match.
|Mami Yamaguchi and the Seminoles took down the Florida Gators on Sept. 16. (FSU)|
The win was the fifth for FSU in the last eight meetings between the teams. It is the third time since the Seminole's first win in 2000 that FSU came back to pull out a victory versus Florida. It was the first time since 2000 that the Garnet & Gold fought back from a 2-1 deficit to win the match.
"The series is so back and forth," said Peltzer. "We put in a lot of hard work this season and we have been on the road a lot as well. It was nice to see all that hard work pay off in a win tonight in Gainesville versus our rivals."
"Florida has a good team," said Krikorian. "They are athletic and combative. That team fights hard. We came into a hostile environment and our kids handled themselves pretty well. They were up to the physical challenge. At times during the game we put the ball on the ground and really made the game look pretty nice. We are going to have to continue to improve as the season goes on but I feel really good we have an awful lot of potential still to realize with this group. It is a good start."
The Seminoles had to come back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to get the win. Sophomore Sel Kuralay recorded the first two FSU goals of the game, her eight and ninth of the season. She has already tied the single season record for multi-goal games with her fourth of the year and raised her point total to 22 on the year.
"I think we didn't get off to such a good start," said Kuralay. "We gave up a few goals and it was really important for us to turn it around and score some back. The second one in particular really helped us. That goal brought us even going into the half and gave us the confidence we could win this game."
"I think the girls handled the situation really well tonight. We just played our game. It was very physical but we just matched them physically and played our game. We played possession. In the second half I think we withstood some pressure and then really asserted ourselves. Then Holly just did an amazing job to put two in the back of the net and win it for us."
Peltzer was the story of the night. The sophomore had played just 129 minutes this year out of the 554:32 the Seminoles had logged coming into Friday night. In just 29 minutes of action Peltzer cemented her name in Seminole lore becoming just the second player ever to score two goals in her career versus the Gators. The first was Kuralay who did it in the first half of the game.
"Holly has shown us throughout the course of time of us being at Florida State that she has a knack for scoring goals," said Krikorian about Peltzer. "In certain situations she is the right solution. Kirsten (van de Ven) twisted her ankle and wasn't quite as sharp in the second half and we knew we had Holly available. Not only did she score a couple of goals but she created a couple of chances that could have resulted in a few more goals."
"Tonight was big for me," said Peltzer. "Coach called on me and I knew I was going in for a reason. I got a good opportunity and my teammates made me look good. They fed me some great balls and I just finished them off. This was fun. It was a great night and I am just so excited."
The Seminole defense saw its string of four straight shutouts come to an end by allowing two first half goals marking the first time this season FSU had allowed a goal in the first 45 minutes of a game, let alone two. In a matter of 29:10 the Gators doubled the season total of goals FSU allowed in the previous six games combined. The Seminole defense responded though by holding the Gators off the board for the next 60:50.
"In the back we felt confident in our attack and knew we could get back into the game after both goals," said senior Teresa Rivera. "We have proven we can come back and win games like we did out in California versus Loyola. I wasn't worried about scoring goals. I knew the goals would come. Our biggest concern was to make sure we kept them out of our end."
The Gators became just the second team this season to score first on FSU when Melanie Booth staked UF to a 1-0 lead ending FSU's shutout streak at 392:27, the second longest in school history. The junior picked up a loose ball and ran at the FSU defense. Only one Seminole defender got a foot on the ball and it rebounded right back to Booth in stride. The Canadian then fired to the upper corner at the back post putting the Gators in front 1-0.
Kuralay brought Florida State right back. Ten minutes after UF struck first the Australian Olympian scored her eighth of the season. Mami Yamaguchi and India Trotter combined down the far sideline. Kuralay was camped out at the near post and took a touch on the service sending it to the far side of the goal. The shot just crossed the line before UF keeper Jen Gardner could get her hand on the ball.
The Gators came right back on a goal by Rie Sawai in the 30th minute. Lindsey DeLorenze and Katie Green started the attack and found Sawai about five yards out from goal and the midfielder just re-directed the service into the side netting at the back post.
Kuralay was once again there to answer for FSU. Her second goal of the game was a thing of pure beauty. The sophomore collected the ball with her back to goal about 30 yards out. In one motion she spun to goal and fired a dipping blast that ducked in under the crossbar making it a 2-2 match.
The game remained tied well into the second half before Peltzer stole the show. The sub, who had appeared in five of six games in 2005, entered in the 62nd minute and made her presence felt almost immediately. Fifteen minutes after setting foot on the pitch, the sophomore was the beneficiary of a great build up. Mami Yamaguchi came up the near sideline and found Viola Odebrecht in space. The Japanese National team player played a square ball to the German Olympian who found Peltzer at the top of the 18. Gardner came out to charge Peltzer but the sophomore chipped the keeper for the first game-winner of her career.
"I had a moment of doubt," said Peltzer. "I just chipped it. I have been practicing very hard and instinct just took over at that point."
The Florida native sealed the match with her 87th minute goal. This time is was Katrin Schmidt who came up with the ball that freed Peltzer just inside the 18. The sophomore once again went over the top of the keeper to complete the upset.
"This was a big time win for our program," said Rivera. "There is a lot of tradition in this stadium. For us to come down here and get a victory is amazing. To win for the first time ever in the regular season at this field and to do it in my final regular season game versus the Gators was more than I could ever ask for. It just feels great."
-- Courtesy Florida State