Women's college soccer: Florida State and Virginia battle to top-three draw
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The matchup of two of the top three teams in the country was every bit of the battle you would expect from No. 3 Florida State and No. 2 Virginia on Sunday afternoon at the Seminole Soccer Complex. UVA struck first with a goal in the ninth minute and FSU punched back with the equalizer in the 68th minute, but rain and lightning brought the final blow to the game, ending the match with a 1-1 draw at 99:06 in the first overtime period.
The Seminoles (8-1-1, 2-0-1 ACC) extended their home unbeaten streak to 30 matches, while it marked the second consecutive time that a match between the Noles and the Cavaliers (8-2-1, 1-1-1 ACC) ended in a draw.
“Absolutely it is disappointing [ending the game due to weather],” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “We have the utmost respect for Virginia and their program, and this was an opportunity for two good teams to get together on the same field and compete. Both teams wanted to have some conclusion to the game and I think it is challenging for both of us to walk off with some unfinished business. But at the end of the day, with the quality that Virginia brought in the first half and the quality we brought in the second half, maybe 1-1 is fair.”
Virginia held the pressure in the early going and earned its first scoring chance in the fourth minute as Veronica Latsko sent a low cross through the box from the left side, but there was no Cavalier teammate to get on the end of it.
Shortly after a UVA corner, Latsko opened the scoring in the ninth minute on a cross from Hana Kerner. It was Latsko’s team-leading seventh goal of the season and marked the first time that Virginia had scored in Tallahassee in 407:26 minutes of match time, dating back to September 25, 2008.
The UVA goal also ended FSU’s consecutive scoreless streak at 528:18 — the fifth-longest streak in school history.
FSU was able to penetrate the Cavalier defense with corner kicks in the 26th and 27th minutes but were unable to produce a shot. Freshman Heidi Kollanen had one of the best offensive chances at 27:01, striking a shot from the left side that slipped through two UVA defenders and appeared to be heading past Cavalier GK Morgan Stearns but was blocked down by Megan Reid and cleared away.
The Noles earned their fourth corner of the half in the 43rd minute and Megan Connolly’s service into the box found sophomore Natalia Kuikka, but her header went over the crossbar.
FSU entered the locker room trailing Virginia, 1-0, and ended up staying in there for an extended amount of time as there was a 33-minute lightning delay during the halftime intermission.
In the second half, the Seminoles came out with the pressure and Malia Berkelytook the first FSU shot of the period, dribbling across the top of the penalty box before drilling a low shot from the right that was saved by Stearns in the 58th minute. After another corner for FSU, Kristen McFarland’s header went into the hands of Stearns.
FSU goalkeeper Cassie Miller made a great save in the 64th minute, blocking away a shot from Ayan Adu and the Cavaliers were unable to get a shot on the ensuing corner.
There was a dangerous situation in the Virginia penalty box in the 65th minute as Taylor Hallmon sent in a long pass near the penalty spot. FSU’s McFarland and UVA’s Stearns each met the ball at the same time and McFarland’s shot and body were both caught by Stearns in a collision.
McFarland took advantage of her next opportunity and tied the match at 1-1 in the 68th minute. The freshman forward intercepted a back pass from a UVA defender and entered the penalty box one-on-one against Stearns. As the UVA GK came out to challenge, the Powell, Ohio native cut the ball to the left and easily finished it into the net for her fifth goal of the season.
Virginia nearly scored in the exact same way that FSU did in the 80th minute as Latsko picked off a pass between Seminole defenders 25 yards from the goal. Her first touch was a bit out in front and as Miller closed out, Latsko was unable to get a strong shot on the ball and it rolled wide of the goal to the left.
A yellow card issued to UVA’s Montana Sutton in the 86th minute gave the Noles a solid chance at goal, but Kuikka’s header off of Hallmon’s service was blocked away by Stearns. The ball rebounded dangerously in the box, but no FSU players were in the area to finish the chance.
After 90 minutes, the Noles held a narrow 12-11 lead in shots and an 8-3 advantage in corners.
In the first overtime, Virginia took the first shot as Alissa Gorzak’s strike was saved by Miller in the 93rd minute.
Kaycie Tillman started a scoring chance for the Noles in the 96th minute, flicking a ball behind her to McFarland on a run down the right side. The freshman sent a cross in that was blocked away for a corner. Connolly’s corner eventually found McFarland, but her shot went over the frame.
Both teams pressed to get an opportunity before the first overtime ended, with FSU’s Tillman taking a shot at 98:29 that was saved by Stearns and Virginia earning a corner at 99:05. However, before the Cavaliers were able to take the corner, the match entered a lightning warning for the second time. After a 70 minute delay of rain and lightning, the match was called in a draw.