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Seminoles get defensive in 1-0 victory over Virginia Tech, claim 2nd ACC crown
CARY, N.C. – A stout defense has paid off big for Florida State throughout the season, and it delivered the ultimate prize on Sunday afternoon.
Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s first-half goal proved enough for the second-seeded Seminoles, who shut down fourth-seeded Virginia Tech for a 1-0 win in the title game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Soccer Championship at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Nationally third-ranked FSU (18-1-3) claimed its second ACC Championship after first winning here in 2011. Head coach Mark Krikorian’s team is expected to be a No. 1 regional seed when NCAA Tournament pairings are announced Monday at 4:30 p.m.
“Every year, we go into the ACC Tournament hoping we can win a championship,” said Florida State defender Kassey Kallman, who was voted the Championship MVP. “Getting another championship under our belt felt good. It felt good to be back in the finals.”
Virginia Tech (16-4-2), which entered the ACC Championship ranked as high as No. 5 nationally, is also hopeful of a high NCAA seeding, and FSU’s Krikorian said the Hokies deserve it.
“I thought it was a heck of a final – two very good teams going out there and competing at a pretty high level,” Krikorian said. “I think both teams were probably carrying a little bit of fatigue into the game from Friday (night’s semifinals), but for the most part you couldn’t see it.
“Credit to Virginia Tech. They are a heck of a team and competitive as can be.”
Kallman, who last week was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, picked up another honor with her tournament MVP. Florida State’ s defensive prowess was reflected on the 11-member all-tournament team, where Kallman was joined by fellow FSU defenders Kristin Grubka and Isabella Schmid, as well as goalkeeper Kelsey Wys and Brynjarsdottir.
“All season long, I think Kassey (Kallman) and Grubbs (Kristin Grubka) have led the triangle from the backline,” Krikorian said. “They have done a very good job collectively. For us, we are successful when we work as a collective group.”
Sunday’s shutout was the 12th of the season for Wys and the Seminoles, who have allowed multiple goals in only one of their 22 matches.
“Their defense is very organized,” Virginia Tech forward Jazmine Reeves said of the Seminoles. “Their back line is very tough and physical. We didn’t bring our best game today and we didn’t attack as well as we could, but I have to give credit to them. Their back line did a good job today, and unfortunately it wasn’t our day.”
Brynjarsdottir, an Iceland native, broke the ice at the 9:03 mark of the first half when she slammed an unassisted goal into the back of the net from 15 yards out. The goal was the 10th of the season for Brynjarsdottir, whose attempt from just outside the box a little over two minutes earlier had sailed high.
The score provided a painful flashback for the Hokies, who had seen Brynjarsdottir register the first two-goal game of her career – including the game-winner in the 87th minute – to lift Florida State to a 2-1 win when the teams met at Blacksburg, Va., on Oct. 24.
“Sometimes you have good games, sometimes you have average games and sometimes you have bad games“ Brynjarsdottir said. “I’ve had two good games against them.”
Florida State’s Berglind Thorvalsdottir also got two good looks in the early going, but her first attempt was snuffed out by Virginia Tech keeper Dayle Colpitts and her second shot missed high.
The second half evolved into a defensive stalemate, with neither side getting many prime chances to score.
Virginia Tech’s first opportunity at a tying goal came with just under 23 minutes to play in the match. Forward Nicolette Young slipped inside with a header, but her attempt from 6 yards out cleared the crossbar. The Hokies also saw a corner kick go for naught with 13:25 left in the match
Brynjarsdottir tried to give FSU a two-goal cushion less than a minute later, but Colpitts made a diving stop on her running 15-yard attempt from the left side. Thorvalsdottir’s header with 6:45 to play was high.
With 4:20 to play, Virginia Tech’s Ashley Meier pushed the ball into the open field and passed to Reeves on the right side. Reeves, who scored two goals in Friday night’s first-round win over top-ranked and top-seeded Virginia, had a great look from 12 yards out. But her strong kick was deflected by Wys.
“I thought the girls played hard,” Virginia Tech coach Chugger Adair said. “In the first half, we weren’t as sharp or intense as we wanted to be. In the second half we were a better team, we just didn’t come out of the chute as strong as we would like. Florida State was a very good side. They showed some of the experience in the final tonight.”
Florida State made its seventh all-time appearance in the ACC Championship finals and its fifth in the last eight years. It marked the second title game appearance for Virginia Tech and the first since 2008.
2013 ACC Women’s Soccer Championship All-Tournament Team
Kassey Kallman, FSU (MVP)
Kelsey Wys, FSU
Kristin Grubka, FSU
Dagny Brynjarsdottir, FSU
Isabella Schmid, FSU
Jazmine Reeves, VT
Kelsey Loupee, VT
Murielle Tiernan, VT
Katie Yensen, VT
Morgan Brian, UVA
Meg Morris, UNC