Second-half goals lift Florida State past Duke
Nov. 4, 2009
CARY, N.C. – For the second time this season, Florida State found itself in a defensive struggle with Duke. But the Seminoles found enough offensive in final 20 minutes to slip past the Blue Devils for a 2-0 win in Wednesday’s first Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Soccer Championship quarterfinal match at WakeMed Soccer Park.
ACC Offensive Player of the Year Tiffany McCarty scored off an assist from Amanda DaCosta with 19:24 remaining, and an own goal with just under five minutes to play gave the nationally third-ranked Seminoles some breathing room. FSU (15-3-1) advanced to Friday’s 5 p.m. semifinal game between the winner of Wednesday’s Virginia Tech and Wake Forest match.
McCarty, who beat her defender to drive a shot inside the far post from 14 yards out, gave the Seminoles their first goal against Duke this season. The teams played to a 0-0 tie during their regular-season meeting on Oct. 11.
“We had some opportunities throughout out the first half and unfortunately, couldn’t finish,” said Florida State coach Mark Krikorian. “Duke played very aggressively. At halftime, they probably felt they were very much in the game, which they were. I can’t say that I was nervous, I was more concerned with our defending and our positioning,. We were short-handed, losing (midfielder) Tori Huster (to injury) 12 minutes into the match.”
Before McCarty’s breakthrough goal, the Seminoles had seen several prime chances go for naught. Duke goalkeeper Tara Campbell recorded nine saves on the afternoon, including one on a driving shot by McCarty at the 30:31 mark of the first half and another on Amanda DaCosta’s open-field runner at the 23:28 mark.
The eighth-seeded Blue Devils also just missed a tie-breaking goal as the first-half horn sounded, as Carey Goodman drove a shot home from close range that was ruled to have come too late.
Duke had several other good looks, including two by All-ACC first-teamer Elisabeth Redmond in the opening minutes of the second half. But the Seminoles held firm, and Krikorian credited goalkeeper Erin McNulty (four saves) for helping preserve the shutout.
“We knew there weren’t going to be a lot of opportunities out there today, but we finally created some and created some good ones,” Duke coach Robbie Church said. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t finish them.”
McCarthy’s game-winner, which came with a number of WSL scouts looking on, was her ACC-leading 16th of the season.
“She’s as hard a worker as you will find, and it’s good to see her being rewarded for her hard work,” Krikorian said. “She wants to be a National Team player, and she trains like it, she acts like it. She has a professional’s mentality. Sometimes kids work hard, and they don’t have the luck to have the season she’s had. But she’s scored a lot of big goals for us. She had a couple of big ones last week at Virginia Tech in a 2-1 win) and, obviously, she had a big one today.”