SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s golden goal in the first overtime period gave No. 3 Florida State (11-0-3, 6-0-2 ACC) a 1-0 victory over Syracuse (5-8-1, 1-6-1 ACC) Thursday night inside the SU Soccer Stadium.
The win kept the Seminoles unbeaten on the year running their streak to 14 games, tying the record set last year when FSU opened the 2012 campaign with 14 straight victories.
“We knew coming in that this was going to be a tough game,” said Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian. “Phil (Wheddon) and his staff do an outstanding job of organizing their team and their kids are committed to it. We knew that when we had a couple of good looks earlier in the game and we didn’t finish them that the longer the game was 0-0 the more the pendulum swings.”
The goal came off a long throw-in by Megan Campbell as the junior defender heaved the ball inside the 6-yard box that bounced once before finding the head of Brynjarsdottir, who put the ball into the back of the net for her fifth goal of the season, third game-winner and first career golden goal.
“When we got the throw-in there in overtime, we knew it was a big chance for us,” said Campbell. “Everyone piled into the box hoping to get a good shot on goal. It looked like their keeper got confused on (Kristin) Grubka’s run which allowed the ball to bounce straight to Dagny who was able to put the ball away.”
“It was a long throw-in by Megan that went over the head of Grubka and hit the ground,” added Brynjarsdottir. “My timing was good as I was at the right place at the right time to put the ball away for the goal.”
With the win, Florida State kept pace with Virginia, who defeated Notre Dame in double overtime on Thursday night, near the top of the ACC standings. The Seminoles currently sit in second place with 20 points, one point shy of the first place Cavaliers (21 points).
“At the end of the day, when you go on the road and come away with three points you feel good about it,” added Krikorian. “But I think we need to be cleaner in our finishing around the box. If we do that the game will come easier for us.”
Florida State finished the game out shooting Syracuse 14-4, while maintaining an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks. Brynjarsdottir led all players with four shots including three shots on goal.
FSU keeper Kelsey Wys was once again magnificent in goal for the Seminoles as she played every minute on Thursday night making two saves to earn her ninth shutout of the season. The redshirt senior came through with an outstanding diving save in the 72nd minute on a free kick following a questionable foul call deep in the Orange’s attacking third.
SU’s Stephanie Skilton took the free kick sending a low lining shot across the box to the far post. Wys made the diving stop to her left and then recovered in time to grab the loose ball to end Syracuse’s scoring threat.
“I’m proud of our kids,” said Krikorian. “We came in, fought hard and did a lot of good things to get the win. But credit to Syracuse, they were very organized and did a very good job of limiting our chances around the goal.”
Florida State controlled the offensive tempo for a majority of the first half as the Seminoles went in to halftime with a 7-2 shot advantage and 3-0 margin in corners but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
The Seminoles first scoring opportunity came in the eighth minute off a throw-in by Campbell. Grubka won the ball on the near post flicking it across the 6-yard box where Brynjarsdottir headed the ball off the crossbar and out of play.
In the 23rd minute, Syracuse’s Jackie Firenze got in behind the Seminole defense creating a one-on-one opportunity with Wys. The FSU keeper went out to cut off Firenze’s path down the field causing the Orange midfielder to blast a shot high over the crossbar.
Just over three minutes later, Nickolette Driesse slid a shot wide of the left post after a nice passing combination that saw Jamia Fields send a ball down to a streaking Kirsten Crowley who sent a cross to the far post for Driesse.
The Orange were called for two fouls deep in FSU’s offensive third late in the first half with the best scoring chance coming in the 38th minute when Michaela Hahn was tripped from behind. Marta Bakowska-Mathews took the free kick from about 20 yards out sending the ball just wide of the left post.
“They played really tight as a team,” said Brynjarsdottir. “I felt like we did an okay job of keeping the ball but we could have been a little more relaxed as we had more time to distribute and create.”
Neither team was able to create much offensively in the second half but the best scoring chance for the Seminoles came in the 76th minute when Fields sent a great ball to a streaking Carson Pickett, who one-timed a shot high and out of play from about 15 yards.
Overtime has been nothing new for Florida State in 2013 as Thursday night marked the fifth time the Seminoles have played extra time. The Seminoles improved to 2-0-3 in overtime courtesy of Brynjarsdottir’s goal in the 95th minute.
The goal was also significant as it marked the ninth time this year the Seminoles have scored after the 80th minute with six of those goals resulting in game-winners.
Florida State returns home to face Pittsburgh on Sunday, October 13 at 1:00 p.m. The match will mark the first meeting between the two schools. Live stats will be available via gametracker. As always Seminole fans can follow the Noles on twitter @FSU_Soccer and remember to like the Seminoles on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FSUSoccer) and Instagram (NoleSoccer).