TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Four different Seminoles scored on Sunday afternoon as No. 3 Florida State (12-0-3, 7-0-2 ACC) kept its unbeaten record intact blanking Pittsburgh (4-10-1, 0-9-0 ACC) 4-0 inside the Seminole Soccer Complex.
Anna McClung, Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Marta Bakowska-Mathews and Carson Pickett all found the back of the net on Sunday as the four goals tied a season-high for the Seminoles.
“From start to finish it was a fairly solid performance,” Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian said. “It’s another ACC win; a good defending performance, a good attacking performance and a solid win.”
Defensively, Florida State held the Panthers without a shot and a corner kick opportunity. FSU finished with a 31-0 advantage in shots and 14-0 margin in corners. The 31 shots tied a season-high (Oklahoma State, 9/6), while it marked the most corners taken by the Seminoles this year. The Seminoles held the opponent without a shot for the first time in 2013 and for the fifth time in school history. The last time FSU did not allow a shot was against Jackson State on September 21, 2012.
“I thought our defending was very good and very solid,” added Krikorian. “We have a good group of defenders and of course Kelsey (Wys) in the net, when the opportunity arises she is always there to help us. Again, it was a good game for us.”
“Our defense starts from the top,” said defender Megan Campbell. “By us pressing really high, it forced them to make mistakes. You could see that we held a majority of the possession thanks to our pressure. We worked well defensively today.”
With the win, Florida State kept pace with Virginia, who defeated Wake Forest on Sunday, near the top of the ACC standings. The Seminoles currently sit in second place with 23 points, one point shy of the first place Cavaliers (24 points).
Sunday’s victory was also significant running FSU’s unbeaten streak to 15 games breaking the previous school record of 14 games (14-0-0) set last year. It also extended the Seminoles’ school record home unbeaten streak and the longest active home unbeaten streak in the nation to 28 games (27-0-1), a mark that started back in 2011.
Florida State broke through right before the half on McClung’s second goal of the season in the 40th minute. Yulie Lopez gained possession on a 50/50 ball in the air before sending a low pass to McClung, who flicked the ball behind her and back toward the middle of the field. The freshman from Gate City, Va., made a quick turn to her right before blasting a shot inside the left corner of the net from about 14 yards for what would eventually be her first career game-winning goal. Lopez was credited with an assist on the play, her second of the season.
“We could all feel it was coming,” said Krikorian on getting the goal right before the half. “It was just a matter of the right combination of players being precise enough and making it happen. There wasn’t any panic it was just a matter of finishing our chances to ease the pressure coming out in the second half.”
“I think it eased some of the tension,” said McClung on finding the back of the net in the 40th minute. “Yulie gave me a great ball; I took a touch, turned with it and followed it into the net. It was a good first goal and we knew after that many more would come.”
The Seminoles wasted little time going on the attack to open the second half scoring two goals within two minutes and two seconds to take a three goal lead.
“We had to change our mindset some,” said McClung. “After halftime, we came out a little more focused and I think it made a big difference.”
The first of the two goals came in the 51st minute when Brynjarsdottir put away a long cross from Megan Campbell with a header right under the crossbar from about four yards out for her sixth goal of the season.
Just over two minutes later, Jamia Fields blasted a shot that deflected off the hand of a Pitt defender inside the 18-yard box leading to a penalty kick opportunity for the Seminoles. Marta Bakowska-Mathews successfully converted the pk for her fourth goal of the season.
The Seminoles finished the scoring in the 88th minute when Pickett picked up her second goal of the season. The sophomore midfielder sent a bending shot toward the near post that deflected off a Pitt player and into the goal.
Kelsey Wys played all 90 minutes between the posts to earn her 10th shutout of the season. In the process, she lowered her goals against average to 0.44 on the year.
Florida State will take another week off before returning to the pitch at home on Sunday, October 20 at 1:00 p.m. against Maryland. The match against the Terrapins is a student loyalty game as FSU students, who present their student ID at the gate, will receive points for attending the match.
Admission to the match is free of charge while the game will air live on ESPN3. 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).