TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Setting a program record with its fourth-consecutive shutout to start the season, No. 6 Florida State (4-0-0) remained perfect defensively with a 3-0 victory over Middle Tennessee (2-2-0) on Sunday afternoon at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The four-match shutout streak is tied for the sixth-longest in school history.
The Seminoles surpass the marks set by the 2009, 2010 and 2016 teams of three clean sheets to start the season, before each allowed a goal in the fourth game. Overall, FSU has allowed only one goal in its last 667:12 of play, dating back to the 2017 season, with the lone goal in that span coming on the road at No. 1-ranked, and eventual national champion, Stanford.
“Overall it was a solid performance,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “I wouldn’t say it was our finest day, but a lot of credit there goes to Middle Tennessee. They came out and were a very organized team with a good game plan. I don’t know that we brought the same level of intensity and fight today that we need to if we want to be a top-level team. But at the end of the day, it is a shutout and we put the ball in the back of the net, so it is pretty good from that point of view.”
The Seminole freshmen directed the FSU offense in the early going as Yujie Zhao foundKristina Lynch for a shot in the second minute and Kirsten Pavlisko worked forward for a strong attempt at 5:28 and both were saved by Middle Tennessee goalkeeper Sydney Chalcraft.
Freshman Jaelin Howell recorded her first career goal for the Noles in the eighth minute after Malia Berkely worked down the right side, passed to Deyna Castellanos who sent a cross to the back post for an easy finish.
Middle Tennessee nearly equalized in the 10th minute as the Blue Raiders picked up a loose ball in the midfield and counterattacked through the middle for a shot by Amber Hoot from 15 yards. FSU redshirt freshman GK Brooke Bollinger got a strong hand on the ball to deflect it and eventually secure possession.
The Blue Raiders earned a corner kick in the 23rd minute, but Bollinger was able to jump above the fray and punch the ball away from danger.
Castellanos took a free kick for the Seminoles from 25 yards in the 25th minute, and her shot bent over the wall but was saved by Chalcraft. Senior Kaycie Tillman slipped a nice pass into Dallas Dorosy at the top of the box in the 33rd minute and the senior spun around her defender and created space for a shot from 15 yards that was just over the crossbar.
Middle Tennessee pressured right into the intermission as Hannah Tillet took a shot from 20 yards that blocked away for a corner in the 45th minute. On the ensuing service, Sam Debien found Gwen Breslin on the far post, but Bollinger was in perfect position to catch the shot and allow the Noles to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the break, Florida State controlled possession and took four shots in the opening eight minutes of the half, including the first goal of the season for Tillman. The senior midfielder worked through traffic in the center of the field and lined a shot from the top of the box to put FSU up 2-0 at 51:48.
Dorosy made it a 3-0 Seminole advantage in the 63rd minute as FSU’s fifth corner kick of the game from Berkely was sent to the top of the six-yard box for Dorosy to get a head on and beat the keeper for her second goal of the season.
Dorosy nearly added additional goals in the 80th and 82nd minutes, but her shots rolled just wide of the goal each time.
The Seminole defense held the Blue Raiders at bay in the second half, not allowing a shot in the final 45 minutes, as FSU ended the game with a 20-3 advantage in the category, including 10 shots on goal. The Noles also led 6-3 in corner kicks.
Florida State remains at home this weekend and will play a pair of top-ranked teams as No. 8 USC (August 31) and No. 2 UCLA (September 2) come to the Seminole Soccer Complex. Both matches will be streamed on ACC Network Extra, with links for the broadcast and live stats available on the soccer schedule page of Seminoles.com. Admission is free for all home regular season games for Florida State Soccer.
Throughout 2018-19, the Seminoles will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Florida State and there are many events and reunions planned for all women’s sports. Head to www.seminoles.com/50th/ for more information that will be updated throughout the year.