TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The number one ranked Seminole Soccer team (18-1-2) kept their season alive with a 5-1 win against No. 25 SMU (12-6-2) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Seminoles continue to feel comfortable hosting as they move to a 19-2 record in second-round NCAA Tournament appearances and 49-2-1 at home, during NCAA postseason games. Tonight’s matchup was the first time Florida State and SMU have met in the NCAA postseason. This was the eighth time that the Seminoles have scored at least five goals in NCAA Tournament play, the last time was in 2017 against Ole Miss at home in the first round.
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The defensive line continued to add to Florida State’s attacking efforts with one goal and two assists accredited to three of the starting back four. Gabby Carle’s goal in the 71st minute was assisted by fellow defender, Emily Madril. Kirsten Pavlisko picked up the other assist with a pass to Kristina Lynch in the closing minutes of the match. The defensive line now has a combined to score 12 goals with four from Pavlisko, three from Madril and Carle, and two from Lauren Flynn. Combined, the backline has scored 21 career goals and earned 25 assists.
In the 21st minute, Yujie Zhao scored the first goal of the game off of a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box. Zhao’s strike hit the left goal post and bounced across the goal into the right side of the net.
Just over five minutes later, the Seminoles struck again with a goal from Jody Brown. Brown earned her second consecutive goal in NCAA postseason play with pure speed. Jenna Nighwonger sent a ball past SMU’s backline, who were not fast enough to hold off Brown. Brown drove toward the keeper and after a fake and a touch beating the keeper, Brown passed the ball into the back of the net.
Beata Olsson scored her team-leading 13th goal of the season with an individual effort in SMU’s defensive half. SMU attempted to pass the ball back to a central defender when Olsson intercepted it and gave herself an open breakaway on goal, beating the goalkeeper one on one.
The defensive duo of Carle and Madril combined in the 71st minute for FSU’s fourth goal of the game. Madril dribbled the ball deep into the Mustang’s half of the field before passing the ball to Carle on the left side of the field. Carle took one touch and hit the ball from outside the 18-yard box with her left foot, placing it across the goal in the right upper corner.
SMU scored their only game on a penalty kick in the 80th minute. Lindsey Whitmore firmly placed the ball into the upper left corner. The Seminoles responded two minutes later with a goal from Lynch. Pavlisko played a ball across the goal from the touchline to Lynch inside the six-yard box. Lynch redirected the pass into the open goal, scoring her second goal of the season.
Florida State will play No. 19 Pepperdine on Sunday, November 21st at 2:00 PM at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Tickets are available for purchase at any time.
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Photo/ Larry Novey
Bret Clein / FSU Soccer contributed to this column