Florida State shows off championship pedigree

Florida State is making a strong case that it can defend its NCAA Division I women's title. The Seminoles put consistent pressure on North Carolina and were rewarded with a 1-0 win over the Tar Heels in a battle of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in Soccer America's Top 25 rankings. Florida State, which shut down a much-improved Carolina attack, has allowed just one goal -- an own goal against Clemson -- over the last 898 minutes.

The win extended the Seminoles' unbeaten streak against ACC teams to 17 games while the Tar Heels, who had lost their first loss of the season to Louisville on Thursday, suffered back-to-back losses for just the eighth time in program history.

“Overall, our performance was very solid,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “We limited the number of chances they had at our goal and I thought that in the first half we had some very good looks. To play a team of that quality and find a way to win, it is satisfying.”

FSU had the first good chance in the 31st minute when freshman star Megan Connolly found Kirsten Crowley at the top of the six-yard box and her header went off the crossbar, and Berglind Thorvaldsdottir’s follow-up shot went just wide of the goal.
 
The Noles closed out the first half with a 12-5 lead in shots and continued  pepper the Carolina goal early in the second half after Bryane Heaberlin was swapped for Lindsey Harris in goal.

Near the hour mark, Connolly’s free kick was saved by Harris on a diving stop and Natalia Kuikka was able to get a foot on the rebound, but her shot was also saved by the UNC keeper.
 
“We certainly hoped we’d be able to get some opportunities in and around the penalty box,” said Krikorian. “At different times, we were able to break their pressure and find players that were open and in good positions. Fortunately, we were able to find the game-winner in the second half.”

The game-winner came in the 79th minute when a drop kick from FSU goalkeeper Cassie Miller bounced over the UNC backline and found Thorvaldsdottir, who struck a shot on her first touch into the left side of the net for her sixth goal of the season.
 
“Cassie punted the ball and it got through and a lot of things ran through my mind,” said Thorvaldsdottir. “‘Should I chip it over, should I get closer?’ But I guess I made the right choice. It felt so good. They are a physical team, but I think we matched them well and it was a good game. It felt really good to score the goal.”
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