Florida State is No. 1 in the Soccer America Women's Top 25
for the first time in its history. The Noles' 2-1 victory
over defending national champion Portland Sunday was no fluke.
Yes, the Pilots were missing All-American defender Stephanie Lopez
, who is in
Russia for the Under-20 World Championship.
Yes, the heat index reached 99 degrees, favoring the Floridian side.
But Florida State completely dominated Portland, outshooting the
Pilots, 25-5 -- 16-1 in the second half. The Seminoles could have been discouraged after falling behind on an Angie Woznuk
free kick in the first half, but
they kept attacking. Holly Peltzer
and Mami Yamaguchi
, in particular, gave UP problems with their runs down
the flanks. Australian Sal Kuralay
set up India Trotter
for the tying goal with a nifty back heel, and the
opportunistic Yamaguchi followed up on her pass that deflected off a Pilot defender and she cracked the winner in the 79th minute.
"In the first half, I didn't think we were quite sharp
enough keeping the ball, to be truthful," said FSU coach Mark Krikorian
. "One of the things we addressed at halftime was keeping the ball. Obviously, the
heat took a toll on their group, and we were able to establish a nice rhythm in the second half. We thought it was just a matter of time before we would be able to score. We had enough good
chances." TOMORROW: Soccer America's Women's Player of the Week and Team of the Week.