Orlando, FL - A first half goal by Dagny Brynjarsdottir was the difference Friday night in Orlando as No. 3 Florida State (2-0-0) finished off a tough early road swing with a hard fought 1-0 victory over No. 9 UCF (2-1-0) inside the UCF Soccer Complex.
The win for Florida State was its first at UCF since 2005, while it marked the fifth victory in the last seven meetings against the Knights.
“To go on the road, play three very good opponents and come away with the results we did is pretty good,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “We obviously have room for growth and improvement, but the good news is that we are going to get better. We are going to get better and better and better, but to get the results on the road to start the season is very positive.”
Despite outshooting the Knights 12-6 on Friday night, the Seminoles managed just one shot on goal, a header by Brynjarsdottir in the 26th minute that proved to be the game-winner.
“The match wasn’t beautiful, but we did what we had to do to get the victory,” said Brynjarsdottir.
The only goal in the match came off a throw-in from Jessica Price. The senior forward’s throw went inside the middle of the 18-yard box where Brynjarsdottir timed her run beautifully with a great header inside the crossbar for her second goal of the season. The assist for Price was her second of the season and 27th of her career.
“The throw by Jess went a little longer than she intended,” added Brynjarsdottir. “I took a run to the near post and was able to finish it off with a header.”
Kelsey Wys played all 90 minutes between the posts to collect her first shutout of the season and 21st of her career. The junior goalkeeper made four saves Friday night including a great tip save in the 82nd minute on a long-range shot from UCF’s Kristina Trujic to preserve the shutout. Wys is just one shutout away from becoming the school’s all-time leader in that category.
“Kelsey Wys had a tremendous game for us,” added Krikorian. “She had good positioning and made some great saves tonight.”
Brynjarsdottir and Tiffany McCarty each registered three shots to lead all players Friday night.
UCF had the first scoring chance of the evening in the eighth minute when Nicolette Radovcic took a pass to the end line and made a nice move to avoid a Seminole defender. After a couple dribbles along the end line, Radovcic tried to curve a shot to the far post, but Wys was there for the save to keep the game deadlocked at zero.
FSU freshman Isabella Schmid registered her first collegiate shot in the 11th minute as her shot went wide of the left post off a cross from McCarty.
The Seminoles would take the one-goal lead into the half as Florida State held the advantage in shots at 6-3 while both teams attempted two corners. Michaela Hahn and Brynjarsdottir led FSU with two shots each after the first 45 minutes of play.
A Florida State corner in the second half led to a great scoring opportunity for the Seminoles in the 66th minute as Carson Pickett sent a bending corner inside the box that McCarty ran in on and flicked a header on goal. The ball was headed toward the back of the net, but a UCF defender was there on the far post to keep the ball out of the goal.
McCarty drew iron in the 72nd minute as her blast from 22 yards out caromed off the crossbar and was cleared by a Knight defender.
Moments later McCarty and Casey Short teamed up for a great give-and-go that led to Short firing a shot wide of the right post.
In the 77th minute, Hikaru Murakami sent a beautiful cross to Jamia Fields, who one-timed a header high over the crossbar.
Wys made two saves in the final eight minutes including a huge save in the 82nd minute on the long range shot from Trujic. Trujic ripped a shot from 35 yards out that the Seminole keeper tipped over the crossbar. The deflection led to a pair of Knight corner kicks as the second led to another scoring chance for UCF. But the shot by Ashley Nicol was easily saved by Wys.
The Seminoles controlled possession for the final five minutes to capture their second consecutive one-goal victory to start the season.
“Tonight was a crazy game,” said Wys. “We did well to finish it out. It was great to have a game like this at the beginning of the season. We made some mistakes but learned from them over this tough three-game road test.”
Florida State will return to the field for its home opener on Friday, August 31 against intra-state rival Florida at 7:00 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com. Live stats will be available via gametracker, while fans can always receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Soccer. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Soccer team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUSoccer.