Tallahassee, FL - The Florida State women's soccer team began their postseason with a bang as they defeated Middle Tennessee 3-0 in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. With the victory Florida State improves to (14-5-1) on the season and advances to the second round to be played on Sunday at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said associate head coach Eric Bell. “We didn’t come out the way we thought we would, but the second half was much better and I think the group was more relaxed and able to keep the ball and create some scoring opportunities for our group.”
The game was closely contended for nearly half of the contest as the two teams stayed tied at zero for the first 44 minutes of action. Sophomore Breezy Hupp would eventually break the scoreless tie with two seconds remaining in the first period when she blasted the game-winning goal from thirty yards out.
“It was a big goal, obviously, for a lot of different reasons,” said Bell. “It changed the momentum of the game. You think you’re going in at the half and it’s an even game. Now we’re up a goal and Middle Tennessee has got to make adjustments. Our team is going to be a little more settled down. We can relax a little bit; we can breath. It seemed as though there was a little more pressure on us than we had anticipated. With the goal it allowed us to relax a little more … and we were able to go out and play our game.”
Hupp’s first period goal was her fourth goal of the season. Tori Huster was credited with the assist, her team leading sixth of the season. The goal was the first time the Blue Raiders have allowed a first period goal since October 10th at Florida International, and the three total goals scored was the most goals allowed by the Blue Raiders since North Carolina scored seven on September 17th. Hupp’s goal also boosted the confidence for the Seminoles.
“It was very emotional,” said senior captain Amanda DaCosta. “It was so exciting and the bench got really excited. It was important for us to come in at halftime and (say), ‘All right, let’s get back to earth. We can’t let that affect us going into the second half.’ It was really exciting. It changed everything.”
Short’s two goals was her second multi goal game of the season as she now has five goals on the season, second most on the team. Short’s first goal occurred just a little over five minutes into the second period.
“The credit goes to Janice Cayman,” said Short. She gave me a great ball. I just shot it the best I could.”
Short would score again nine minutes later on an assist by Amanda DaCosta. The assist was DaCosta’s 24th assist of her career which currently ranks third all-time in Florida State history. The game also marked her 91st game started, fourth most in school history.
The Florida State defense was once against dominant, delivering their 12th shutout of the season. Led by redshirt freshman keeper Kelsey Wys, the Seminoles have allowed just fourteen goals on the season. Wys, who leads the ACC in save percentage, finished the game with four saves and her 11th shutout of the season.
In a strong effort by the Seminole attack, Florida State held the edge in shot opportunities with a 15-5 advantage, and a 5-1 edge in corner opportunities. Overall the Seminoles lead the Blue Raiders 7-4 in shots on goal. The Seminoles, who have committed the lowest amount of fouls in the ACC this season, continued to play clean soccer as they were called for only five fouls and zero yellow cards.
The game marked Florida State’s 11th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and with the victory the Seminoles improve to 28-9-2 all-time in their NCAA tournament history. Florida State continued to be dominant at home during the postseason, as they improve to 19-1 all-time at home in NCAA Tournament play.
The Seminoles will now await the outcome of the South Florida-Auburn matchup to find out whom they play on Sunday for a game that will be played at 1:00pm at the Seminole Soccer Complex.