TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Senior forward Tiffany McCarty’s golden goal in double overtime lifted the Florida State women’s soccer team past Texas Tech, 3-2, and into the “Sweet 16” for the eight consecutive year on Friday night at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
“I thought it was a hard fought game tonight,” head coach Mark Krikorian said. “Texas Tech came in and competed favorably and our kids did as well – some pretty good attacking and Tiffany (McCarty) created a great goal for us at the end and to be an All-American, that’s what it takes. Tiffany takes a lot of responsibility for our results and obviously Kelsey (Wys) in the back and it’s a pretty good pair. I thought that Tiffany’s quality showed around the box tonight.”
The fourth-ranked and No. 1-seeded Seminoles (18-3-0) won for the 16th consecutive time at home and will host No. 15 Texas A&M for a berth in the Elite Eight on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Aggies defeated Oakland, 3-0, in Friday’s earlier second round matchup at the Soccer Complex.
McCarty finished with two goals, while Wys made four saves and set an FSU record for most career NCAA Tournament wins by a goalkeeper with her ninth.
Florida State has now won 10 straight second round contests dating back to 2001.
McCarty’s game-winner came in 104th minute after classmate Casey Short found her in the center of the box 14 yards from the goal. McCarty turned and whipped a rocket into the right corner of the net passed the outstretched arms of Texas Tech keeper Victoria Esson.
“I’m just happy to move on to the next game,” McCarty said. “I’m a senior, so it flashes before your eyes. I kind of took a deep breath and I’m glad we’re on to the next round.”
The Seminoles battered the Red Raiders all game with 10 shots in the second half with only one making it past Esson, opening the door for Big 12 Rookie of the Year Janine Beckie’s game-tying goal in the 88th minute.
With the Noles ahead 2-1, Allie Murphy found Beckie for a header that sent the game to overtime.
There, FSU took care of business to move on for the sixth time in seven all-time overtime contests in the NCAA Tournament.
“That was the message we kept giving them at halftime and going into the overtime - ‘Patience, patience and it will come,’” Krikorian said. “Be deliberate in the way we play and we didn’t show our emotion a whole lot. We wanted to use our skill and crafts and at the end of the day it worked out well for us.”
McCarty’s first goal of the game broke a 1-1 tie in the 66th minute. The Laurel, Md., native took a pass from sophomore midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir on the right side, did a few quick dribbles and blasted the ball into the left side of the net.
The Seminoles continued to batter Esson with shots throughout the final 20 minutes in search of an insurance goal they would later need.
Sophomore forward Jamia Fields’ shot went too high in the 73rd minute and her try from 12 yards out in the 78th was saved by Esson.
Freshman midfielder Michaela Hahn also had two chances in the 78th minute, but neither found the back of the net.
McCarty almost had another goal in the 80th minute and then worked to find a wide open Jessica Price, also redshirt senior, in the 87th minute. Price’s kick sailed high, however.
Texas Tech (16-6-1) scored first in the match, when Beckie took a pass from Jessica Fuston and her cross deflected into the goal.
The Seminoles tied the game up, 1-1, at 39:15 when sophomore midfielder Marta Bakowska-Mathews hit the upper-left corner of the net for her second goal of the NCAA Tournament as well as her career.