TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – One goal was all that was needed Thursday night as top-ranked Florida State (7-0-0, 1-0-0 ACC) blanked No. 2 Duke (6-2-0, 0-1-0 ACC), 1-0, in front of a capacity crowd of 2,300 inside the Seminole Soccer Complex to remain undefeated on the year.
“That was one heck of a game,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “Again, another team came in here, fought us as hard as we could deal with and I thought our kids were resilient and fought hard.
“We scored a heck of a goal by Jamia Fields, bending the ball into the upper corner. Overall, I thought our performance was solid. We will get better. I know that right now we are regarded pretty highly but we still have a huge upside and we are just going to continue to get better.”
Sophomore Jamia Fields scored the lone goal of the match in the 24th minute blasting a left-footed shot from the top of the 18-yard box into the upper left corner for her first goal of the season. The eventual game-winner by Fields was created off a cross from freshman Carson Pickett that landed inside the six-yard box. The ball was deflected out to Fields, who one-timed the shot into the back of the net to give the Seminoles a 1-0 lead. Pickett was credited with the assist on the play for her first career point.
“That is a top quality goal,” added Krikorian. “She took it very well. No goalkeeper in the nation saves that one.”
“I saw the ball bouncing around and I knew if it came out that I could shoot it as hard as I can because there was a big crowd at the top of the six,” said Fields. “The ball came out and I shot it toward the left corner and it went in.
The lead would stand true as a result of another solid outing in goal by Florida State keeper Kelsey Wys and a great effort by the Seminole backline of Ines Jaurena, Tiana Brockway, Kassey Kallman and Casey Short who held the Blue Devils, the highest scoring team in the nation, without a goal for the first time this season and to just five shots on goal.
Wys made four saves, one in the first 45 minutes and three more in the second half, to register her fourth shutout of the season. Duke keeper Tara Campbell suffered the loss as she fell to 6-2-0 on the year after posting five saves in 90 minutes of action.
“Duke is a darn good team,” added Krikorian. “They are going to win a lot of games in this conference and we are as well.”
With the win Thursday night, Florida State evened the all-time series with Duke at 8-8-4, while the Seminoles continued their dominance over the Blue Devils at home winning for the sixth straight time in Tallahassee. FSU also improved to 7-11-0 all-time in ACC openers and 5-7-0 when opening at home.
“That was an exciting game with the two top teams in the nation,” said Fields. “We came out tonight trying to keep the ball and play the way we play. We knew we could win if we played our style of soccer.”
At 7-0-0, Florida State tied the school record for its best start in school history, a mark originally set during Krikorian’s first season in 2005.
“It feels great,” added Fields on the team’s perfect start. “But we don’t look at it as though we haven’t lost yet, we aren’t getting too excited about it. We are taking one game at a time.”
Duke outshot Florida State 19-14 for the game but only five of those shots were on goal. The Blue Devils first scoring threat came off a corner kick in the 29th minute. Gilda Doria sent a ball toward the top of the 18-yard box where Cassie Pecht one-timed a low liner toward the far post but Nora Kervroedan was there on the post for the team save. The ball went out to Mollie Pathman, who immediately fired a shot on goal, but Wys was there for the save.
Michaela Hahn just missed out on her second goal of the season as her header off a cross from Pickett in the 39th minute was saved on the far post by Campbell.
Both teams exchanged shots through the first 24 minutes of the second half before Florida State created the first real scoring threat in the 70th minute. Fields sent a long ball to Tiffany McCarty running down the middle of the field. The senior forward made a nice move to get a round one defender but her shot from 16 yards out was blocked away by another Duke defender sliding in from her right.
Down in Florida State’s defensive third, freshman Isabella Schmid put together a nice individual effort to evade two Blue Devils and find a wide open Short with plenty of free green space ahead of her. Short took a couple of dribbles before sending a long ball to McCarty, who made a nice cut to her right then back to her left before sending a low liner on goal. Campbell was there with a nice diving save to her right to keep the Florida State lead at 1-0.
Less than three minutes later, Natasha Anasi was called for a foul just outside the 18-yard box after tripping McCarty. Schmid took the free kick and clanked the ball off the right post denying the German native of her first collegiate goal.
Duke pushed its numbers forward in the final eight minutes trying to find the equalizer and force overtime, but Wys was a stalwart making two saves on a shot by Kim DeCesare and Laura Weinberg to preserve the victory. Weinberg finished the match with a game-high five shots.
McCarty led the Seminoles with four shots, while Kristin Grubka tallied three in 90 minutes.
Kallman was in the Seminole starting line-up for the first time this season as the junior defender returned from Japan after capturing a gold medal with the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team at the 2012 FIFA World Cup last Saturday.
Thursday night’s crowd of 2,300 was the second largest crowd in school history and the largest crowd to witness an ACC match. It marked the second time this year that a crowd of over 2,200 was on hand to watch the top-ranked Seminoles in action at home.
“The crowd was fantastic,” said Krikorian. “The folks here in Tallahassee sure came out to support us tonight just like they did a couple weeks ago against Florida. Come on out on Sunday folks, we sure could use it as you all give us great home field advantage.”
The top-ranked Seminoles will return to the field on Sunday, September 16 at 1:00 p.m. against No. 14 Wake Forest. Match time is set for 1:00 p.m. inside the Seminole Soccer Complex. The game will broadcast live on ESPN3, while live stats will be available via gametracker. 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.