MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – No. 4 Florida State (1-0-0) erased an early two-goal deficit in opening the 2012 season with a 3-2 victory at Minnesota (0-1-0) Friday evening inside Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.
The Seminoles scored three unanswered goals including two in the second half to register its largest come-from-behind victory since November 2, 2008 when FSU battled back from two down at NC State to defeat the Wolfpack 5-2.
“We didn’t start out the way we needed to tonight,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “Credit to Minnesota; they came out and capitalized on some mistakes to put us in a bit of a hole. But I thought our kids were resilient; they fought hard and we gave ourselves a chance to win. For our first game, against a good opponent on the road, I would have to say that’s a pretty decent start.”
“It was a rough start; we made it a little harder on ourselves than it needed to be,” said Jessica Price. “But we came back and fought and got the goals that we needed to, so it was a good first win.”
Ines Jaurena completed the comeback Friday night giving the Seminoles their first lead of the game in the 87th minute heading a cross from Jessica Price inside the left post for what would stand as the game-winner.
“I went (toward the goal) because I knew the cross would go deep,” added Jaurena. “I didn’t really expect it but I saw it coming and I was like, ‘it’s time to put it in.’ I knew I was going to score but I didn’t know when and the goal came at the right time tonight.”
“I didn’t think the cross would find the back post,” said Price. “But Ines was there to finish it.”
“Jessica is a weapon for us,” said Krikorian. “We had good movement off the ball, created a little commotion in the box and had the opportunity to tap a ball in. I thought our kids fought hard and hung in there to give ourselves a chance to win and fortunately we were able to secure the win tonight.”
Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Nora Kervroëdan scored the other two goals for Florida State as the Seminoles won their fifth straight season opener including their third in a row on the road.
Kelsey Wys played all 90 minutes between the posts finishing the match with four saves including two big stops in the second half on a pair of one-on-one break-a-ways by the Gophers.
The Seminoles found themselves behind early as Minnesota jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first seven minutes. It marked the first time that FSU had given up two goals to open a season since 2007 in a 2-1 loss at Portland. FSU entered Friday’s game against Minnesota outscoring the opposition 14-0 over its last four season openers.
A defensive turnover by the Seminoles in the sixth minute led to the first goal of the game as Taylor Uhl found the back of the net to give the Gophers the early lead. Uhl dribbled the ball down the left side of the 18-yard box and then beat Wys with a soft shot inside the left post as Minnesota took a 1-0 advantage.
The Gophers quickly added to their lead just one minute and 22 seconds later on a goal by Katie Thyken. The sophomore midfielder took advantage off an empty net following a goal kick by Wys that went right to the feet of Thyken. The goal came from about 30 yards out as Minnesota ran out to 2-0 lead.
Florida State broke through with its first goal of the season in the 14th minute as Tiffany McCarty found Brynjarsdottir for the score to cut the deficit to 2-1. McCarty slipped a pass to her right just inside the 18-yard box to Brynjarsdottir, who took a few dribbles before firing a shot inside the left post for her first goal of the season.
“It was an important goal,” added Krikorian on FSU’s first score of the game. “Anytime you go down 2-0, it’s easy for panic to set in, but the fact that we were down 2-0 so early in the contest our players recognized it’s a long game and that there are going to be chances to find the back of the net.”
Carson Pickett got her first scoring chance as a Seminole in the 21st minute as she found herself one-on-one with Gopher keeper Cat Parkhill. Pickett fired a low liner from about 16 yards that was saved by Parkhill.
The Seminoles had a great chance to tie the game in the 29th minute off a corner kick but a team save off the left post by Minnesota following a shot from Jaurena kept the Gophers’ one-goal lead intact.
Florida State went into the locker room down a goal but with the advantage in shots (10-6) and corners (4-0), while Pickett led all players with three first half shots.
Two huge point blank saves from Wys in the second half led to a spectacular goal from Kervroëdan in the 62nd minute to tie the match at 2-2. Off a Seminole throw-in on the far side of the field, Price’s strong throw reached the head of Kristin Grubka, who flicked a shot on goal. Parkhill made a punch save on the right post sending the ball out to the top of the box where Kervroëdan one-timed a blast into the left corner for her first collegiate goal. Grubka was credited with the assist on the play.
Before the Seminoles’ found the equalizer, Wys made two phenomenal saves on a pair of one-on-one break-a-ways by the Gophers in a span of two-minutes. The first save came off a shot by Uhl, while the second came off a shot from about 18 yards by Taylor Wodnick.
“She came up big a couple of times tonight,” added Krikorian on Wys’ saves in the second half. “I thought we had some pretty good possession and some decent attacking play but Minnesota had a great game plan and executed it very well. Kelsey had to make some big saves and then of course our transition gave us a chance to score.
“Nora’s goal is as nice of a college goal as you are going to see. She has wonderful technique. She took the shot beautifully; I hope there is more to come from her.”
Jamia Fields and Pickett led the Seminoles with four shots apiece in the win Friday night, while McCarty tallied three shots.
Florida State will return to the field on Sunday, August 19 as the Seminoles will face Marquette at 2:00 p.m. EST. 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.