For the first time this season, Florida State trailed in the first half at home when NC State's Lindsay Vera knocked in the game's first goal at the 1:27 mark. Jessica O'Rourke found Vera streaking down the right side of the pitch when Vera sent a cross from 16 yards out that beat a diving Erin McNulty to upper left corner for the goal. It was Vera's team leading sixth goal of the season.
"We started off slowly, but it was good to get our legs about us and start knocking the ball around and create some quality chances after NC State scored that goal so early in the game," said assistant coach Eric Bell. "It was good to get some goals by some different people today and Rachel Lim scored a fantastic goal before the end of the first half to give us the lead."
The Seminoles would finally crack the scoreboard in the 37th minute on a goal by Kirsten van de Ven, her fourth of the season. The play began as Rachel Lim found Katrin Schmidt on the left side of the field. Schmidt made a few moves to get to the middle before sending a cross to the far post where van de Ven one-timed a shot into the lower corner to tie the game at one. With that score, van de Ven had scored the last three Florida State goals.
"I thought I would play a hard ball to the far post which is always dangerous," explained Schmidt. "I kept it low to the ground and Vandy did a great job of getting to the ball and finishing it."
With less than six minutes remaining in the half, Florida State would grab the lead for good as Lim blasted a left-footer off the left post and into the goal for a 2-1 Seminole advantage. Van de Ven sent a long ball to Lim who stopped the pass with her right foot took a quick dribble to the inside and one timed a shot with her left foot that caromed off the left post and in the net.
"I was able to drag my player out wide," said Lim. "I tucked in behind the defender and Vandy saw me running in, she played the ball to me, I was able to control it and just hit it."
Although the Seminoles took a 2-1 lead into the locker room, it wasn't without some bad news as junior captain Sarah Wagenfuhr left the game with a right knee injury just over 10 minutes remaining in the first period. She would not return.
"We definitely were not sharp at the beginning of the game," said Schmidt. "Our focus was off and we realized that we had to step up our game after giving up that goal so early. I think we did a better job at the end of the first half and our play in the second half was much better."
Florida State built its lead to 3-1 when Mami Yamaguchi scored on a cross from 15 yards out that went just inside the left post. The goal was her team leading 14th of the season. The Tokyo, Japan native has now scored a point in all 10 games this season. Yamaguchi started the play as she played a little give and go with freshman midfielder Marissa Kazbour. Yamaguchi made a quick move to her right and was able to get a good shot off on goal as she fell to the ground. NC State goalkeeper Sydney Little made a diving attempt as the ball skimmed off her fingertips and into the net.
The Seminoles would solidify the victory with a goal off the foot of Amanda DaCosta, her second of the season, in the 85th minute. The freshman midfielder capitalized on a Wolfpack turnover, made a few nice moves and fired a shot into the lower right corner for the fourth Seminole goal of the afternoon.
"Getting two goals by the end of the half was really a confidence booster for us," added Lim. "I think after that we settled down and played much better in the second half as we were able to get two more goals."
Florida State outshot NC State 18-9 in the game, while maintaining the advantage in corner kicks at 6-4. Erin McNulty got her tenth start in goal for the Seminoles and played over 86 minutes before she was knocked out of the game after colliding with an NC State player on a Wolfpack corner. Sophomore transfer Kate Milstead played the remaining three minutes and seven seconds in goal for the Seminoles. McNulty finished the game with four saves.
A total of four yellow cards were issued Sunday afternoon including three by Florida State all in the final five minutes. FSU played a man down for the final three minutes and 24 seconds as van de Ven was issued back-to-back yellow cards and was ejected from the game.
The win for Florida State was its first come-from-behind victory of the season.
Florida State will hit the road next week as they face Virginia on Thursday, October 4 and Virginia Tech on Sunday, October 7.