Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State remained perfect at home in the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 first round victory over Kennesaw State Friday. The Seminoles are 11-0-0 all-time at home in the postseason and FSU has never lost a first round match. Freshman Sanna Talonen recorded a first half hat trick and Mami Yamaguchi assisted on all three goals as Florida State advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in eight seasons. The win bolstered the Seminoles’ record to 14-5-3 while the Owls finished their season at 17-4-0. Florida State will face the winner of LSU and Samford Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
“I thought we did what we needed to do to position ourselves in the second half to have a successful performance and get a result and move on to the second round,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “I give an awful lot of credit to Kennesaw, they came out, they played hard, they battled. They’re a good team and certainly a most worthy opponent. They should feel proud of their performance and we feel proud of our performance as well. It was a good game with two good teams and we are fortunate to be moving on.”
The shutout was the 10th of the season for Florida State and snapped Kennesaw State’s streak of 18 straight games with a goal. It was the eighth postseason shutout for Florida State and it is the seventh straight season that the Seminoles have blanked their opening round opponent. This is the third straight season FSU has recorded at least 10 clean sheets. Prior to Krikorian taking over the program in 2005, the Seminoles had never recorded double digit shutouts in a year.
The Seminole offense continued to roll as the offense broke the single season goal record. With three more goals Friday night, FSU raised its total to 67 this season. The previous record was 65 and set by Krikorian’s first FSU team in 2005. The 190 points also broke the record of 180 set by that same group.
“Just tremendous movement off the ball,” said Kennesaw State head coach Rob King when asked about the difference in the game. “They’re all very comfortable on the ball, a lot of team speed and we were a little shell-shocked I think just how quick they we’re able to play and move the ball around. We gave up a couple of reasonably early goals and then we had to work really hard to try to at least get our shape back and not give away too much more. I thought we did a good job in the second half of at least containing them. We didn’t really get the opportunity to play our type of game but they didn’t let us play. They are a very good team.”
For the second year in a row, a Seminole scored three goals in the first half of an opening round match. Last season Katrin Schmidt did it versus Jacksonville and this year it was Talonen. National Player of the Year candidate Mami Yamaguchi set a school record for the most assists in the first half of a game with three as she now owns the single season record for goals (21) and assists (12) at FSU.
After spending the first ten minutes assessing one another, the Seminoles started to generate an attack and 11:00 in it paid dividends. ACC Offensive Player of the Year Yamaguchi got endline on the left side of the goal and played the ball back to the center of the box where Talonen was waiting. The freshman one-timed a shot to the back post where Kennesaw State keeper Katie Piotrowski had no chance at the save. The goal, scored at 11:02, was the 11th of the season for the Finland native and the 11th assist of the year for Yamaguchi.
Talonen got FSU back on the board at 14:50. The play started with Holly Peltzer winning a corner. Yamaguchi floated a service into the box about six yards outside of the goal mouth. Three Seminoles attacked the service but it was Talonen who got her head on the ball to put Florida State in front 2-0. The assist gave Yamaguchi the single season record to go along with her single season goal record she set earlier this year.
Talonen completed the second postseason hat trick in school history at 26:39. The freshman also set the single season record for goals by a freshman with her 13th of the year. The play started with Marissa Kazbor feeding Yamaguchi. The junior lofted a ball into the box about 12 yards from goal. With Piotrowski charging, Talonen tapped Yamaguchi’s service past the keeper for the 3-0 lead.
The NCAA Tournament will continue Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Ticket information for the 2007 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament in Tallahassee is available on-line at Seminoles.com or by calling (850) 644-1830.