TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Unable to find the equalizer in the second half after Alabama scored the game’s only goal at 54:35, No. 6/4 Florida State (3-1-0) fell for the first time in 2017 as the Seminoles were defeated 1-0 by Alabama (3-1-0) on Sunday afternoon at the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
“I thought today that the better team won,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “Alabama came out with a very good game plan, but more importantly, they came out committed to compete. And I don’t know that we competed at the best level that we can. If this is the best level that we are going to play at, or the most that we are going to compete, we’re going to have a few more bumps along the road.
“All of the players and all of the staff will go back and reevaluate and try to come back and be a better version of ourselves. Today, I don’t think it was good enough for where we want our goals and aspirations to be.”
Alabama was very physical in the scoreless opening first 45 minutes, outshooting the Noles 9-3, but also committing 11 fouls, including a yellow card for Chatham DeProspo in the 35th minute.
FSU goalkeeper Cassie Miller made five saves in the first half, coming off her line to secure possession 15 yards out on a shot by Casey Wertz in the 16th minute. She made three other saves in the final three minutes of the half as the Tide controlled possession and earned a corner.
The Seminoles had the best scoring chance of either team in the first half, as Emily Madril crossed a ball from the left for Deyna Castellanos at the near post in the 40th minute. The sophomore headed the ball to the back post for Bella Dorosy who put a header on frame, but Alabama defender Kayla Mouton kept it out of the net with a defensive team save.
The Tide scored the only goal of the match in the 55th minute as Wertz got on the end of a through ball down the left side and sent a pass back to Taylor Morgan at the top of the box. A one-timed shot beat FSU’s Miller to give the Tide the lead.
Florida State continued to fight to try and even the match and junior Megan Connolly was involved in three quality chances in the middle of the second half. Madril found her near the penalty spot in the 58th minute, but her well-struck ball was stopped by Alabama goalkeeper Kat Stratton.
In the 63rd minute, Stratton punched out a cross attempt that Connolly collected, but her shot was wide of the goal. And in the 73rd minute, Gabby Carle sent a ball across the box from the left, and Connolly shot went off the post.
Castellanos had the last shot for the Noles in the 87th minute as her header off the foot of Carle sailed just wide of the near post.
Florida State was able to earn a corner in the final seconds as Gloriana Villalobos took the ball deep into the box, but time expired before the ball could be sent toward the goal.
Overall, FSU lead in shots 15-14, and 9-5 in saves as Miller earned a career high eight saves. Alabama held the advantage in corner kicks, 3-2, as well as in fouls 13-9.
The Seminoles return home and will continue its streak of three consecutive games against teams in the SEC with a match against Kentucky (2-2-0) at 1:00 p.m. on September 3 at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Live stats will be available on Seminoles.com and admission is free for all regular season home matches.