By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
August 26, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Wisconsin Badgers didn't make life easy for the defending champion Florida State Seminoles on Sunday, but a golden goal in overtime in the 99th minute gave Florida State a 1-0 victory to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
To call the match "frustrating," on the offensive end would certainly be an understatement; Wisconsin limited chances and attempted to live on the counter attack, leading to a first half with only seven shots in the opening 45 minutes, something head couch Mark Krikorian was quick to credit the Badgers with.
“You know, you really hope you’re gonna be in midseason form in the first weekend of the year but you know you’re not going to be and part of it was the quality of Wisconsin and I don’t know if there are any teams in the country more organized and better coached than they are," he said following the game. " It was a fantastic, organized group we had to play against.”
But, Florida State continued to play their game, keeping possession and eventually opened up chances in the second half, but to little success.
The game progressed to golden goal, with Malia Berkley pulling up from distance and netting the game winner.
“We knew that if we kept possession, kept it moving around that it would open up and I saw that they were so far on top of their box that if I could find a way to get a shot off it would give us an opportunity maybe for a second ball or a follow up or in this case a goal,” Berkley said.
Berkley had her fair share of close calls all last season and says this was obviously quite a nice breakthrough.
“I was so excited mainly because it was very hot and I was just glad that the game was over after that but it was a nice feeling, I felt as soon as it came off my foot I knew it was going to be a good shot and either the keeper get a tip on it and one of my teammates were gonna be able to follow it up or in that case it went in," she said.
“Last year there were a number of games where she would get forward in those situations and strike the ball and it would hit the crossbar or the post and it would be a little bit unlucky and today she had the good footwork, controlling touch and lined it up pretty well and I’m not sure there’s anyone in the world that wouldn’t claim for their own goal," added Kirkorian. "It was a top class strike.”
Next up for the Garnet and Gold is a trip to the west coast to visit Southern Cal and UCLA, two of the top programs in the country, before a return home and a matchup with the Florida Gators at the FSU Soccer Complex on Friday, Sept. 6.