TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After dealing with a 75 minute lightning delay prior to the match, No. 1 Florida State (5-1-0) needed even more than the regulation 90 minutes to decide its match on Sunday against Troy (4-4-1). However, the Noles were able to quickly put the ball in the back of the net on Kristen McFarland’s golden goal just 52 seconds into the overtime period to give FSU a 1-0 victory.
“Troy did a great job of playing together collectively, and I’m not sure that we did a good enough job of spreading the field with the quality of the passes,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “The last game, the quality around the penalty box was better, and we were able to score three goals. This time, the quality wasn’t quite good enough and a post, a crossbar and a couple of chances here and there, but that’s soccer. We just have to continue to improve.”
Despite ending regulation tied at 0-0, the Noles had several quality chances throughout the match. Freshman Malia Berkely made a run down the left side in the sixth minute and passed it into Deyna Castellanos, who found sophomore Kaycie Tillman at the top of the box. Her shot was saved and deflected by Troy goalkeeper, Mikki Lewis, but continued on toward the goal before being cleared away by Klara Andrup.
Lewis made another nice save for the Trojans in the 18th minute, collecting a header from Megan Connolly, one of her team-leading seven shots during the match.
Castellanos had one of the best opportunities at the goal in the 25th minute, dribbling the ball deep into the penalty box on the right side, sliding by defenders before taking a shot from eight yards out that was blocked into the side of the net, narrowly missing the post.
In the second half, Connolly nearly got the 1,138 fans at the Seminole Soccer Complex to stand on their feet, but her strike from 20 yards out hit the crossbar. Freshman Doriana Moul started the play down the right side, feeding a pass into the penalty box for Tillman, who played a nice drop pass for Connolly in open space.
Tillman later used the side of her foot for an impressive flick pass in the 78th minute, deflecting a long ball from Taylor Hallmon on to Dallas Dorosy in the middle of the field. Dorosy continued her run and earned the Noles a corner, but they could not find a shot during the sequence.
FSU nearly ended the game in regulation as Macayla Edwards worked into the penalty area and dropped a pass back for Tillman with 13 seconds remaining. The sophomore’s shot bounced off the post on the left and the ball was cleared as time expired.
FSU struck quickly in the overtime period as McFarland made a run on the left of the goal and her shot at 90:12 was saved away for corner by Troy’s Lewis. On the ensuing corner, Connolly’s cross into the box from the left found Kirsten Crowley on the far post. The redshirt senior wasn’t in a position for her header to score, so she played it back toward the middle of the box, where McFarland was easily able to chest the ball home for the overtime winner.
“We had a lot of chances, but it was just about being precise and putting it in the back of the net,” said McFarland. “We got the timing right at the end and got the goal. It was a pretty easy goal because my teammates did a great job of putting me in the right place.”
Overall, the Noles outshot the Trojans, 18-2, with a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal and 7-1 in corners. The golden goal is the first overtime winning goal by Florida State since Emma Koivisto on August 29, 2014 at Oklahoma State in the 106th minute. FSU has played five other overtime matches over that stretch, with each of them ending in a draw.
The Seminoles remain at home and will host Mercer on Thursday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The match will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra and live stats will be available on Seminoles.com. Admission is free for all home regular season FSU Soccer matches.