MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – In a match that spanned nearly four hours, No. 1 Florida State (3-0-0) kept its undefeated and unblemished season intact with a 3-0 victory at Middle Tennessee (2-1-0) on Sunday afternoon. A lightning delay caused the match to be put on hold for two hours and 27 minutes during the halftime intermission before playing the final 45 minutes.
“It was kind of a disjointed game,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “I thought in the first half, we came out and established a good tempo, played pretty well and scored the three goals. In the second half, I never really felt like there was a lot of excitement in the game. It was just going out and playing the hand. I think Middle Tennessee came out and played us hard and gave us a good, hard battle.”
Florida State got out to a quick 1-0 lead in the fifth minute as Megan Connolly scored her second goal of the season. The sophomore midfielder received the ball near the penalty spot from Dallas Dorosy after she made a nice run to the right end line. It marked the 11th goal of Connolly’s career.
Deyna Castellanos extended the Seminole lead to 2-0 in the 28th minute, slotting a shot from 15 yards into the back of the net for her third goal of the season. Kirsten Crowley got the scoring chance started, finding Emma Koivisto in a seam down the right side and Koivisto passed a perfect cross into the box.
Freshman Kristen McFarland replaced Castellanos at forward following the goal, and scored one of her own less than three minutes later, beating the keeper on a shot from six yards out on the right side. Sophomore Kaycie Tillman received the ball at the top of the box and made a nice move to draw the defenders to her, freeing McFarland to make the scoring run for the first goal of her career, making it 3-0 FSU.
The Noles dominated possession throughout the half, outshooting the Blue Raiders 15-0 in the first 45 minutes and holding a 9-0 advantage in shots on goal as they went to the locker room.
However, Florida State would remain in the locker room for over two hours as a lightning delay and thunderstorm entered the area until 6:21 pm ET.
In the second half, the Noles continued to maintain possession to work scoring chances and didn’t allow a shot to Middle Tennessee until the 59th minute.
MT’s goalkeeper Sydney Chalcraft made several solid saves to keep the match at 3-0 in the second half. Elin Jensen got on the end of a ball on the left side and her shot from eight yards out in the 67th minute was stopped on a diving save by Chalcraft. She made another stop in the 68th minute on a header by Crowley.
For the entire match, FSU held a 23-2 advantage in shots and 13-2 in shots on goal. The Noles were able to earn seven corner kicks in the game and only conceded one.
The Seminoles return to Tallahassee for their 2016 home opener on September 2 against No. 6 Florida (2-1-0). The match between the Noles and Gators will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will broadcast on ACC Network Extra. FSU in unbeaten in its last 24 home matches, dating back to the last time FSU played UF at the Seminole Soccer Complex, falling 2-1 on September 5, 2014.
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