USF women's soccer falls 2-1 to FSU
Here's our story from Tallahassee, filed by Times writer Brian Landman ...
TALLAHASSEE -- The last time Florida State junior defender Toni Pressley took a penalty kick, it was a bit embarrassing. She slipped as she struck the ball that day and fell.
She was far more graceful on Sunday afternoon, but equally as effective as her last attempt, scoring what proved to be the game-winning goal early in the second half as FSU overcame USF, 2-1, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Seminoles (15-5-1), the No. 2 seed in the Stanford region, advance to the Sweet 16 for a sixth straight year, their ninth time overall, and will play host to the Marquette on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“When you players like the ones sitting next to me, you can understand how we’ve been able to continue to maintain that,’’ FSU coach Mark Krikorian said, referring to Pressley, junior forward Casey Short and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Wys. “We have a commitment to excellence here.’’
They showed that against the red-hot Bulls (14-6-1), who had won six of their last seven to make the NCAA field for the first time in program history and then beat Auburn on Friday night.
After FSU freshman defender Kassey Kallman tapped in a shot near post off sophomore defender Tiana Brockway’s corner kick midway through the opening half, the Bulls stunned their hosts with the equalizer. Freshman forward Sharla Passariello, who scored the game-sealing goal in the 3-1 win against Auburn, volleyed a loose ball in from just outside the box 15 seconds before the break.
That gave USF a lift and it nearly seized control of the game when sophomore forward Taylor Patterson, who had two goals against Auburn, hit the post with a shot from the right side in the 52nd minute.
“I wanted to be more aggressive and want the ball more (in the second half),’’ she said. “Unfortunately it did hit the post, but I went at them. It was all I could do. Unlucky.’’
So was her team about seven minutes later. Senior defender Angelique Waller was called for a foul on Short just inside the box, giving FSU a penalty kick.
“I feel like it could have been cleared earlier,’’ Waller said. “I guess I went in to hard for a tackle and they called it. I don’t know what else to say about that.’’
Pressley last took a penalty kick against Boston College on Oct. 31, scoring the winner despite her slip when the goalkeeper guessed incorrectly that Pressley would go to the right. To avoid being predictable, Pressley had been practicing going to her left since then, which is where she shot this time as USF goalkeeper Nicole McClure dove the other way. FSU survived a couple USF chances to make that shot stand up.
“This isn’t where we wanted our run to end,’’ USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown said. “We felt we were a pretty hot team, playing well and things were culminating at the right time. We had our opportunities and unfortunately they didn’t go in today. But I’m proud of this team. It’s a young team … and we’re going to grow from here and you can expect some exciting things from USF in the future.’’