Women’s soccer: #4 Florida State defeats #1 UVA in ACC Tournament shootout

uva-fsu blogIt took two overtime periods and seven rounds of a shootout to decide the ACC Championship on Sunday with No. 1 Virginia (16-1-2) playing No. 4 Florida State (14-2-4) to a 2-2 draw before failing to claim the Championship in the seventh round of a shootout.

After making the first six penalty kicks of the shootout, Florida State’s keeper came up with the save on the seventh and the Seminoles converted their next opportunity to claim the championship over the Cavaliers 7-6 in the shootout.

Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.) scored both goals for the Cavaliers, setting the school record for career goals in the process. Doniak now has 60 goals for her career to pass the mark set by Angela Hucles in 1999.

Virginia had four players named to the All-Tournament team, including Doniak, Kristen McNabb (Montville, N.J.), Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) and Emily Sonnett (Marietta, Ga.).

“There was not much separation between the two teams, obviously, so it’s hard to lose the way we did” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “I’m proud of the team’s effort. We battled hard. It’s tough to come back twice against a team like that and the way they play defensively. We have to move on. I like where we are heading into the NCAA Tournament.”

It was seven minutes in before either team managed to get off a shot, with the Cavaliers getting the first opportunities. Kaili Torres (Fleming Island, Fla.) took the first shot from the center of the box that was blocked before Doniak fired a shot off the rebound. The Doniak shot was on frame, but the FSU keeper made a leaping punch to knock the ball over the crossbar.

Doniak got another chance in the 10th minute when she got in behind the defense for a pass. She dribbled into the box and got a chance one-on-one with the keeper, but the shot was wide.

Florida State got on the board first, taking advantage of a turnover at midfield to convert the scoring chance. Natalia Kuikka took the turnover and dribbled into the box down the middle of the field and put the ball in by the right post and the hands of a diving Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas).

The Cavaliers evened the match in the 32nd minute when Doniak successfully knocked one in from point blank range during a scrum in the box that FSU couldn’t clear. Following a cross, Tina Iordanou (Upper Brookville, N.Y.) sent in a cross that was headed toward the goal by Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.). The Seminoles deflected the shot but Doniak headed it back on frame only to have it deflected again. The Seminoles couldn’t clear it for the third time and the ball fell to Doniak’s feet where knocked it in to tie the match.

Virginia held an 8-5 edge in shots at the half.

Florida State moved back in front in the 55th minute with a goal much like the one Virginia used to get on the board. Following a corner kick by the Seminoles that resulted in a header blocked by Torres, the Seminoles’ Kristen Crowley took the opportunity in the chaos and knocked the ball across the line for the 2-1 lead.

The Cavaliers tied things up in the 67th minute when Doniak notched her second goal of the match. Meghan Cox (Springfield, Va.) dribbled down the right side of the field and cut in toward the box, sending the ball in to the feet of Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.). Latsko immediately tapped the ball to Doniak who drilled the shot from 10 yards out to even the score at 2-2.
Neither team could find the net in the first overtime period, though each got chances. Courtney Petersen (Canton, Mich.) took a deflected shot from Brittany Ratcliffe (Williamstown, N.J.) in the 94th and fired it at the goal, narrowly missing ending the match as the shot sailed just north of the crossbar.

Florida State then got its chance in the 97th minute with a blocked shot from Cheyna Williams and a dangerous cross before Virginia would escape the threat and the first overtime period.

Neither team could find the net in the second period as the match moved into shootout. Florida State would claim the shootout 7-6 and the ACC Championships after coming up with the stop in the seventh round of kicks and converting its own opportunity.

Virginia will now await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament on Monday at 4:30 p.m. to find out the next opponent for the Cavaliers as the postseason continues on the road to the College Cup.


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