Oct. 5, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland had its chances, but the third-ranked Florida State women's soccer team escaped with a 1-0 victory Thursday night at a rainy Ludwig Field.
"I'm extremely proud of our effort tonight," said Maryland head coach Brian Pensky. "Our players were connected all throughout the field and we were able to frustrate Florida State through many parts of the game."
The Seminoles controlled much of the play in the first half, outshooting the Terps in the opening 45 minutes 11-5, but it was the Terrapins that nearly got on the board with a goal in the 12th minute of play. Senior midfielder Sarah Sample raced down the right side of the field and crossed a ball into the FSU six-yard box. The ball bounded through the box where freshman midfielder Molly Dreska one-timed it toward an open Florida State net. But the score was not to be as a Seminole defender was able to deflect Dreska's shot and the ball sailed just wide of the goal.
Sample figured in Maryland's next quality scoring chance as well. Sophomore midfielder Stevie Dunning caused a Nole turnover in the 26th minute and crossed the ball to Sample just outside of the right corner of the FSU 18-yard box. Sample let loose with a shot, but it just missed wide to the right.
Florida State seemed to pick up the pace after that and nearly scored in the 38th minute, but senior goalkeeper Nikki Resnick was there to keep the game scoreless with one of her three saves. A crossed ball into the Maryland 18-yard box bounced around until it found Katrina Schmidt, who volleyed a shot toward the Terrapin goal. Resnick appeared to be out of position, but the native of Boca Raton, Fla., made a leaping save to punch the ball over the goal and end the threat.
The game's lone goal came in the waning moments of the first half. Becky Edwards dribble the ball into the Terps' defensive third and chipped a pass over the Maryland defense, where Kelly Rowland was able to run under it and head the ball into the lower left corner, past a diving Resnick, for a 1-0 Seminole lead.
"Giving up a late goal in the first half was tough," said Pensky, "but we bounced back very well and created a few high-quality chances in the second half."
Maryland pushed the pace in the second half and outshot the Noles 4-3 in the game's final 45 minutes. In fact, the Terrapin defense didn't allow a shot on goal in the second half of play.
Dunning had the second half's first quality scoring opportunity in the 67th minute of play. A Florida State turnover found Dunning's feet at the top of the FSU 18-yard box. Seminole goalkeeper Ali Mims appeared to be caught out of position and Dunning struck the ball well, sending a shot toward the lower right corner of the goal. The ball appeared to go in for the game-tying goal, but the shot actually curled just around the right post and Florida State kept its one-goal lead.
The 73rd minute saw another chance for the Terps as the Seminoles committed a foul just 25 yards away from their goal on the left side of the field. Junior defender Ashly Kennedy took the free kick, but the shot deflected off of Florida State's wall, nullifying another Maryland opportunity.
Kennedy had another chance with another free kick in the 84th minute, this time from 24 yards out in the center of the field. The co-captain was determined not to strike the ball into the wall again, but her shot kept sailing and ended up over the top of the Seminole goal.
"Florida State is a great team," said Pensky, "but our kids know that they were capable of getting a result tonight. We're going to learn from this and get ready to play Miami here on Sunday."
Maryland finishes its two-game home stand on Sunday, October 8, with a 1:00 p.m. game against Miami. The game will mark the Hurricanes' first-ever trip to College Park. The Terps are 0-2 all-time vs. the Canes, but both of those matches were played at Cobb Field in Coral Gables, Fla.