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FSU lights up scoreboard to win ACC opener

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No. 6 Florida State soccer (7-2-0, 1-0-0) began ACC play with a thrilling 5-4 win over Boston College (7-1-1, 0-1-0).

“In the end, it proved that we are reasonably resilient,” FSU coach Mark Krikorian said. “Our kids fought hard and found a way to come away with a win. Credit to Boston College. They took advantage of mistakes that we made and generated enough attack to score four goals. Coming in here and scoring four goals against us is pretty good.”

The Seminoles were highlighted by Jenna Nighswonger and Deyna Castellanos on the attack. Nighswonger came away with two goals for her second multi-goal game of the season, while Castellanos earned three assists to tie a school record.

“She has so many wonderful, special qualities,” said Krikorian on Castellanos. “Every time she’s on the ball, something exciting could happen. She could score a fantastic goal, a simple goal or she could create for one of her teammates like she did tonight.”

Boston College struck first in the 11th with a goal by Sam Smith coming off of a corner kick. That came after the Seminoles were being outshot 3-1 early in the game.

FSU came back firing, taking eight straight shots before Castellanos fired a long ball down the center to Kristen McFarland for the first goal of the game for the Seminoles in the 27th minute. It was McFarland’s third of the season.

The Seminoles then took their first lead of the match in the 38th minute on Makala Thomas’s first goal of her career, coming off assists from Gabby Carle and Leilanni Nesbeth.

Two minutes later BC tied it back up with a goal by Gianna Mitchell coming off of another corner kick.

Coming out of the half the Noles hit the back of the net again in the 54th minute on Nighswonger’s first of two goals. Once again BC countered with Sam Smith’s second goal of the game in the 62nd minute.

In the 68th minute, Gabby Carle scored her first goal of the season and third of her career coming off of Castellanos’ second assist of the game to make it 4-3. Two minutes later Nighswonger extended the lead with her second goal of the game to tie the team-high with five goals this season.

BC clawed back with a goal in the 86th minute to make it 5-4 but couldn’t get the equalizer as the Noles went on to win their ACC opener.

FSU heads on the road next weekend to take on Clemson on Thursday and Syracuse on Sept. 29..

FSU volleyball faces Alabama

Closing out the preseason non-conference schedule on Friday, No. 23 Florida State (5-3) will host Alabama (8-2) in Tully Gym in a match that will begin at 6 p.m.

“Alabama is a really good team,” said FSU coach Chris Poole. “They are 8-2 now and have a new head coach (Lindsey Devine) that had a lot of success at East Tennessee State. So, I am expecting them to be a challenge for us, which is good. We wanted to compete in another good match before heading into the conference season.

“We have tried quite a few things lineup-wise over the first few weeks, so we are trying to settle in on what we have learned. Every time you play, you learn things from your players and what their strengths and weaknesses are. And now we just have to figure out who is playing the best at the moment and what lineup will be the most effective as we move into ACC play.”

The Seminoles hold a 16-11 all-time record against Alabama, and Friday’s match is the first since 2016 and just the sixth time the schools have met since 1981. FSU has won seven of the last eight matches in the series, and holds a 3-2 record against the Crimson Tide in Tallahassee.

Friday’s match will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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