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FSU routs South Alabama to begin NCAA Tournament

The No. 1 Florida State soccer team (17-1-2) started NCAA tournament play at home with a 3-0 win over South Alabama (12-5-3).

The Seminoles beat South Alabama for the second time this season in front of 2,125 fans, the third-largest home crowd of the season. The Noles improve to 20-0-1 in first-round NCAA appearances. Friday’s match was the fifth time that the Jaguars and the Seminoles have met in the NCAA postseason. The Seminoles have not conceded a goal to South Alabama and have tallied 20 goals against them in postseason play.

The scoring opened early in the first half with a goal from Jody Brown during the 23rd minute. Jaelin Howell drove through South Alabama’s defensive line, sending a ball across the goal to the top of the six-yard box to Clara Robbins. Robbins redirected the ball to Brown waiting on the far post. With one touch, Brown scored her second goal of the season.

The second goal for the Seminoles came three minutes later from Beata Olsson. With her 12th goal of the season, Olsson is now tied for the second-most goals scored in a season for a Seminole since 2015. The scoring drive started with Jenna Nighswonger finding Maria Alagoa in the attacking midfield. Alagoa played a two-touch ball through the Jaguar backline to Yujie Zhao. Zhao placed a ball one touch to Olsson at the penalty mark, who finished one touch past the South Alabama keeper.

The Seminole backline not only earned their 10th shutout within 20 games but also earned their 11th goal of the season by Emily Madril. The goal came in the 82nd minute off of a corner from Nighswonger. Nighswonger sent the ball to the back post where Lauren Flynn redirected the ball with her head. The South Alabama keeper made a diving save, but couldn’t contain it when Madril came in for the rebound placing the ball into the back of the net.

Florida State will play the SMU-Texas winner on Nov. 19 in Tallahassee. Tickets will go on sale Sunday.