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McFarland scores two goals, FSU advances to third round of NCAA Tournament

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The Florida State soccer team (17-5) took care of business in the second round of the NCAA Tournament earning a 2-0 win over the Brown Bears (14-2-3).

Kristen McFarland scored her fourth consecutive goal for the Seminoles in the first half to give the Noles an insurmountable 1-0. She scored her second goal of the game in the 88th minute for her second straight two goal game to seal it for the Seminoles.

Brown got off an early first shot less than a minute into the game as Sara Bermudez fired one wide. Florida State would not get off their first shot until the 20th minute.

It would not take long after that as nine minutes later McFarland would hit the back of the net for the eighth time this season. The goal was set up after a Jaelin Howell shot got saved by the Brown keeper leading to a corner kick.

Deyna Castellanos stepped up for the corner and dropped off a short pass to Malia Berkely who quickly passed it back to Castellanos. She would then cross the ball across the box to Abbey Newton who headed it over to McFarland for the goal. It was Newton’s fifth assist of the season and Castellanos’ 11th.

The Seminoles would head into the half with an 8-3 shot advantage, including four of those shots on goal. FSU also maintained possession for 72 percent of the first half.

In the second half the Seminoles got off nine shots but Brown’s keeper came up with four impressive saves showing why she entered the game sixth in the country in goals-against average, only allowing five goals all year.

It took until the 88th minute for the Seminoles to get their second goal. The Brown keeper went to clear the ball out of their box before McFarland had a great effort play to get in the way. The ball ricocheted off of McFarland’s back and into the goal putting the game out of reach.

With the win, Florida State advances to the NCAA third round for the 17th time in program history and will take on USF on Sunday at 1 pm. The game is a rematch of last season’s second-round game in which the Noles defeated the Bulls 3-1.

Tickets are $20 for reserved seats with chair backs, $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (50+) and $3 for youth (3-12) for single-game tickets. Children 2 and under and the first 100 students with their student IDs will be free. Tickets can be purchased online at Seminoles.com, by phone at 888-FSU-NOLE (378-6653), or in person at the Seminole Soccer Complex at the Spirit Way Gate.

FSU volleyball loses at No. 2 Pitt

Holding the No. 2 team in the country to a .231 hitting percentage while recording 11 blocks on the road, Florida State (17-9, 10-6 ACC) was defeated in four sets by No. 2 Pitt (27-1, 16-0 ACC) on Friday night by the score of 19-25, 28-26, 19-25, 22-25. The second-set victory for the Seminoles marked just the fifth set this season that Pitt has lost in ACC play, along with another from FSU’s match with the Panthers on October 6, one versus Clemson and two against Georgia Tech.

Junior Taryn Knuth finished with seven blocks, including a career-high five solo blocks, and  inched closer to a milestone, currently with 495 blocks in her three-year career at Florida State. Freshman Jessica Nunge also set a career high, tallying six kills, along with a .333 hitting percentage.

“The girls played hard tonight, we just didn’t execute under pressure like we needed to in some of the sets we lost,” said FSU head coach Chris Poole. “We just need to learn from it. They should realize that we certainly can play with some of the best teams in the country. Overall, we had five freshmen playing for us and I thought they did a good job. We just need to go back and work to get better.”

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