The No. 5 Florida State soccer team (15-4-0, 8-2-0) took care of business in the first round of the ACC Tournament, defeating No. 22 Clemson 2-1 to advance to the semifinals on Friday in Cary, N.C.
“Clemson caused a lot of problems for us today,” said coach Mark Krikorian. “We didn’t get a whole lot of good chances on goal and that is certainly a credit to them. At the end of the day, we found a way to score a couple of goals and move on.”
Deyna Castellanos and Jaelin Howell took over the match, both recording a goal while Castellanos had one of two FSU assists on the day. With the goal and assist Castellanos moved into solo second place in all-time points at Florida State with 114.
“Deyna is one of the all-time greats to ever play here at Florida State,” said Krikorian. “Great players make great plays. The corner kick, I don’t know if she did it on purpose but if she listened to me she would take full credit. Her assist to Jaelin (Howell) was top quality as well.”
Clemson (11-6-1, 5-5-0) got things started with a nice header in the second minute that was saved by Caroline Jeffers but would not get many more good looks as they would have just three more shots with one on goal.
Florida State would get their first shot off in the 15th minute with a high shot by Jaelin Howell. Florida State would then line up for a corner in the 18th minute as Castellanos fired one to the back post that would go untouched for her 11th goal of the season. It was the second straight game in which she scored.
Not much would happen for the rest of the half as the Noles would go into halftime with a 4-2 lead on shots and control of the ball for 68 percent of the half.
The Noles would get three early shots off in the second half but none on target. In the 64th minute, Clemson would hit the equalizer on Lauren Bruns’ first goal of the season. It was assisted by Renee Guion and Mackenzie Smith.
That would be the fourth and final shot for the Tigers as the Florida State defense stepped up for the rest of the game.
The tie was broken in the 77th minute on a nice set-up from Malia Berkely and Deyna Castellanos. The two exchanged passes before Castellanos struck a beautiful cross to Jaelin Howell who headed it into the back of the net for her fourth goal of the season.
The FSU defense would hold on to the one goal lead for the final 13 minutes helping the Seminoles advance to the ACC Tournament semifinals.
“We talk a lot about managing a game down the stretch and I thought there some really good things that we did,” said Krikorian. “There were other things we may need to adjust a little. Overall, it was a good solid performance after a tough game on Thursday against Duke.”
Florida State will play the winner of Virginia and Duke on Nov. 9 in Cary, N.C.
FSU golf takes second in The Bahamas
The Florida State Men’s Golf team exited its fall season on a high note, finishing in second place at the White Sands Invitational in The Bahamas after shooting 24-under (275-288-277) over the three-day tournament.
This weekend’s strong showing was by far Florida State’s best performance of the fall. FSU capped its trip by shooting 11-under on Sunday. FSU’s three-day total was better than several other nationally-ranked programs including No. 1 Wake Forest (21-under), No. 22 Arkansas (22-under) and second-ranked SMU (12-under).
Three Seminoles finished in the Top 11, headlined by junior John Pak. The Scotch Plains, N.J., native shot a season-low 65 on Sunday and finished 9-under overall (70-72-65) to tie for sixth. Pak totaled an eagle, six birdies and just one bogey in his final-round performance.
Senior Jamie Li tied for 11th at 6-under (71-69-70) as he ends a productive fall season. Li used three back-nine birdies and shot a 34 on the back end to boost his performance. His performance this weekend combined with tying for fourth at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational on Sept. 22 proves he is ready to help carry the Seminoles through the spring.