1 Florida State (20-1-2) defeated No. 9 Michigan (18-4-3) by a score of 1-0 in overtime at Seminole Football Complex to advance to the College Cup.
Florida was born in the eighth minute first good chance of the game. Danny Wolf and Jaylene Howell were on their way to the ball. Wolf was whistled for a foul as she cut Howell as they jostled for the ball. LeiLanni Nesbeth and Jenna Nighswonger stood over the ball for a free kick from about 30 yards. Nesbeth played a short one with Clara Robbins who immediately played her away from Emily Madril on the right side. Madryl sent a dangerous ball into the six. Beata Olsson advanced inside the goal and was passed by Hilary Bell in the left corner of the goal. However, the assistant referee ruled that Olsson was barely wide and the goal was disallowed. It was a close call but it looked like Olson might be a half-body-length hacker.
In the fifteenth minute, FSU had another promising opportunity. The Seminoles got a corner kick. Nighswonger stepped up to take it and sent a beautiful curl into the penalty area with her left foot. Goalkeeper Bale tried to punch the ball away but the ball hit the shoulder of defender Sidney Shepherd and veered towards the goal. Bell jumped to her left and passed the ball out but the question was whether she got to the ball before it crossed the line. The referee did not award the goal initially. Florida strongly protested the goal being scored. The rule is that the ball must cross the entire line to be a target. He can cross the line in the air. You don’t have to touch anything but you must cross the entire line. In the first half of the event, the referee stopped play for VAR (Virtual Assistant Referee). There was no decisive look from the replay, so the referee decided it would be a goal kick for Michigan rather than one for Florida State.
This was a focal point of the game so it is appropriate to discuss it further. It seemed from the replay that the ball might have crossed the line. However, there was no angle to show the ball definitively crossed the line so it is possible that the referee made the correct call to reject the goal even though the result was too bad for Knowles. However, the NCAA should do a better job here. There were several angles showing what happened but no camera was placed on the goal line. Therefore, there was no conclusive look to determine if the ball crossed the line. I have said this many times before but I will repeat; All my life I can’t figure out why the NCAA didn’t put a camera on the line. If we want to have VAR technology, we need a camera on the line. The most important use of the VAR is to determine whether a goal has been scored. This seems to be common sense. Perhaps next year the NCAA will correct this error.
Anyway, the game went without goals and it was Michigan that created the next good opportunity. In the 19th minute, Shepherd sent the ball from the center of the field to Meredith Hackinson who was sending the ball against Gabby Karl. Then Hackinson spotted the Logman Rally wide open in the middle of the field. Loughman took a touch and then fired a right-footed shot at the goal from about 25 yards from outside that went just wide to the left.
In the 54th minute, Wolverine kept the pressure on FSU. Sarah Stratejakis was running right up against Lauren Flynn. Strategies returned the ball to Sammy Woods, who moved into the penalty area. In the end Woods sent a great ball to Wolff who was running into the penalty area. Wolff got his feet up and brazenly dropped the ball into the goal but Soviet goalkeeper Kristina Roque was in the perfect position to save the goal.
In the 62nd minute, the Soviet Union had another chance. Nighsonger received the ball in the middle of the field and rushed towards the UM goal. She sprinted unchallenged to the target as she tried her luck from about 25 yards. Nighswonger’s left-footed shot bounced just over the bar.
In the 66th minute, Wolverine got another chance. Nikki Hernandez and Strategies put in a great show and went on to beat the Seminole defense. Hernandez received the ball in the penalty area and after a touch hit the goal with his left foot. Rocky had taken a few steps from her line to cut the corner and raised her hands to deflect the powerful ball over the goal for a corner.
In the 74th minute Noles had their best chance of the match. Kirsten Pavlisko turned the field for Emily Madryl on the left side. And Madril attacked Michigan defender Jade Revere. She led Madryl into the penalty area heading to the finish line to form a cross but Riviere took it from behind. The whistle immediately blew and the referee indicated the place. Wolverine’s team protested the call, but the referee did not move and Jalen Howell stepped up to take the penalty. Howell’s stutter ascended before his right-footed shot hit the left corner of the goal. However, Bale guessed correctly and was there to throw the ball away for a great save. Howell may have telegraphed the shot a bit via the cross but that doesn’t take away from Bale’s impressive effort to save the ball in a big way.
From there neither team was able to create a dangerous opportunity in the organization and the match went into overtime.
In the 100th minute the Seminole won the game. Robbins received a throw-in. I danced in the box in search of an opportunity. Robbins then returned the ball to Howl, who immediately fired the ball into the six. Karl alertly (and brilliantly) ran towards the ball and hit it again through the mouth of the goalie. Bale went on guard with a possible shot from Karl and left the goal open. Karl’s ball rebounded past Bale and Olson was there to shoot it into the open net to send the Seminoles to another college cup.
Florida beats Michigan 10-8. FSU had five shots on target while Michigan had four.
The Seminoles also won the takeover battle by 61%-39%.
Yuji Chao was injured briefly in the first half but managed to return to the field in the second half.
Heather Pine was not available for the match as she was called up by the Republic of Ireland for the World Cup Qualifier match against Slovakia. Ireland tied with Slovakia 1-1. Payne played the full 90 minutes.
Both teams played well in this match. I was a little surprised at how much Wolverines content allowed FSU to take over possession. Michigan looked fine to allow possession and relied on counter-attacking for most of the game.
The shots were fairly even but the FSU applied the most pressure and had the most dangerous chances.
Usually Emily Madrell is at the center of defense but you wouldn’t know that from this game. Madril played most of the match as an attacking midfielder. Seminole mostly relied on Kirsten Pavlescu and Lauren Flynn in defense for much of the match with Gabby Karl also leading for a large part of the game.
Both goalkeepers were great in this match. Hilary Bell was under most of the pressure and has cleared herself well for Michigan. Cristina Roque was also fantastic against the Fifa. Roque has been fantastic all this season, and if she can keep playing this way, it will be very difficult to defeat Noles going forward.
Florida State was quite unlucky in this game because they were so close to two goals in regulation. Beata Olsson’s goal may have been offside but it was very close. The goal line goal might have been a Jenna Nighswonger corner kick across the line but I agree it wasn’t final so the referee made the right judgement. However, if the Seminoles had lost this game, it would have been a bitter pill to swallow in light of those close calls.
Florida State didn’t dominate the game but the Seminoles seemed to have a bit of a win over Wolverine so the score was fair. Now FSU will prepare for another College Cup appearance this time in Santa Clara, California.
Florida State will meet the winner of the Arkansas/Rutgers Elite 8 game. The national semifinal game will be held in Santa Clara, California on December 3. Departure time will be determined.