Nov. 23, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s Tiffany McCarty scored in the 53rd minute and despite sustained offensive pressure in the second half, No. RV/23 Notre Dame was not able to come through with the tying goal, as the Fighting Irish were eliminated from the NCAA Championship, falling to the No. 7/4 (and top-seeded) Seminoles, 1-0 on Friday night before a crowd of 2,019 fans at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
McCarty’s goal started with a long throw-in by FSU’s Jessica Price on the right touch line, with Dagny Brynjarsdottir racing towards the throw and flicking a header from the right side of the penalty area into the heart of the box. McCarty found space eight yards out and was able to poke a shot back across the face of goal and inside the right post (52:03).
Florida State (20-3) finished with a narrow 15-14 edge in total shots, while Notre Dame (16-6-2) had the upper hand in shots on goal by a similarly thin 6-5 margin. However, those figures don’t reflect the Fighting Irish offensive pressure applied in the second half, when Notre Dame outshot FSU, 11-7, including a 4-3 edge in shots on goal. The Seminoles also ended up with a 9-5 advantage on corner kicks.
Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) registered four saves in the Fighting Irish net, while FSU goalkeeper Kelsey Wys stopped all six shots she faced.
“I couldn’t more proud of the effort shown by this group of players, not just tonight, but throughout the season,” Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. “I thought we played fantastic soccer in the second half tonight, some of our best possession of the season, but we just weren’t able to get that tying goal. I think the future is extremely bright for this team and I’m excited about what lies ahead for us.”
Florida State has much of the run of play in the first half, keeping Hight and the Fighting Irish defense on their toes, but the visitors were more than equal to the task. In the 19th minute, off an FSU corner kick, McCarty collected a pass in the goal mouth, 10 yards out, but Hight sprang off her line and blocked the shot.
First-half substitute Carson Pickett had a pair of challenging looks for the Seminoles, curling a tight-angle shot from the left side in the 32nd minute that whistled untouched through the six-yard box, and then drilling a low shot from the top left of the box that Hight dove to push wide of the left post in the 38th minute.
Notre Dame nearly grabbed a stunning goal in the final two minutes of the first half, as sophomore defender Taylor Schneider (Southlake, Texas/Carroll Senior) alertly stepped into the passing lane on the right flank as FSU attempted to clear the ball upfield. Schneider then pushed into the attacking third before cracking a low shot that deflected slightly off a Seminole defender and was ticketed for the far left post. Wys initially was leaning towards her left (the right post), but managed to regain her footing enough to get back and make a head-long dive to push the shot wide of the left post (43:10).
The Fighting Irish came out of the locker room with renewed energy and carried a large amount of possession in the opening five minutes. However, Florida State held fast and finally broke through with the lone marker of the night on McCarty’s goal.
Still, Notre Dame remained on the front foot for the majority of the second half, testing the Seminoles’ back line with a variety of chips and crosses. In the 60th minute, senior defender Jazmin Hall (Highland Village, Texas/Marcus) collected the ball near the midfield stripe and made a weaving run through the center of the pitch before playing wide for freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, Calif./Davis), but the rookie’s 15-yard shot went right into Wys’ waiting arms.
In the 72nd minute, Gilbertson again found space on a run down the right flank, driving a sharp cross to the top of the penalty area. Freshman forward Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) was able to get her head on it, but the shot was wide of the right post.
McCarty nearly doubled Florida State’s lead in the 82nd minute, grabbing a loose ball near the top of the box and cracking a rising shot that slammed hard off the crossbar before being cleared out by the Fighting Irish defense. Three minutes later, FSU’s Kassey Kallman tried a back-post header off a corner kick, but Hight slid over and made the stop on the eight-yard shot.
Notre Dame had one final offensive flurry that yielded a pair of corner kicks, but neither attempts from the flag paid off, with the best chance being a header from freshman defender Katie Naughton (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) that drifted wide right with 90 seconds remaining.
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— ND —
POST-MATCH NOTES: Notre Dame sees its five-match winning streak in NCAA Championship quarterfinals come to an end, losing in the round-of-eight for the first time since 2005 (a 3-1 loss at Portland) … the Fighting Irish are 12-3 all-time in NCAA quarterfinals, including an 8-2 mark in the Waldrum era … Notre Dame and Florida State were meeting for the fifth time (ND now leads series, 3-2), with all five matches coming in the NCAA Championship (quarterfinal round or later) … the teams have now split their two matches in Tallahassee, with the Fighting Irish having won their first encounter at the Seminole Soccer Complex (2-0 in the 2009 NCAA quarterfinals) … Notre Dame drops to 62-17-1 all-time in NCAA Championship play, with a 7-4-1 record on the road … the Fighting Irish are 40-23-3 all-time against ACC opponents, including a 21-19-2 record away from home (road/neutral combined) — in the NCAA Championship, Notre Dame is 8-9 against the ACC (5-9 away from home) … the Fighting Irish finish the season with a 3-5-1 record against Top 25 opponents, with three of those five losses by 1-0 scores (North Carolina, Marquette, Florida State) … Notre Dame falls to 7-2-2 all-time when playing in the state of Florida, losing in the Sunshine State for the first time since Nov. 2, 1991 (a 3-0 loss at UCF) … the Fighting Irish are expected to return 22 of 24 players from this year’s club, including 10 of 11 starters (and 17 players who started at least one match in 2012).
Notre Dame 0 – 0 — 0
Florida State 0 – 1 — 1
FSU 1. Tiffany McCarty 16 (Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Jessica Price) 52:03.
Total Shots: Notre Dame 14 (3-11), Florida State 15 (8-7)
Shots On Goal: Notre Dame 6 (2-4), Florida State 5 (2-3)
Saves: Notre Dame 4 (Elyse Hight 4 in 90:00), Florida State 6 (Kelsey Wys 6 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: Notre Dame 5 (3-2), Florida State 9 (5-4)
Fouls: Notre Dame 8 (3-5), Florida State 5 (3-2)
Offsides: Notre Dame 3, Florida State 0
Records: Notre Dame 16-6-2; Florida State 20-3-0