The Daily Nole

FSU Soccer Defeats Vanderbilt 1-0 in Season Opener

Florida State soccer kicked off the 2018 season on Thursday night at home against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Seminoles squeaked by with a 1-0 victory on a goal by senior Natalia Kuikka in the 56th minute.

Expectations remain high for the Seminoles after the 2017 concluded with a loss in the third round of the NCAA Tournament to the eventual national champions, Stanford. FSU returns nearly all its major contributors, including leading scorer Deyna Castellanos and veterans Megan Connolly, Dallas Dorosy, and Kaycie Tillman.

Much of the match was a defensive battle, with neither team creating opportunities on offense. Florida State launched seven shots in the first half but was unable to put anything on the scoreboard, despite an early onslaught. Action picked up in the second half when the Seminoles (1-0) began threatening early, and they finally broke through when defender Kuikka found the back of the net.

Florida State held on to a 1-0 lead for the rest of the night, but it was not without difficulty. Vanderbilt (0-1) started to pressure the FSU defense and saw a couple of opportunities develop in the 77th and 84th minute. The first was a header, while the second was a regular shot. Both were saved by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Brooke Bollinger. Bollinger takes over for the heralded Cassie Miller, who graduated after 2017.

Florida State’s success against the Southeastern Conference continued on Thursday night with the win. The Seminoles are 8-1 in their last nine games against schools in the SEC, including 2-0 all-time record against the Commodores. Florida State’s previous win over Vanderbilt was a 3-0 victory in Nashville during the 2016 season.

The Seminoles now prepare to face off against the Troy Trojans on Sunday, at 6 p.m. EST. FSU is 3-0 all-time against Troy, with the most recent victory coming in 2017. The game will be in Tallahassee.

Clint Eiland is the Lead Writer for The Daily Nole. You can follow him on Twitter @ClintEiland.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply