By Official Florida FC
The nation’s most potent offense needed 40 minutes, but the Seminoles found the goal they needed to win an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinal over Notre Dame. Florida’s State’s 2-0 win lifted the Seminoles (9-0) to the conference semifinals for the 13th time.
Midfielder Jaelin Howell, back from a stint with the U.S. Women’s National Team camp this fall, scored the opener in the 45th minute. Howell’s goal was the ninth time in nine matches Florida State scored first.
“I thought overall our team performed pretty well,” said Seminoles head coach Mark Krikorian. “We came in here and played a very hardworking and organized Notre Dame team. They made it difficult for us and they had a lot of numbers behind the ball and a great compact defense. Fortunately for us, we got that first one just before halftime. Full credit to Notre Dame. We played them earlier in the year and we handled them pretty well. As I said to their coach before the game, they have done a great job of improving through the course of the season. I have a lot of respect for them and their program and their players.”
Clara Robbins scored her third goal of the season in the 78th minute to seal the victory.
The quality of the ACC Tournament was such that Notre Dame was the eight-seeded, but ranked No. 12 in Tuesday’s United Soccer Coaches poll.
Whoever wins the title on Sunday afternoon will have earned it. North Carolina (10-0), third-seeded Virginia (8-2-1) and fifth-seeded Duke (7-3-2) will join the Seminoles in the semifinals. All three are ranked in the top nine of the latest United Soccer Coaches poll.
Duke earned the right to face Florida State after beating No. 4 seed Clemson for the second time this season.
Virginia throttled Louisville 4-1. Cavaliers goalie, and Miami Country Day graduate, Laurel Ivory made three saves. Fleming Island’s Lia Godfrey provided an assist on Diana Ordonez’s 24th minute goal to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead. The Cavaliers will face North Carolina on Friday afternoon.
(Photo provided by Florida State University Athletics. Photographer: Sara D. Davis, the Atlantic Coast Conference)