By Official Florida FC
Florida State traveled the Gainesville in search of goals, and bragging rights. The Seminoles achieved both in a dominating loss over Florida.
Florida State throttled the Gators 5-0 on Sunday night at Gainesville’s Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Four different players scored – Jenna Nighswonger, Olivia Garcia, Jody Brown and Beata Olsson – and Emma Bissell’s service forced the Gators to commit an own goal.
Nighswonger’s 16th minute goal was the only of the first half. Florida State had nine shots and controlled possession, but was at risk for an equalizer. Florida played a high line and forward Kouri Peace showcased electric pace on the right wing that could trouble the Seminoles if afforded an opportunity.
Peace never got one.
Florida State head coach Brian Pensky said the result showed the team’s maturity.
“Unfortunately, we had a bad lesson 10 days ago, when we had a 1-0 lead at halftime and we came out too comfortable in the second half and (they) tied the game,” Pensky said. “That was absolutely the last thing we said in the locker room. Then, on the field, right before second half kickoff we said ’Ten days ago we gave up a corner kick 12 seconds into the second half. What’s tonight’s response going to be?’ All of a sudden the game was over in seven or eight minutes.”
It was actually 11, but whose counting. Olivia Garcia scored her first collegiate goal in the 48th minute. The Seminoles used one and two-touch passing on the edge of the penalty area before Garcia emphatically finished.
Jody Brown went from provider to scorer nine minutes later in the 57th minute. Nighswonger intercepted a Gators clearance, found Brown who was sprinting down the right wing. Brown’s shot hit the far post and went in.
“Games like this happen,” said Florida’s first-year coach Samantha Bohon. “You, obviously, don’t love them or enjoy them. There are definitely takeaways that we can have from this. But, honestly, it wasn’t our night no matter what formation or what tactic we had, Florida State just executed better.”
Florida committed an own goal in the 68th minute and former Gators forward Beata Olsson scored her first of the season for Florida State in the 87th.
The programs may both have first year coaches, but they are at different ends of the college soccer ecosystem. Bohan inherited a team that had its worst season in program history in 2021. Pensky inherited a team that brings back nine players from the group that won the national title last year.
Bohan said her goal, six games into her Gainesville tenure, is to get healthy and have the ability to assess who can help the program return to its former glories.
Pensky, meanwhile, is fine tuning the Seminoles’ tactics so they can score more goals. Florida State scored four goals in its first three games. The quest is to continue that form once ACC play begins later this month.