CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A back and forth battle went the way of the visiting team on Sunday (Oct. 18) as No. 11 Virginia (5-2-1, 3-2-1 ACC) fell to No. 2 Florida State (6-0-0, 6-0-0 ACC) by a score of 4-3.
After giving up two early goals, the Cavaliers got a first-half goal from Alexa Spaanstra (Brighton, Mich.) and a second-half goal from Diana Ordoñez (Prosper, Texas) as part of a rally to tie the match at 3-3. Florida State would move back in front one last time, scoring in the 81st minute off a failed clearance following a corner kick to grab the 4-3 victory.
The match also featured an own goal for each team as part of a wild battle that saw each team surrender the most goals in a match either side had given up this season.
“We’re very disappointed in the result,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “Giving up four goals, especially the way they happened, those are on us. Give credit to Florida State. They took advantage of their chances. When we tied it up, they became the aggressor again and put the pedal to the metal down the stretch. We played some good soccer at times, but not as consistent as we need to be against a team like that.”
Florida State struck first as the Seminoles played a ball deep over the top that was tracked down near the endline by Kaitlyn Zipay. Zipay sent the ball back toward the top of the box for Leilanni Nesbeth who took the shot and beat the keeper for the 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.
Two minutes later the Seminoles struck again when Jaelin Howell drove down the left side of the field and in toward the box before passing the ball back to Clara Robbins near the penalty spot. Robbins took the one-touch redirect for the 2-0 lead.
Virginia answered with a goal in the 44th minute as Spaanstra converted her second penalty kick in as many games. The Cavaliers got a chance with a counter that saw Lia Godfrey (Fleming Island, Fla.) play a ball ahead to Rebecca Jarrett who got in behind the defense. Jarrett raced toward the box with the one-on-one opportunity ahead of her and was taken down from behind to set up the penalty kick opportunity.
An own goal off a Florida State corner pushed the lead back out to two goals in the 42nd minute. The 3-1 lead for the Seminoles would hold at the half.
The Cavaliers pulled within one when Ordoñez scored in the 58th minute off a service from Lizzy Sieracki (Acworth, Ga.). Virginia sent a ball ahead down the right side of the box where Sieracki tracked it down near the end line. She played the ball back toward the goal where a diving Ordoñez headed it in.
Virginia tied the match off an own goal by the Seminoles in the 64th minute. A Lia Godfrey corner kick was redirected toward goal by Ordoñez where a Florida State defender attempted to clear the ball but kicked it back into a teammate and the ball deflected straight back into the net.
The Seminoles moved back in front in the 81st minute when Robbins found the net for a second time. Virginia was unable to clear the Florida State corner as the ball dropped into a scrum inside the six and Robbins cleaned it up to give the Seminoles the 4-3 lead. The lead would hold down the stretch as Virginia was unable to find the net again.
Virginia will return to action on October 29, when the Cavaliers hit the road to face Boston College.