All posts by Jason Merry

Florida State vs. Notre Dame Women’s Soccer Preview

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –On Thursday at 5:30 p.m., the Florida State Seminoles women’s soccer team will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Notre Dame, Indiana.

The Seminoles are coming off their second loss of the season against the Boston College Eagles by a score of 2-1.  The Seminoles are sitting at 8-2-1 on the season and are ranked sixth in the country by the NCAA Women’s Soccer RPI. The Fighting Irish come into this matchup with a record of 5-5, most recently scoring a win over the Wake Forest Deacons 1-0.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
FSU Women’s Soccer Team prepares for the season at Day 2 of preseason training.

Despite losing their last game, the Seminoles had a good shooting performance, having 12 total shots with seven of them on target.  A great game for the goalkeeper and a mid-game penalty shot made by Boston College ultimately helped put the Eagles over the top, despite having fewer shots on goal.

The Seminoles come into this game led by junior Deyna Castellanos, who is tied for most goals scored on the team, with four, and is the leading shot taker.  The Fighting Irish have a much more even scoring approach having five different players tied at two goals each leading their team.

Both teams could use a conference win to boost their records in the ACC.  Despite having the better overall record the Seminoles are 1-2 in the conference and the Fighting Irish have a conference record of 1-1.

FAMU VS Savannah State Preview

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Saturday at 6 p.m., the Florida A&M University Rattlers men’s football team will take on the Savannah State University Tigers at Bragg Memorial Stadium.  

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FAMU comes into the contest 1-2 after losing to Jackson State by a score of 18-16.  Savannah State comes into the game off a bye week due to their game against Howard being postponed. In their last game, the Tigers loss to the University of Miami 77-0.

This will be both team’s first conference game in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.  The last matchup between the teams saw the Rattlers defeat the Tigers 20-14. The Rattlers will look to limit sloppy play and turnovers. FAMU quarterback Ryan Stanley said he doesn’t want a repeat of last week’s loss.

“Overall I felt like it was a sloppy game. It was too many penalties,” Stanley said. “I think I played alright but it is always room for me to get better.”

Stanley threw for 340 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions last Saturday against Jackson State.  On the other hand, Savannah State’s passing game was nonexistent against Miami. Their quarterbacks combined for six completions on 12 attempts for 38 yards and two interceptions.

Both teams are coming off two-game losing streaks and will look to turn their seasons around by winning the first conference game of the season.

Seminoles and Trojans End Match in Draw

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State Seminoles Women’s Soccer Team hosted the visiting University of Southern California Trojans at The Seminole Soccer Complex Friday night.

This cross-conference match marked the fifth game for the Seminoles and the fourth for the Trojans. The match ended in a 0-0 draw despite the Seminoles having six shots on goal and the game entering extra time.  Three of those shots on goal coming from Junior Forward Deyna Castellanos.

FSU Sports Information
Kirsten Pavlisko

Despite the draw, the Seminoles had more scoring opportunities with a total of 18 shots.  The Trojans only managed 6 shots. Although the shot difference was large each team had the same amount of corner kicks at 5. The draw keeps each team without a loss as the Seminoles are 4-0-1 and the Trojans are 3-0-1.

Brooke Bollinger started at goalkeeper for the Seminoles and Kaylie Collins was the starter for the Trojans.  The Seminoles put pressure on the Trojans quickly and had a shot that was off target by Castellanos in the first minute. The Seminoles continued the pressure getting off four shots in the first period compared to just two by the Trojans.  Each Keeper ended the first period with one save.

The second period had more shooting from the Seminoles, totaling eight to the Trojans two shots.  All of these shots by the Seminoles meant the Trojans’ Collins had a busy half saving four shots on goal. Sophomore midfielder Gloriana Villalobos, who was subbed in during the 24th minute, had one of her three shots during the second period.

The shooting for the Seminoles was widespread as nine different players attempted a shot.  Redshirt sophomore defender Malia Berkely and redshirt sophomore forward Kristen McFarland each had two shots total and one shot on goal. Out of the Trojans six total shots, freshman forward Penelope Hocking had four of them and had the only shots on goal for the Trojans.

Extra time had more of the same shooting from the Seminoles, as the Trojans tried to keep up.  The Seminoles managed six total shots during extra time while the Trojans only managed two. Collins had one save during the extra time.

The Seminoles return to action at home Sunday at 5:00 p.m. against the UCLA Bruins. This home game will be the third in a seven-game homestand. The Trojans will be staying in Florida to take on the University of Florida Gators on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

 

Godby set to defend their District Title

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Godby enters the District 2-6A Tournament Final as defending District Champions after they defeated the Rickards Raiders 61-52 to claim last year’s title. This year, the Cougars are set to have a rematch with the Raiders as they both find themselves in the finals again.

On Wedensday February 14th, the Godby Cougars defeated the Wakulla War Eagles to clinch a spot in Friday’s District Championship game.  The Cougars beat the War Eagles 61-40 at Suwannee High School, the host site of the tournament. Earlier this season, the Raiders and Cougars met in a district matchup that saw the Raiders win 69-50. Rickards point gaurd Gentry Sparks led the scoring that game with 19 points.  Senior gaurd Trey Jones of the Cougars scored 13 points. Both of these are players to watch, as well as Vincent McCray, who has been the Raiders leading scorer throguhout the season.  These teams will clash head to head on Friday February  16th at Suwannee High School.

 

Rattlers Get Much Needed Home Victory

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Saturday night at the Al Lawson Center the Florida A&M Rattlers men’s basketball team took on the North Carolina Central Eagles in a late-season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup. Scoring outburst from Desmond Williams and Marcus Barham in the second half helped lead the Rattlers to a 65-56 win over the Eagles. 

The Rattlers led at the end of the first half 28-25 despite being out-rebounded by 11, finishing with 14 compared to the Eagles’ 25.  Senior small forward Desmond Williams led the Rattlers in the first half grabbing six. The Eagles’ top rebounder in the first half was 7-foot junior center Raasean Davis, with 10 rebounds, three of which came on the offensive glass.

Jason Merry | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

The second half was more of the same as the final total of rebounds for the Rattlers was 31.  The Eagles out-rebounded the Rattlers by 16 grabbing 41 boards, 21 on the offensive glass.

“We took good care of the basketball.  We turned it over only eight times and they had 15 turnovers,” FAMU head coach Robert McCullum said. “Their 15 turnovers sort of negated their big advantage that they had on the boards.” 

Williams, the Rattler’s leading scorer, struggled in the first half shooting 2-7 with only five points. He also committed three turnovers and was given a technical foul for hanging on the rim.  During the second half, Williams had 16 points on 6-10 shooting and shot 4-4 from the free throw line.  He also cut his turnovers down from three in the first half to only one in the second. Barham added 20 points in the game.

“At halftime, I always reset. It’s a new game when the second half starts,”  Williams said. “I’ve had a bad game and my coaches still call plays for me after my bad first half. It helps my confidence and it shows that if I’m down on myself, my teammates and coaching staff still believe in me.” 

This win improves the Rattlers’ overall record to 5-22 and their conference record to 4-7.  The Eagles’ overall record sits at 12-12 and 6-4 in conference play.

Shooting percentage in the first half told the story as the Rattlers shot 41.7 percent, 44.4 percent from three. The Eagles shot 32.4 percent from the field on 11-34 shooting, and 18.2 percent from three on 2-11 from behind the arc.

Of the 11 field goals made in the first half by the Eagles, five were made by Davis as he shot 5-10 from the floor giving him a double-double with 10 points.

The second half was more of the same as the Rattlers shot 42.9 percent from the floor and the Eagles shot 35.3 percent.

Williams was playing on an ankle that he hurt against Norfolk State. He could be seen wincing and limping throughout the game. Every time he went to the bench trainers would stretch the ankle 

“It makes us all work harder. It makes us pull a little more extra weight because we know he was hurt,” Barham said.

FAMU vs NC Central Preview

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Saturday at 6 p.m., the Florida A&M University Rattlers men’s basketball team will take on the North Carolina Central Eagles at the Al Lawson Center.  FAMU comes into Saturday’s contest 4-22 overall and 3-7 in their conference and NC Central has a 12-11 overall record and a 6-3 conference record.

This will be the teams first meeting this season and FAMU comes in as the clear underdogs.  Leading the way in scoring for the Rattlers so far this season is senior small forward Desmond Williams with 17.8 points per game. Not far behind is senior guard Marcus Barham who is averaging 16.3 points per game.  NC Central is led by junior center Raasean Davis who is averaging 15.4 points per game. For FAMU, the 7-foot junior center, Isaiah Martin leads the way in rebounds and block averaging 6.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks.

The Rattlers are on a four-game losing streak and look primed to break that as 3 of their 4 wins are at home.  NC Central lost their last game also against the Hampton Pirates who FAMU beat earlier on in the season.

 

How the Seminoles can still make a Bowl Game

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State University football team has gotten out to an abysmal 3-6 start to their season and a 3-5 start in conference play.  At this point in the season most players, coaches and fans would think this is just a lost season and there isn’t much to play for besides pride.  Even after this terrible start, the Seminoles can play for more than pride as they can still reach bowl eligibility at six wins.

The Seminoles have three games left and if they can win all three they will be sitting at 6-6 and surely make a bowl due to their eligibility and name. Recently Florida State rescheduled one of there games, that was not played due to Hurricane Irma at the beginning of the season, for December 2nd against Louisiana Monroe.

The three teams the Seminoles have left to play are Delaware State, Florida, and Louisiana Monroe in that order.  All of these games are winnable games, especially Delaware State and Louisiana Monroe two none “Power 5” teams. Florida will be the game that the Seminoles need to play their best.

The Gators also have a record of 3-6 but will be ready to play Florida State hard in their rivalry game.  

FAMU OPENS UP MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAY

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Rattlers’ new head coach Robert McCullum made his first appearance in Monday night’s home opener against the Johnson University Suns.

McCullum is a former University of Oregon men’s basketball assistant and a head coach at the University of South Florida and Western Michigan University.

Jason Merry | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

The Rattlers had yet to have a game until Monday night while the Suns came into the contest with a 0-2 record.  FAMU standout small forward Desmond Williams, a senior from Alpine, Ala., averaged 16.2 points per game while shooting 48% from the field during the 2016-17 season.

Williams continued his high scoring with 14 points in the first half alone but had four turnovers. Turnovers were the main story for the Rattlers during the first half, as they committed 13.

“We talked about it at halftime. Some of them were unforced on our part, but yet that pace lends itself to that. Quite frankly, we didn’t want to turn it over a single time in the second half, but it feels good knowing we only turned it over six times in the second half,” McCullum said.

At halftime, the Rattlers led the Suns 44-35, with Williams leading in scoring. Isaiah Martin led the team at the half with five rebounds. Marcus Barham also scored seven points and tallied five assists.

In the second half, the Rattlers began to pull away from the Suns. Williams continued his scoring outburst in the second half with 10 more points bringing his total to 24 for the game. He also led the team in rebounds with 10 as the FAMU defeated the Suns 107-71.

“I got to take it one game at a time. I scored a couple points tonight.  It felt good mentally to be in a groove, but now this game is behind me. Times, feelings and vibes change as the season goes so I just have to stay humble and approach it one game at a time and one possession at a time,” Williams said.

The win gives the Rattlers a 1-0 record as they head to Phoenix, Arizona to play the Grand Canyon Antelopes on Nov. 10.

 

 

The Lady Seminoles advance in the NCAA Tournament

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State University Seminoles headed into the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament’s first round on Friday. The Seminoles started the tournament 12-6-1 as a number 4 seed.

The Seminoles ended up advancing in the NCAA Championship Tournament by defeating Ole Miss 5-0 at home.  This allows the Seminoles to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will take on the University of Arizona WildCats on Nov. 10 at a neutral site.

Deyna Castellanos scored two goals in Friday’s contest, including a quick goal scored within the first four minutes.  These two goals increase her goal total for 2017 to 17, which is the most goals by a Seminole since 2012 when Tiffany McCarthy did the same.

The 5-0 shutout was also goalkeeper Cassie Miller’s 47th in her FSU career.

Arizona defeated Texas Christian University in the first round by a score of 2-1 also on Friday.