Karen Duarte & Emma Vargas, Correspondents
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – After ending Florida State’s national championship run in the semi-finals last year, defeating the Seminoles 2-0, Duke visited Tallahassee to play Florida State for the first time this season in an ACC top 10 match up. After 97 minutes of challenging back and forth play, Kaycie Tillman was able to head the ball in the back of the net scoring the golden goal.
Florida State (10-2-2) started off strong with dominant possession, but Duke (12-2-2) challenged the Seminoles with fast pace and physical play. Megan Connolly took the first corner kick for the Seminoles seven minutes into the first half. Goalkeeper Cassie Miller’s first save of the game came off of a shot by Duke forward Toni Payne on a corner kick in the 21st minute. The half ended with another save by Miller, who blocked a penalty kick from outside the box taken by Olivia Erlbeck.
Both teams came out of halftime with aggressive attitudes. Seminole midfielder Olivia Bergau made a goal attempt in the 58th minute with a cross toward the left top corner of the net, which was saved by the Duke goalkeeper, E.J. Proctor. The Blue Devils followed up with a series of three corner kicks, all taken by Ashton Miller, in four minutes – none of which resulted in a goal. Kristen McFarland of the Seminoles attempted a high shot which passed over the net.
With five minutes remaining in the second half, the Blue Devils received a free kick; defender Mia Gyau was tackled in the box by Florida State defender Natalia Kuikka. Duke midfielder, Christina Gibbons, who carried a strong presence throughout the game, stepped up to take the penalty kick, but her shot was blocked, rebounded, and finally saved by the goalkeeper, Miller. Miller made another save in the final minute of the half, slimly capturing an attempted shot from Morgan Reid, ending the second half still scoreless.
“I really wanted our team to get a win tonight, so I did what I could do,” said Miller. “I just chose a side and I went. The soccer gods were in my favor. Every single day in practice I train for shots from out wide.”
The teams then entered a ten-minute overtime period. Both teams knew what was at stake and played even harder than before. With two minutes and fifty-seven seconds left in the first overtime period, Tillman made a dramatic game-ending header from the six-yard line into the net with a cross sent over from teammates Bergau and Kuikka.
“By and large we competed very well today,” said Seminole head coach Mark Krikorian. “And sometimes these games you need a little bit of luck, and we had a little bit of luck.”
Florida State gets a huge win and gives the Blue Devils their first ACC loss of the year. The Seminoles need to turn their attention now to the Louisville Cardinals who they face in their last home game of the year October 23rd at 1PM.