FSU Lose to Notre Dame In Semifinals.

“I hope we have laid a foundation. I hope that we’re back each and every year. I hope that we set the cornerstone and the The fifth-ranked FSU soccer team returned to the College Cup for the third time in four years and vowed to make this trip different. After suffering shutout losses in both previous trips, the 2006 Seminoles lived up to their word, but fell just short of advancing to the school’s first ever National Championship game. Notre Dame (25-0-1) ran out to a 2-0 lead on Florida State (18-4-4) and then held on during a furious second half attack for a 2-1 victory.

“I thought it was a very good soccer game,” said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. “The two teams were very interested in playing good soccer. The first half I thought that Notre Dame was in more control of the game, in the second I felt our team was. But very hard fought and credit to Notre Dame for protecting the lead. Good game, tough result for us but that’s the way this game goes.”

For FSU the 2006 national semi-final started to play out in an all too familiar fashion to the 2005 game versus UCLA. The Seminoles once again played an opponent to a 0-0 tie before allowing two goals in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Last year versus the Bruins, FSU could not get back in the game but this year was different. India Trotter cut the Fighting Irish lead in half just 6:22 into the second period. The Seminoles then continued to pressure Notre Dame but could not cash in and score the equalizer.

“A two-goal lead in probably the most dangerous lead to have,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Randy Waldrum. “You’re probably better off to only be up one often times. We didn’t want to give up an early goal in the second half and we didn’t want to sit and we wanted to continue to attack. But then they got the goal early.”

The goal came when FSU moved Trotter up top in the second half. The first team NSCAA All-American started the game in the back to try and deal with Notre Dame’s M.A.C. Hermann Trophy finalist Kerrie Hanks. After Florida State fell behind 2-0, Krikorian changed the formation and pushed Trotter into the attack.

“We know that India’s going to be a National Team back, we’ve trained her there some and she’s played for us some there. We thought in the match-up today the tactics might suit us best to start that way and then read the game as it went on.”

The energy Trotter provided was evident immediately and lasted the entire 45 minutes. The Seminoles out shot the Irish 8-6 in the second half and took three corners to none for Notre Dame.

Six-year senior Ali Mims recorded seven saves in the game and kept FSU in the contest early on as Notre Dame found some success attacking.

Courtney Rosen got Notre Dame on the board in the 36th minute. The Seminole defense played a ball towards its own goal and the freshman out raced Libby Gianeskis to the loose ball. Rosen turned and fired in the right side of the goal putting Notre Dame in front 1-0.

Just three minutes later the Irish struck again. The second goal started with a corner kick from Hanks. The All-American played a ball in at the near post on to the head of Brittany Bock. Her header was redirected on to the goal and passed Mims by Jill Krivacek.

“We’re down 2-1, if we don’t get a goal back the game’s over,” said Kelly Rowland speaking of the FSU effort in the second half. “We’re fighting for our lives out there. I think we had chances and that’s all you can ask for. It just wasn’t our day finishing. We got chances when we needed them, with Notre Dame maybe they go in and maybe they don’t. At the end of the day I thought we played well and I’m proud of our team.”

For FSU’s five seniors that were a part of three College Cups, the ending was once again bitter but with an 11-3-2 record in the NCAA Tournament and 67 wins in four seasons, the class leaves FSU as the most successful group in program history and one of the most successful senior classes in the nation in 2006.

“It’s very frustrating actually,” said Trotter of how her career ended. “Having our team play well and not be successful and win the game is like coach says its how soccer goes. Credit to Notre Dame for protecting the lead. It’s very frustrating being my senior year but I had a great four years and I couldn’t ask to play with anyone else than who I played these last fours years and we had a good run.
foundation for Florida State to win the National Championship.”

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