FSU Beat WFU For ACC Title On PKs.

CARY, N.C. – The series of firsts continued for Florida State (14-6-1) in Cary at WakeMed Soccer Park as the Seminoles captured their first ACC title after downing fifth-seeded Wake Forest (14-3-4) 3-1 in penalty kicks.

The ACC title comes after being the first team in league history to defeat North Carolina in the tournament and then beating Virginia for the first time in school history in the league semifinals on Friday. As the sixth-seed, the Seminoles became the lowest seeded team to win the league title since last year when Wake Forest won the championship as the fifth-seed. The championship for the Seminoles is their first in six title appearances.

“We’re obviously thrilled to come up here and walk away with a championship” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “Wake Forest is obviously a very good team. We battled hard. We were resilient. We kept finding a way to neutralize.”

Seminole goalkeeper Kelsey Wys was named the Tournament MVP after stopping three Wake Forest penalty kicks. Both teams scored on their first PK attempt as Hikaru Murakami found the back of the net after Wake keeper Aubrey Bledsoe guessed correctly but the ball went off her finger tips and inside the right post. Rachel Nuzzolese scored for the Deacs on their first attempt.

The goal by Nuzzolese would be the only PK attempts including the fourth PK by India Winford to give the Seminoles the title. After Murakami’s successful attempt, the Seminoles connected on two of the next three as CC Cobb gave the Seminoles a 2-1 lead and Marta Bakowska-Mathews scored the eventual game-winner for a 3-1 lead.

Both goals came in the second half with Wake Forest breaking on top first in the 64th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Off a Demon Deacon corner, a loose ball went right to the feet of Katie Stengel, who one-timed the ball into the back of the net for her 14th goal of the season. It marked the third time Stengel scored against the Seminoles this year.

The Seminoles would find the equalizer in the 85th minute as Price found Tiffany McCarty for the goal to tie the game at one. On a ball that was deflected from the left side of the pitch to the top of the 18-yard box, Price flicked a pass inside the box which McCarty ran in on and went one-on-one with Bledsoe before sending a low liner into the left corner of the net for the goal.

The goal by McCarty was her second of the tournament and team leading 16th of the season. The assist for Price was her seventh to lead all Seminoles. With the win on Sunday, Florida State receives the ACC’s automatic bid to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles will learn who they will face in the first round when the field of 64 for the 2011 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship is announced on Monday, November 7 at 4:30 p.m. on the NCAA.com.

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