Florida State women's soccer: Beata Olsson breaks scoring drought as Seminoles top Pittsburgh
Beata Olsson broke a personal scoreless streak as Florida State women’s soccer continued its postseason dominance.
The No. 1 Seminoles defeated ACC foe Pittsburgh 3-0 Sunday in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament at Seminole Soccer Complex.
Olsson’s goal came 80 seconds into the match when she collected a rebound off Panthers’ goalkeeper Ellie Breech off a shot by Jody Brown for Florida State (16-2-3). It was the first trip to the Sweet 16 and NCAA Tournament for Pittsburgh (14-5-3).
It was the 10th shutout for the Seminoles in the season.
FSU is 16-3-1 all-time in the third round.
Onyi Echegini set up the opening goal on a perfect lob pass to an open Brown. Brown took the possession and took a one-on-one shot against the goalkeeper, but Breech was able to block the shot.
"I just saw JD and I know she's fast," Echegini said. "So I threw the ball and just let them do the work. I trust Beata and Jody. I know they will get those goals every time."
The ball stayed in play and a wide-open Olsson was able to deposit the ball into the back of the net.
Leilanni Nesbeth, who left midway through the first half with an injury, opened the second half with a goal 1:18 into the second half. Nesbeth and Olsson both recorded their sixth goal of the season, tying for third with Jenna Nighswonger on the team.
Brown added her eighth goal of the season in the 57th minute. It was her first goal of the NCAA Tournament.
"Friday night was a nice 4-1 win, but you never want to give up goals," FSU coach Brian Pensky said. "It's nice to get a clean sheet tonight."
Here are three takeaways from the match.
Olsson breaks drought
Olsson's goal in the second minute was her first one since Oct. 13 against Duke. She scored on her first shot against the Blue Devils in a 5-1 victory.
She took two shots for the rest of the game but did not connect. She went on to miss her next 18 shots. So Sunday's goal felt good for the sophomore from Enkoping, Sweden.
"I love scoring," Olsson said.
"I feel like as a striker you always have pressure. Even if I had more goals on the season, I think I'd have the same level of pressure. But of course, it's nice scoring. It was all incredible, so I am happy to be apart of that."
Olsson now has six goals and three assists on the season. She led the Seminoles championship team with 14 goals last season.
Pensky pointed out that even when she's not scoring goals, Olsson, a Florida transfer, makes a huge impact on the games.
"After Duke, we played (North) Carolina a week later," Pensky said. "Even though we did not win that game she was the best player on the field for us. And then you go to the ACC Tournament and what she did there.
"It kills her more than anybody, not scoring goals, but she's a massive part of what we're doing and a big contributor."
FSU struck quickly on their first two goals. The opening goal from Olsson came 1:17 into the game. The second goal came 1:18 into the second half.
Olsson and Echegini marveled at the box score before the postgame press conference and commented on one of the strengths of the team.
"I think it helps a lot," Olsson said about scoring quickly to open the halves. "We're good at the start of the half. We can create something out of it and put pressure on their backline. I think when we get results from it, it not only gives us confidence, but it also gets us going more. It's nice."
The Panthers played in their first ACC tournament this season and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Reaching the Sweet 16 for the first time for them was a big deal.
Panthers' coach Randy Waldrum said the team went 0-10 in conference play when he took over five years ago. Now they are seeking to get to the standard set by the Seminoles — three national championships and five straight appearances in the quarterfinals.
"It's disappointing to lose, but making it this far is something no one can take away from us," Pittsburgh sophomore Sarah Schupansky said. ...
"Florida State is a great program, a great team, very skillful. We fell, but we fell to a great team. I am excited to see them play the rest of the way."
FSU is 54-2-1 all-time at home in the NCAA Tournament. In its last 14 tournament games, Florida State has 10 shutouts and is 13-1 in the span.
The Seminoles are now three wins away from winning their second straight championship, seeking to become the first team since the 2008-09 North Carolina teams.
"When you have kids who want to win really badly and when you have a lot of talent, it's not easy, but it certainly helps," Pensky said.
FSU will play No. 3 Arkansas next Saturday at Seminole Soccer Complex. A time is yet to be announced.
The Razorbacks (13-3-5) defeated Memphis 3-3 (3-1 PKs) in a Sweet 16 matchup.
Arkansas now has 14 goals in three wins over Missouri State (6-0) and No. 6 Ohio State (5-2) through the first three rounds.
Reach Ehsan Kassim at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Ehsan_Kassim. You can also follow our coverage on Facebook (NoleSports) and Instagram (tlhnolesports).
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