BLACKSBURG, Va. – The No. 17 Hokies battled for the full 90 minutes but fell just short to the No. 4 Seminoles, 2-1, as this year’s seven seniors played their final match at Thompson Field. The senior class was honored before the game, accompanied by their parents and siblings, for their hard work throughout their careers at Tech. Though the Hokies were unable to pull out the win, they fought hard in the close match breaking up a possible shutout for Seminole keeper Erin McNulty as junior Kelly Lynch netted her first career goal late in the game.
Florida State (14-3-1, 7-2-1 ACC) took the lead early as the ACC’s leading scorer Tiffany McCarty netted the first goal of the game, firing the ball into the back of the net from five yards out. There was a scramble in the box after Becky Edwards, who earned the assist on the play, had her shot blocked by a Hokie defender, which opened up the net for McCarty to score.
Minutes later, senior forward Marika Gray crossed a ball in front of the net, just missing the inside of the far post on the scoring opportunity. The half remained a back-and-forth affair, though the Seminoles held the upper hand, out-shooting the Hokies (13-6-0, 6-4-0 ACC) 8-2, but they only tallied two on goal.
In the 50th minute it was McCarty again for the Seminoles, earning her fourth two-goal game of the season, when she dribbled up Tech’s side of the field, changed direction to lose the defender in front of her and crossed the ball into the opposite side of the net, bringing her to 15 goals on the season. Teammate Rachel Lim earned the assist on the play, pushing the ball up to McCarty before the breakaway.
The Hokies rallied late as Kelly Lynch launched a long ball from midfield that bounced twice and floated just over McNulty’s hands into the net to make the game 2-1, but beyond Lynch’s score the Hokies were unable to tack on additional offense.
Tech’s keeper Kristin Carden finished the match with two saves, facing 12 shots, five on goal, while McNulty also made two saves and faced seven shots, three on goal.
The Hokies wrapped up the 2009 regular season with the best record in program history, boasting a 13-6-0 overall record, 6-4-0 record in ACC play. They tallied numerous program-firsts this season and will look to carry the momentum into the postseason, as the first round of the ACC Tournament will begin Wednesday, Nov. 4 in Cary, N.C., at WakeMed Soccer Park.
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