Different score but same result, as LeiLanni Nesbeth and her Florida State Women’s Soccer teammates, had another dominating performance with a 1-0 win over Louisville, possessing the ball for 69 percent of the game.
The Florida State defense remained dominant, keeping Louisville to two shots the entire game after the Cardinals scored three goals in their opener against Miami on Thursday. The backline led by first-team All-American and redshirt senior Malia Berkely and redshirt junior Emily Madril along with freshman goalkeeper Cristina Roque held preseason All-ACC member Emina Ekic in check as she did not even get off a shot after scoring two goals on Thursday.
Florida State stayed with the same lineup as Thursday, when they recorded four goals off the bench led by leading goal scorer Yujie Zhao who had two goals on Thursday. Today, Florida State did not need the bench scoring as they got their lone goal from starter and sophomore Nesbeth. FSU got off eight shots in the first half with four of those on target but could not get one to fall.
There were five more shots to start off the second half before the 14th shot of the game finally hit the back of the net. Nesbeth recorded her first goal of the season and just the second of her career. Nesbeth headed a ball into the box that was then deflected by Louisville’s goalkeeper who came off her line. Nesbeth was able to get the rebound just left of the penalty spot and knock it into the back of the net.
Nesbeth has started both games this season after only playing in 12 games a season ago with no starts.
“Her fitness, her discipline, her commitment to using her physicality is the difference,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “Last year she came in as a young player and a big star with her national team but had not played at the speed and intensity here. She has quickly learned to adjust her play and demands that are going on here. I thought she played well and I am happy for her to see her knock in the goal but I thought she played well all game.”