LeiLanni Nesbeth’s Florida State through to ACC Tournament final
LeiLanni Nesbeth and her Florida State University team-mates reached the ACC Tournament final last evening in Cary, North Carolina, with a 4-0 win over No 5-ranked Duke.
Jody Brown, a freshman from Jamaica, opened the scoring in the 31st minute and FSU held on to that lead until early in the second half when they scored two goals in the space of four minutes to put themselves 3-0 up.
In the 60th minute, they doubled their lead through Jaelin Howell before Nesbeth combined with Clara Robbins to set up Kristina Lynch to make it 3-0 in the 64th minute.
Nesbeth started the match and played 18 minutes before she was one of five substitutions made by the No 1-seeded FSU in the first half.
Nesbeth returned at the start of the second half, one of five changes made by the Seminoles as they hung on to their narrow one-goal lead. Duke also made five substitutions at the start of the second half.
Nesbeth was substituted again in the 76th minute, moments before Jenna Nighswonger, back on as a sub, made it 4-0 to settle the tie.
Ten of Nesbeth’s team-mates were named to All-ACC teams ahead of the ACC Championship semi-finals in North Carolina. Coach Mark Krokorian was named ACC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career and the first time since 2014, after helping the Seminoles to their perfect ACC season.
Florida State outscored their opponents 25-4 in the regular season with six shutouts in eight games. The 25 goals scored, with Nesbeth joint-high scorer with four goals, were the most scored after eight ACC games in their history.
Florida State had three players — defender Malia Berkeley and midfielders Jaelin Howell and Yujie Zhao — named to the All-ACC first team, with Berkeley the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Howell the Midfielder of the Year.
FSU will play second-seeded North Carolina in the final after the Lady Tar Heels beat third-ranked Virginia 2-0 in the second game of the double-header.
The final starts at 1pm Bermuda time tomorrow and will be aired on ESPN.