LeiLanni Nesbeth on target to help Florida State earn share of conference honours
LeiLanni Nesbeth notched the second-fastest goal of the season for Florida State University to help earn them to a share of Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season honours on Thursday.
The national women’s team midfielder took only 60 seconds to break the deadlock at the Seminole Soccer Complex as Florida State came away with a convincing 4-1 win over Virginia Tech in their conference season finale.
Virginia goalkeeper Lauren Hargrove spilt Jenna Nighswonger’s free kick in the area and Nesbeth was on hand to slot the loose ball into the empty net.
Nighswonger then struck twice either side of the interval before fellow senior Clara Robbins rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot in the 90th minute.
Gabby Johnson replied for the visiting side in the 83rd minute.
Florida State earned a share of the ACC regular season title after finishing tied with the University of North Carolina.
The Seminoles will now head into the conference tournament as the No 2 seed and have received a bye in the quarter-finals along with top seed UNC.
Florida State will play the winner of Notre Dame and Pittsburgh in the semi-finals on Thursday in Carey, North Carolina.
Brian Pensky, the Florida State coach, hailed his team’s resolve in coming to terms with a gruelling schedule
"This league is brutal,“ he said. ”We've played a pretty tough schedule within the league and for them to rack up eight wins in the league and put ourselves in a position (No 2 seed), we will take it. And getting a bye on Sunday, that’s a big deal."
Florida State are the defending NCAA Division I champions, having beaten Brigham Young University 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out in the last season’s final to clinch a third national title.