LeiLanni Nesbeth helps Florida State University advance to ACC final
LeiLanni Nesbeth and her Florida State University team-mates are headed back to the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship final.
No 2 seed Florida State advanced to the title match after overcoming No 3 seed Notre Dame 4-2 on penalties in a evenly contested semi-final at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, last night.
The teams remained deadlocked at 3-3 at the end of extra time before Florida State prevailed in the shoot-out, with Nesbeth converting.
“Very tough win against a really good opponent,” Nesbeth told The Royal Gazette. “I think we bout had chances and obviously it came down to penalties.”
Florida State will now meet No 1 seed University of North Carolina in the final, which will also be played at WakeMed Soccer Park tomorrow.
“Everyone is in good spirits moving forward and facing UNC on Sunday,” Nesbeth added. “We’re looking forward to what is going to be a tough and competitive game.”
North Carolina advanced to the final after getting past No 5 seed Duke 7-6 on penalties in the first semi-final.
Florida State lost 2-1 at home to North Carolina in the only meeting between the two teams during the regular which saw them earn a share of the ACC regular season title after finishing tied.
Meanwhile, Nesbeth has been rewarded for her outstanding performances during the regular season.
She is among a trio of Florida State players to have been named on the All-ACC Second Team, which includes team-mates Clara Robbins and Onyi Echegini.
The Bermuda midfielder earned the award for the significant contributions made at both ends of the pitch playing in her new role as a defensive midfielder.
“Nesbeth made the transition to the holding midfield position this season and proved to be a valuable member of the Seminole defence,” read an article on the school’s website.
“She helped a Seminole defence that only allowed 12 goals this season and recorded eight shutouts.
“Nesbeth also proved to be an offensive threat with four goals and an assist.”
In all, Florida State had a league-high nine players named to the All-ACC team for the second straight year.
Cristina Roque earned the ACC’s first Goalkeeper of the Year award and was also named on the All-ACC’s First Team along with team-mates Jenna Nighswonger and Jody Brown.
Heather Payne and Beata Olsson were named to the All-ACC Third Team and Heather Gilchrist the All-ACC Freshman Team.
Florida State are the reigning national champions having beaten Brigham Young University on penalties during last season’s NCAA Division I final.