LeiLanni Nesbeth’s Florida State retain ACC Tournament title
LeiLanni Nesbeth and her Florida State University team-mates won the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship for the third successive year after edging top seed University of North Carolina 2-1 in the final at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, on Sunday.
No 2 seed Florida State were forced to chase the game after falling behind to Avery Patterson’s 23rd-minute tally and responded superbly to clinch a ninth ACC title and fourth in the past five years.
Tournament MVP Jenna Nighswonger equalised for Florida State from a corner in the 31st minute to leave the teams level at the interval.
Jody Brown then converted the winner with her seventh goal of the season in the 49th minute after slotting home a Nighswonger rebound in the area.
North Carolina pressed on in search of an equaliser but were unable to break down a solid Florida State defence backed up by goalkeeper Cristina Roque, who made a string of saves to demonstrate why she is the first player from the ACC to earn the Goalkeeper of the Year award.
The victory also avenged one of only two losses during the regular season to North Carolina at home last month.
The teams shared the ACC regular-season title.
Nesbeth netted four goals and had an assist during the regular season and was among nine Florida State players earning All-ACC honours.
Florida State now advance to the national tournament where they are the defending champions.
• Stowmarket Town midfielder Reggie Lambe was on target in his team’s 5-0 drubbing of Coggeshall Town in the in the Isthmian North League on Saturday.
The Bermuda midfielder converted in the 90th minute to put the proverbial icing on a ruthless display.
Ollie Sotoyinbo broke the deadlock at West Street from the penalty spot in the 26th minute to earn Stowmarket a 1-0 advantage at the interval.
The floodgates were blown open in the second period with four more unanswered goals.
Sotoyinbo grabbed his and his team’s second in the 51st minute before completing his hat-trick in the 68th minute.
Substitute Nathan Stewart made it 4-0 in the 75th minute before Lambe completed the rout.