In a game that was dominated from the opening minutes, Leilanni Nesbeth and her Florida State Women’s Soccer teammates went on to take down the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 5-0 during the opening game of the season. Florida State improved to 15-1 on opening day under head coach Mark Krikorian and 9-0 at home on opening day.
The 5-0 win was tied for the largest first game win under Krikorian. Florida State was highlighted by performances from Yujie Zhao, Cristina Roque and Emily Madril, who made her first appearance in a game in over two seasons.
The Seminole defense was stellar against the Irish allowing only two shots and one on goal that was saved by freshman goalkeeper Roque.
It didn’t take long before the Seminoles lit up the scoreboard as they scored their opening goal in the 20th minute. Zhao scored her first of two goals in the opener on an assist from Malia Berkely. Zhao fired one from the top of the 18-yard box showing her leg strength and giving the Noles the lead.
18 minutes later and in the 38th minute Madril gave the Noles a 2-0 lead. She dribbled down the right side of the field uncontested before cutting to the middle of the box and firing one on the ground into the bottom left corner. It was her second career goal and first since October 5th of 2017.
It only took 13 minutes into the second half for Florida State to find the back of the net once again as Zhao scored her second goal of the night on assists from Kristen McFarland and Clara Robbins. Roque booted one to center field on a goal kick and after a few quick passes, Zhao launched one from deep over the Notre Dame keeper’s head to give FSU a 3-0 lead.
The Seminoles piled on in the 68th minutes with Jenna Nighswonger’s first goal of the season and then Jody Brown got in on the action as well getting her first career goal in the Garnet and Gold in the 79th minute to secure the 5-0 Florida State Victory.