The game seemed to be heading for a second overtime period with less than a minute to play, but FSU held possession on the Wolverines’ side of the field. Howell passed it across the field to the open senior Gabby Carle, then after Michigan ‘keeper Hillary Beall dove to defend Carle, the Seminole senior laid it up to Olssen for the walk-off goal.
“I was actually waiting, because that was a great serve from Jae, and the header from Gabby was incredible, so I thought it might go in by itself,” Olssen said when breaking down the game-winning shot. “I didn’t want to risk it. So I just tapped it.”
Fittingly, Howell and Carle each were part of the final sequence in what will be their final home games as Seminoles. An All American last year, Howell won the 2021 ACC Midfielder of the Year and is a four-time All-ACC member.
“With Gabby, Jaelin, and Gianna Mitchell made just fantastic contributions to our program. The winning is really the obvious part,” Krikorian said of his senior class. “I think all of these three young woman have contributed far greater things to our program than simply being outstanding players…I’m feeling lucky that I’ve had this opportunity to work with them.”
FSU will face the winner of No. 1 seed Rutgers and No. 2 seed Arkansas in Santa Clara, Calif., next Friday. The national title game will be played Sunday, Dec. 5.
“We’ve seen it all season, since the start of preseason, our team is a resilient group. They’ve hard-working. They play hard for each other. They are willing to do what it takes to win,” Krikorian said. “We saw the fortitude of the group. The willingness of them to play hard for each other to make that moment happen. We saw a lot of that throughout the course of the game.”
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