Florida State women’s soccer coach Mark Krikorian has a nickname for Jamia Fields. It’s “Ms. November-December,” and rightly so. The Senior from Alta Loma, California scored all four of her goals this year after the regular season, but none was more important than her 83rd-minute championship-clinching goal on Sunday against ACC rival Virginia. Fields has 14 career goals with eight of them coming in the postseason. Talk about clutch.
The last three seasons have been tough for the FSU women. Two semifinal exits followed by last year’s overtime loss to UCLA in the Championship were all motivational tools for Krikorian’s bunch, and this year they didn’t leave disappointed.
“It’s a waste if we don’t learn things along way,” FSU head coach Mark Krikorian said. “What I’ve learned is it feels a whole lot better sitting here this year than last year.”
The third installment of Florida State versus Virginia finished with the same result as the first first two chapters. But this 1-0 victory in favor of the garnet and gold didn’t bring them a regular season win, or conference title. Jamia Fields goal brought the Seminoles their first ever championship in a match that showed how high-powered Florida State really is.
It took 82 minutes, 50 seconds for the game's first and only goal, which was indicative of the defense both teams were playing. The 2014 Championship match only saw a total of two shots on target, both coming from Florida State. For the first time in the entire postseason, Virginia’s fast-paced, possession-filled style met a defense that played with just as much ferocity. Virginia was constantly under pressure from the Seminoles and all of their attacking opportunities simply couldn’t make it out of the midfield.
“Even their forwards are good defenders,” Virginia coach Steve Swanson said of FSU. “I think they press a lot more maybe than in previous years and they do that quite well; it's together, it's coordinated, it's trying to minimize the field.”
The 80 minute stalemate wasn’t a shock by an means. As in most championships, both teams played cautiously and tactically. Jamia Fields goal came after a subpar goal kick from UVA keeper Morgan Stearns which didn’t even make it past the halfway line. FSU regained possession and continued to build, which resulted in Fields eluding a couple of defenders with sublime skill before burying a left-footed strike from the right side of the box.
FSU continued playing as if it were 0-0 with continued success against the UVA offense. Then the Cavaliers had one last chance when Morgan Reuther blasted a volley from outside the 18, but it went just above the crossbar. Time ran out giving FSU their first title and solidifying 270 minutes of soccer against a high powered UVA offense without conceding a goal.
At the beginning of the season Krikonian’s Florida State squad was loaded with a lot of the same talent and experience they had in their 2013 campaign. They finished the 2014 postseason with six straight shutouts en route to outscoring their opponents by 12 goals. For a team that was in second place behind UCLA all season, the FSU women never took their foot off the gas, finishing with 24-1-1 record. Probable Hermann Trophy winner Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Jamia Fields, Marta Bakowska-Mathews, Megan Campbell and all of the seniors on FSU perhaps set the tone for Florida State Athletics this holiday season.
The school’s football team will participate in the first ever College Football Playoff in January against Oregon Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariotta, and if Jimbo Fishers bunch plays the type of in your face, pressure defense that Krikonian’s ladies play with, the school may just have two national championships in 30 days. Congrats on a great season ladies!