Is Florida State finding its attacking groove at the perfect time?
Already backstopped by a dominant defense, the Seminoles’ attack exploded over the weekend, defeating Mississippi 3-1 and Colorado 4-0. The seven goals scored marked the team’s highest offensive output across two games all season. And at the heart of it was the TopDrawerSoccer.com Player of the Week: Icelandic midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir, who scored two goals in each game.
Brynjarsdottir’s performances pushed the ACC tournament champs into the quarterfinal round, where they’ll host league foes Boston College in what should be a high-scoring affair (FSU won the regular season matchup 4-3 in a shootout).
Here’s a look at the rest of the TDS team of the week.
GK Anna Sieloff, North Carolina: While Sieloff had very little to do in Friday’s second round win against Indiana – she didn’t make a save before coming off with about 15 minutes to go in the game – she came up huge in the 2-0 win against Texas A&M, making four saves and forcing A&M’s dangerous attackers into missing several scoring chances.
D Caprice Dydasco, UCLA: Part of a defensive unit that didn’t allow a goal in its two games over the weekend, Dydasco also notched two goals in Friday’s 3-0 win over Kentucky. The Bruin back line has yet to concede a goal in their three tournament games, and have let in just one goal in their last eight games overall.
D Holly Hein, Michigan: Hein gets the honors for Michigan’s success at the back, as the Wolverines shut out Illinois State’s potent offense on Friday, before blanking a dangerous Notre Dame squad to make it to the quarterfinals.
D Megan Brigman, North Carolina: Tar Heel fans may be concerned about the health of some of their key players, but the way Brigman and the rest of the back line are playing, they’ll always have a fighting chance in the tournament. The center back missed last season with a broken leg and is making up for lost time, putting in two more quality 180-minute appearances.
MF Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Florida State: Four goals in two games turned a pair of tournament games into pretty easy wins for the Seminoles, who look primed for another College Cup appearance.
MF Meghan Toohey, Michigan: Along with playing a role in a pair of shutout wins against Illinois State and Notre Dame, Toohey’s 55th minute tally stood up as the winner in Sunday’s third round defeat of the Irish.
MF Kim DeCesare, Duke: With the Blue Devils peaking at the right time, DeCasare played a huge role in helping her squad advance to the quarterfinals. She assisted on Natasha Anasi’s game winning goal on Friday night against Florida, and then accounted for both goals in the 2-2 draw against Arkansas that Duke won on penalty kicks.
MF Sam Mewis, UCLA: The Bruins continued to roll in the tourney, and while the defense was busy snuffing out attacking threats, Mewis pulled the strings in the midfield. She had two assists in a 3-0 defeat of Kentucky, and setup both goals in a 2-0 defeat of Pac-12 rivals Stanford.
MF Morgan Brian, Virginia: Continuing to make a charge at the Hermann Trophy, Brian scored a goal in each game for the Cavs – providing the winner in a 1-0 defeat of Georgetown, and then adding an insurance tally as UVA bested conference foes Wake Forest on Sunday.
F Hayley Dowd, Boston College: While McKenzie Meehan is the acclaimed goal scorer on the Eagles, the freshman Dowd came up in the clutch for BC. Dowd helped lead a suddenly high-flying Eagle attack to a pair of 4-1 wins over Nebraska and Illinois respectively, scoring two goals and notching an assist in the wins.
F Murielle Tiernan, Virginia Tech: Another freshman that came up huge over the weekend, Tiernan scored the game-winning goal for the Hokies in a win against West Virginia in the second round. In the third round matchup with Santa Clara, Tiernan not only accounted for Tech’s lone goal of the game, but she also converted the decisive penalty as the Hokies topped the Broncos on spot kicks.
TDS Player of the Week: Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Florida State
Other players considered: F Summer Green (North Carolina), D Natasha Anasi (Duke), F McKenzie Meehan (Boston College), D Shelina Zadorsky (Michigan), D Kristin Grubka (Florida State), F Ashleigh Ellenwood (Arkansas), F Jannelle Flaws (Illinois)
Photo credits: Ross Obely; Roanake Times