On a national scale, the Florida State women’s soccer team’s 6-0 win over Pitt on Saturday hardly registered. A blip. Earlier in the day, the Seminoles’ 12th-ranked football team gritted out a win over Wake Forest, which swallowed most of the headlines in Tallahassee. Whatever you think about this, it is the way of things.
The announced crowd of 759 watched No. 2 FSU crater Pitt to win its 17th straight home game and register its 23rd consecutive ACC match without a loss. That streak is, of course, wrapped around the 2014 national title, the program’s first. In the process, the Seminoles became just the 10th women’s team to win a national title.
The Florida State women’s soccer program didn’t run through its first season until 1995-96, 14 years after the DI women’s tournament was established. The team showed promise in its first year by winning 12 games, and all seven of its losses were to ranked teams in the metallic heyday of the ACC. Two of those losses were to No. 1 North Carolina, enmeshed as it was in its colossus phase of the 1990’s. The Tar Heels were on their way to their 13th national title in 15 years that season, and they embarrassed FSU twice, first in a 9-0 shellacking during the regular season and again in a 7-1 beating in the ACC tourney that ended the Seminoles’ season.
It took Florida State six years to qualify for its first College Cup. It was another four before it made its first national title game, another six before it made it back and a year after that before it won its first title. In that time, things have shifted irrevocably. The revolution is here. Florida State hasn’t lost to North Carolina in four years. The mystique will never die, but it’s certainly faded.
In all of college sports, there has never been a program like the UNC women’s soccer program of the 80’s, 90’s and early aughts. Looking back with clear eyes, there probably never will be again.