College Cup: Florida State Reaches Final

College Cup: Florida State Reaches Final
by Victor Olorunfemi
December 2, 2023

CARY, N.C. -- For the third time in four years, Florida State will play for a national championship after defeating Clemson 2-0 in the College Cup semi-final. Two brilliant strikes from Kaitlyn Zipay and Jordynn Dudley made the difference as the Seminoles will take an undefeated record to the National final.

Towards the end of a physical back-and-forth and first half where neither team gained control, Zipay opened the scoring with an expert half-volley following identical overhead flicks from Leah Pais and Heather Gilchrist. It needed a special effort to beat Halle Mackiewicz, a Second Team All-American, and Zipay delivered.

Regarding the strike, Florida State Head Coach, Brian Pensky spoke to the importance of the moment in the postgame conference. "It didn't end the game, but it really put us in a good spot going into halftime."

With a 1-0 lead at half forcing Clemson to come out of their shell and chase the game, the circumstances were perfect for a Seminole squad that is the best in the country in offensive transition, particularly one-woman machine Jordynn Dudley, standing in a class of her own when operating with space to dribble and run into. Eight minutes into the half, Dudley would take advantage of an unassisted goal where she dribbled past the Clemson back line and curled her effort into the top corner.

And as the half unraveled, Florida State could have added a couple more with multiple near misses as the Tigers gave all they could to get back in the game. Cristina Roque made five routine saves and excelled with her distribution, while Lauren Flynn gave a typically composed and excellent performance at center back.

Clemson’s season may have ended, but it has every reason to be proud as this was the first final four trips in program history. Head Coach, Eddie Radwanski revealed his emotional post game speech to the team. "I told them how much I loved them, I told them thank you, they have nothing to hang their heads about, they should be proud of what they've done, how they've done it and how they have represented a place like Clemson."

Florida State advances to the Final to be played Monday against BYU or Stanford.

Related Topics: Atlantic Coast
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