Women’s College Cup features four No.1 seeds
November 29, 2011
One thing’s for certain: The four best teams in women’s college soccer are the last remaining, and there really shouldn’t be much debate about that. Each program came in as a top seed and held serve through a demanding four rounds to set up a powerful College Cup clash. We profile the remaining championship contenders:
Stanford: The Cardinal is reaching some pretty hallowed ground in terms of sustained excellence. With the team’s 2-1 overtime victory over Oklahoma State on Sunday, Stanford reached its fourth consecutive College Cup – a feat pulled off by only five previous programs. But College Cups just don’t suffice anymore in Palo Alto, CA; Stanford needs its first ever title. They moved one step closer by prevailing in one of their toughest tests of the season where they needed Lindsay Taylor’s game-winning goal in the 92nd minute to advance.
Florida State's Dagny Brynjarsdottir (Florida State Athletics)Now it’s game on. Stanford has lost in consecutive national championship matches, a fact that should help their latest push but could also serve to add pressure as they prepare to face Florida State on Friday.
Florida State: No team was more impressive in punching their ticket to Kennesaw, Georgia than the Seminoles who were at their most opportunistic in a 3-0 triumph over Virginia on Friday. Florida State had never defeated Virginia in its program history heading into this season then knocked them off twice this month to signal a new era. As previously mentioned, the Seminoles reached the Elite Eight last season without their two top attackers, Tiffany McCarty and Jessica Price, and with both back in the fold they’re clearly in a better position this time around.
Goaltender Kelsey Wys made six saves to fend off the Cavaliers’ attack and Florida State made Virginia pay on the other end with two second-half goals to send the Seminoles soaring to their first Cup since 2007.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons pounded UCF 3-0 on Friday and are the lone first-timers remaining among the four. That, however, hardly makes them the most vulnerable. Wake Forest has beaten their four opponents by a combined score of 11-2 and has a defined alpha female – which can often help define a team in tough moments – in Katie Stengel. The sensational sophomore continued her path to rewriting the program’s record books with her 19th goal of the season Friday, extending her single-season mark and putting her one shy of Wake Forest’s career goal-scoring mark of 36 held by Jill Hutchinson.
The Demon Deacons also have familiarity with their next opponent, Duke. They lost 2-0 to the Blue Devils during the regular season but responded with a 2-1 win in the ACC Tournament rematch.
Duke: The Blue Devils happened to be someone’s pick to win the whole thing … just saying. Duke polished off tournament Cinderella Long Beach State 2-0 and is making its first appearance in the Cup since 1992. Kim DeCesare scored in the second half before Gilda Doria added the first goal of her career. Goalkeeper Tara Campbell contributed her 13th shutout of the season despite not recording a save.
Elite Eight Notables: Long Beach State ended the season with the most wins in school history (18) while becoming the first ever Big West squad to reach the Elite Eight … Oklahoma State fell in the quarterfinals for the second straight season but managed a program-best mark of 22-2-2 …
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