CARY, N.C. – The Virginia women’s soccer team (14-4-3) battled top-ranked and top-seeded Florida State (14-0-1) to a scoreless draw through 110 minutes, but the Seminoles claimed a penalty kick shootout 3-0 to end the Cavaliers’ run at the NCAA Tournament in the semifinals at WakeMed Soccer Park on Thursday (May 13).
Florida State keeper Cristina Roque saved the first three shootout attempts by the Cavaliers while the Seminoles hit all three chances to advance to the championship game.
Virginia was the only unseeded team to advance to the College Cup and was ranked No. 13 in the United Soccer Coaches rankings heading into the tournament.
The Cavaliers controlled the bulk of the contest in the first half, taking six shots while limiting the Seminoles to only one shot. Both Virginia shots on goal were saved, while an additional shot from Rebecca Jarrett (Washington Township, N.J.) clipped off the underside of the crossbar and dropped in front of the goal line before being cleared.
Virginia came out with pressure up to start the second half, taking a turnover in the first minute and attacking on the counter for a shot and a corner, but the Seminoles were able to turn it away.
The Seminoles turned up the pressure on the Virginia defense from that opening possession, notching six corners though the first 25 minutes of the second period. Despite the high-pressure attach the Cavalier defense continued to turn away the Florida State attack and keep the match scoreless through regulation.
Florida State got off two shots in the first overtime period, while the teams each managed a shot in the second overtime period before heading to the shootout. Virginia’s only shot in the overtime periods came in the form of a header from Diana Ordoñez (Prosper, Texas) in the 102nd minute.
The Cavaliers posted four consecutive shutouts to close a run of five games in the NCAA Tournament. After surrendering an early goal in the tournament opener against SIUE, Virginia knocked off No. 12 seed BYU by a score of 2-0, Rice by a score of 3-0 and No. 4 seed TCU by a score of 1-0 to advance to the College Cup and played the top-seeded Seminoles to the draw and setup the shootout.
• The appearance in the College Cup marked the fourth semifinal appearance for Virginia all-time.
• It marked the fifth overtime game for the Cavaliers this season who went 2-0-3 in overtime games this year.
• It was the third time for Virginia and FSU to face off in an NCAA Tournament match. FSU is 2-0-1 in those games.
• Virginia and FSU have now met in an NCAA quarterfinal (2011), final (2014) and semifinal (2021).
• UVA held a 5-to-2 edge in shots on goal for the match, though FSU finished with a 10-to-9 advantage in shots overall.
FROM HEAD COACH STEVE SWANSON
“That was obviously a tough one to lose, especially the way we lost it. I’m super proud of our team. I thought they played great. I don’t think there’s much more we could have done except convert our chances. For as much as that first half was ours, we just didn’t come away with anything to show for it. You know there are going to be ebbs and flows in a game like this and that was our chance. We came close. I think it would have been a different game if we put one away. Florida State isn’t going to give you a game; you’re going to have to earn it and unfortunately we didn’t do enough to earn it as close as the game was.
“It’s been a really good run for our team. It’s very motivating – a game like this – and I think it will be very motivating in the off-season. I look at the year and our season, we played in the fall and the spring, and it’s been a long year. It’s always hard to peak at this time, but I think our players peaked at this time and our team peaked at this time. That’s a credit to our players.”