Nov. 29, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - One thing is for certain this weekend in Kennesaw, Ga. - there will be a first-time national champion crowned at this year's Women's College Cup. Florida State took another step closer in making that dream a reality last Friday in Tallahassee with a 3-0 victory over Virginia in the Elite Eight.
The Seminoles return to the College Cup for the fifth time in school history and for the first time since a string of three straight trips from 2005-2007. Florida State (18-6-1) will be joined in Kennesaw by Stanford (23-0-1), Duke (21-3-1) and Wake Forest (18-3-4).
The five College Cup appearances by the Seminoles are tied for the eighth most in NCAA Tournament history with Colorado College and Friday night's semifinal opponent, the Stanford Cardinal. Since 2003, FSU's five College Cup appearances are the most of any other school in the ACC and the third most nationally behind only UCLA (7) and Notre Dame (6). Duke is making its second trip to the College Cup and first since 1992, while Wake Forest is playing in the College Cup for the first time in school history.
Friday's semifinal against Stanford is a rematch of last year's Elite Eight meeting in Palo Alto, Calif., as the Cardinal defeated the Seminoles 5-0. It marked the most goals allowed by the Seminoles in an NCAA Tournament match. This will be only the second meeting between Florida State and Stanford all-time.
Facing a Pac-12 opponent in the College Cup is nothing new to the Seminoles. Stanford is the third Pac-12 team Florida State will play in the College Cup. FSU faced UCLA in the 2005 semifinals and Southern California in the 2007 National Championship game. Against Pac-12 teams all-time, Florida State is 13-4-1 including 3-3 in the NCAA Tournament. Along with the Bruins (0-1), Trojans (0-1) and the Cardinal (0-1), FSU has also faced Cal three times in the NCAA Tournament winning all three matches.
Florida State is in the midst of a season-best 10-game (9-0-1) unbeaten and have been battled tested throughout November as four of its six matches played during the month have come on the road.
The Seminoles are 11-9-2 away from home in the NCAA Tournament all-time including a record of 7-4-2 on neutral soil. FSU is already 2-0-0 on neutral turf in this year's tournament defeating both Portland (Second Round) and Louisville (Third Round) in Memphis, Tenn.
In the College Cup, Florida State owns an all-time record of 1-3-0 with its lone win coming in 2007 against Notre Dame (3-2) in College Station, Texas.
Stanford enters the College Cup winners of 21 straight matches. The only blemish on the Cardinal schedule this year came in the third game of the season as Maryland and Stanford played to a scoreless draw in College Park.
The Seminoles have outscored the opposition 10-1 through the first four rounds of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. It marks the fourth time in 12 NCAA Tournament appearances that FSU has reached double-digits in goals. Florida State scored a school record 17 goals during the 2007 NCAA Tournament - the same year the Seminoles played for the national championship. The one goal allowed is the fewest given up with at least four games played in the tournament. The previous low was two in four games in 2008.
This year FSU recorded three shutouts in a single NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history (Samford 2-0, Louisville 2-0, and Virginia 3-0). The Seminoles set the school record with three shutouts in 2007 and repeated the feat in 2008. In 46 all-time NCAA Tournament games, Florida State has recorded 19 shutouts and has been shut out 10 times.
Friday's semifinal will air live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com beginning at 5:00 p.m. Live stats will be available via gametracker, while fans can always receive updates on the game via twitter @FSU_Soccer.
Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to Seminoles.com throughout the week for continued coverage on Florida State's trip to the College Cup.
For complete game notes, see the PDF listed above.