FSU ends Stanford's 45-game unbeaten run in NCAA women's soccer semifinal

CARY, N.C. -- Florida State knocked Stanford out of the NCAA Women's College Cup and out of the college soccer history books with a 2-0 win in Friday's national semifinal.

The loss ended Stanford's pursuit of back-to-back national championships, something only North Carolina has managed in women's soccer. It also ended Stanford's 45-game unbeaten streak, the fifth longest in NCAA history and the longest by a school other than North Carolina.

The Cardinal went 43-0-2 during their streak, including two wins against Florida State.

The end of Stanford's run came without nearly as much drama of the day's first semifinal, which saw North Carolina beat Georgetown in double overtime.

Stanford hadn't trailed in any of its 10 previous NCAA tournament games during the unbeaten streak, but Florida State took the lead after just 28 minutes with a goal by Gabby Carle. It was the sophomore's first goal this season and the first allowed by the Cardinal in this year's tournament.

Entering the game, Stanford had trailed for a little more than seven minutes all season.

Florida State added to the lead a little more than three minutes before halftime, when Stanford goalkeeper Alison Jahansouz couldn't control Malia Berkely's speculative long-range shot. The ball caromed off the keeper's gloves and into the net for Berkely's first goal of the season.

Florida State's defense and possession largely stifled the nation's third most prolific offense. Stanford finished the game with just one shot on goal. It had 38 shots on goal in the first four rounds, outscoring its opponents 10-1.

Stanford's last loss before Friday was Aug. 25 of last season at Florida. It hadn't been shut out since losing to Santa Clara in overtime in the second round of the 2016 NCAA tournament.

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Stanford could not stop Jaelin Howell, center, and Florida State in the semifinal.

"Honestly I don't think we've played our best soccer the whole season," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "I think we've played really well, well enough to have a great season. But with all the pieces we had, if everyone was at full strength and training all the time we could have been that special team again and won the national championship and competed with Florida State."

With 21 NCAA titles, and a chance to add another Sunday, the Tar Heels remain the program all others chase. But with two national titles and four Hermann Trophy winners in the past decade, Stanford had staked a claim to being the current model program.

Florida State will now make its own bid for that label.

Florida State will play North Carolina in Sunday's national championship game with a chance to become the sixth program to win multiple titles. The Seminoles are also tied with the Tar Heels for the most College Cup appearances since 2000.

The two finalists and No. 1 seeds split a pair of games earlier this season, North Carolina winning in Tallahassee in the regular season and Florida State winning in the ACC tournament on the same field in Cary that will host the national championship game.

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