Florida State edges North Carolina for NCAA women's soccer title
CARY, N.C. -- Florida State can't do anything about the one-sided history of its rivalry with North Carolina. But unlike the rest of college soccer, Florida State can claim bragging rights on the present after beating the Tar Heels on Sunday to win the national championship.
In a game every bit as tight as was expected for the third meeting this season between ACC rivals, Dallas Dorosy's second-half goal was the difference in Florida State's 1-0 win.
The title is Florida State's second in the past five seasons, which makes the Seminoles the sixth program to win multiple national championships in women's soccer. They denied North Carolina its 22nd NCAA title and became just the fourth team to beat the Tar Heels in a title game.
"It's never easy, no matter what the stage is, to play against North Carolina," FSU coach Mark Krikorian said. "They've defined excellence in all of college sports, not just college soccer. For us to be sitting here, finding a way to score a goal, finding a way to get the result, I think we all feel really good about that."
The finalists had no shortage of common history. North Carolina beat Florida State in September en route to the ACC regular season title. The Seminoles then beat the Tar Heels almost exactly a month ago to win the ACC tournament. That game was also played at WakeMed Soccer Park, the site of the College Cup. North Carolina also used an adjacent field as its home venue this season, while construction continued on its new stadium on campus.
The familiarity was evident in a game that produced few obvious scoring opportunities and a great many fouls for the first hour of play. The teams combined for just three shots on goal in in the opening half, none of which troubled either goalkeeper.
Stifled for most of the game by North Carolina's pressure, Florida State's Deyna Castellanos was able to find free space in transition in the 60th minute. The team's leading goal scorer and a former finalist for FIFA women's player of the year, Castellanos drove a ball low and hard toward the 6-yard box in front of North Carolina's goal. Battling North Carolina defender Lotte Wubben-Mpy for position, Dorosy threw her body toward the ball in a slide and redirected it into the goal.
A senior who finished the regular season with two goals and came off the bench in this game, Dorosy also scored two goals against North Carolina in the ACC tournament meeting.
"As a senior you realize that it's your last run," Dorosy said. "My teammates, they work so hard for me, and I try to work hard for them. And Deyna gave a perfect ball, and I just threw my body in there."
North Carolina earned a free kick near the Florida State goal in the final minute but was unable to get a shot on target. The Tar Heels finished with just two shots on goal for the game.
The Seminoles didn't allow a goal in the College Cup, shutting out both the Tar Heels and defending national champion Stanford, ending that team's 45-game unbeaten streak in the semifinal.
Florida State has emerged as North Carolina's most consistent conference rival since head coach Mark Krikorian was hired prior to the 2005 season. This year was the program's ninth College Cup appearance since Krikorian arrived, the most of any team in that span.
A second national title, this time against the program that set the standard in the sport and the conference they share, cements their spot atop the sport.