Stanford Approaches NCAA Semifinal
Overall top-seed Stanford defeated two-seed Oklahoma State 2-1 in overtime last Friday to earn its fourth straight bid to the College Cup, and the program's fifth appearance overall. Seniors Lindsay Taylor, Teresa Noyola, Camille Levin and Kristy Zurmuhlen played their final match at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, where they finished their careers with a 53-0-1 home record. All four one-seeds--Stanford, Florida State, Wake Forest and Duke--remain in competition for the national title as the NCAA semifinals approach on Friday. Stanford is the only team in the College Cup that is not from the ACC.
Upcoming Match: Friday, December 2
No. 1 Florida State (18-6-1) vs. No. 1 Stanford (23-0-1), 2 p.m. PT, Kennesaw, Ga.
Stanford is looking for its third consecutive shot at the NCAA championship, but must get through Florida State on Friday first. Although the College Cup is held in Kennesaw, Ga., the Seminoles should have home field advantage: FSU is about 300 miles from Kennesaw, while Stanford is just under 2,500 miles away... When the two teams met in the Elite Eight last year, Stanford defeated the Seminoles, 5-0, marking the most goals allowed by FSU in an NCAA Tournament match.
Florida State finished the regular season at No. 9 in the NSCAA poll and has reached the College Cup five times now, most recently when the Seminoles went three straight years from 2005 to 2007. Within that stretch, FSU fell to UCLA in the 2005 semifinals and to USC in the 2007 title match... Although Florida State dropped six contests this season, all of them were to ranked opponents, including Portland, who lost to Stanford in September.
Tiffany McCarty is Florida State's leading scorer, ranking in the national top-10 for total goals (18) and the top-25 for goals per game (.720). Stanford's leading scorer, Pac-12 Player of the Year Lindsay Taylor, is in the national top-five for total goals (20) and top-10 for goals per game (.833) and total points (46). Her teammate Teresa Noyola is in the top-10 for total assists (13) and top-10 for assists per game (0.58). The Cardinal also has arguably the toughest goalkeeper in women's collegiate soccer in sophomore Emily Oliver. She maintains the best goals-against average in the country (.256) and is in the top-three for save percentage (.919).