It was a wild semi-final round in the 2020 NCAA Women’s College Cup and the tournament comes down to a David versus Goliath matchup. On Monday, May 17, No. 11 Santa Clara will take on the tournament’s top seed in Florida State at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina for the championship.
2021 NCAA DI Women’s Championship Game
Date: Monday, May 17, 2021
Who: Florida State vs Santa Clara
Where:WakeMed Soccer Park - Cary, North Carolina
TV Broadcast: ESPN 2
What Happened in the Semi-Finals
After 48 programs entered the 2020 NCAA Women’s College Cup nearly three weeks ago, just four entered this weekend for the semi-finals: No.1 Florida State, No.2 University of North Carolina, No. 11 Santa Clara, and un-ranked Virginia.
For the second consecutive round, Florida State’s game went down to penalty kicks, and as they did against Duke in the quarterfinals, came out ahead of Virginia, 3-0 in PK. Since scoring three goals in each of their first two rounds, the Seminoles haven’t scored in regulation or overtime in the last two rounds. They also have allowed just a single goal in regulation all tournament, scored by Penn State in their second match. While it speaks volumes about their defense and goalkeeper Cristina Roque, the lack of offense is concerning. That could end up costing them in the final.
What Florida State has lacked, Santa Clara hasn’t really struggled to score in the tournament and showed just that in the semi-finals. Against the second-seeded Tar-Heels, the Broncos from California scored two second-half goals to take the match 3-1 and advance to the final. In three of their four tournament contests, Santa Clara has scored at least two goals, including a four-point affair in their first game, beating Ohio State 4-1. In addition to their offensive prowess, Santa Clara’s goalie Marlee Nicolos recorded two clean sheets.
Will History Repeat Itself?
According to Santa Clara Athletics, the only other time that the Broncos and the Seminoles have faced each other on the women’s pitch was 20 years ago in 2001. That contest was also hosted in North Carolina, at the Wake Forest/Nike Invitational. A strong outing from Santa Clara saw them take the match 4-1 over Florida State. It was that Broncos team that took home the 2001 College Cup, their only title in the program’s three attempts.
Like Santa Clara, Florida State’s program has history with the College Cup, even at 2-2 in title attempts. The Seminoles also have recent championship experience on their side. The program won the College Cup just two seasons ago in 2018, also played in Cary, North Carolina. According to the media notes, this is Florida State’s third title game hosted in the city of Cary. This current tournament, of course, is the 2020 College Cup that was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which team will history favor? Will Santa Clara improve to 2-0 against Florida State all-time, and once again win a College Cup? Or will the Seminoles once again collect the College Cup in Cary?