FSU Women become three-time NCAA soccer champions
The Florida State Women’s Soccer team is the national champion once again. The Seminoles secured the title on penalty kicks. The win gives the women’s soccer team its third title in eight seasons.
Florida State secured its place in NCAA soccer history on Monday night. Its three titles are tied for second-most in the history of the sport. After 110 scoreless minutes against Brigham Young, FSU found itself facing a similar scenario as last year—when the team lost the title in penalty kicks.
That loss to Santa Clara set the tone for this season as the women doubled down on getting back to the finals.
“It feels quite nice to be sitting on this side of it," head coach Mark Krikorian told reporters in a press conference after the victory.
"Last year I thought we were quite good, and we had some unfinished business we needed to address and I’m proud of the team, and the staff.”
Krikorian also spoke about the talent of the team and balancing expectations with consistency.
“What I’ve said to these guys is they’re all going to be pros, they’re all going to have a long career and play as long as they want to—and what they’ll find when you get out of the college game into the professional—you can't get too high and you can’t get too low.”
That talent is not an exaggeration. Senior midfielder Jaelin Howell deferred a professional career to return for the season for a second shot at the title. Goalkeeper Christina Roque produced key saves in the shootout and All-American Yujie Zhao finished the winning penalty kick.
“It was unfortunate that we didn’t score goals in the regular time, but I had faith we were going to win in PK. And thinking about last year’s PKs…I was just super, super happy, running through the crowds, running to our teammates," Zhao said.
The team is expected to return home to the Unconquered statue tonight at 6 p.m. The Seminoles entered the 2021 season ranked No. 1 in the preseason United Soccer coach’s poll. They’re ending it as NCAA champions.