UCLA Defeats FSU Soccer in College Cup Final

The Florida State soccer team fell to UCLA 1-0 in overtime in the College Cup finals.

The Florida State soccer team came into the national championship game against UCLA as the higher seed, but the red-hot Bruins arrived on a 21-game winning streak (including 15 shutouts) after beating top-ranked Virginia—the team that had handed the Seminoles their only loss—in the semifinals.

Once the game began, it became evident that UCLA's speed and athleticism would pose a problem for the Seminoles, who appeared to be the more skilled team overall but simply could not match the athleticism of the Pac 12 champs. UCLA defenders Megan Oyster and Ally Courtnall were especially problematic for the Noles, using their speed to make long runs from the back throughout the game.

Because of that speed advantage, UCLA was able to push the ball on the offensive side and pressure the Seminoles all game. FSU head coach Mark Krikorian observed, ""I thought that the quality of their pressure was quite good ... they were very athletic and organized."

Florida State, on the other hand, seemed hesitant to push forward and potentially overextend themselves against the Bruins' speed. Ultimately, this led to a game in which the UCLA largely dominated the run of play, outshooting the Noles 15-5, including one shot off the post and another off the crossbar in the first half, both by Bruin striker Taylor Smith.

The Seminoles nevertheless managed to survive the onslaught into overtime, thanks in large part to a gutty performance by senior goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, who had seven saves. The Seminole defenders were likewise under tremendous pressure all game, with a trio of Seminoles earning a team save on a shot off a rebound late in the second half.

The winning goal came off the left foot of Kodi Lavrusky, assisted by defender Megan Oyster on what she later called, "probably the best pass in my life." Oyster had made a run from the back and managed to get position in the middle before slipping a pass behind and between the Florida State defenders, putting Lavrusky one-on-one with Wys, who managed to get a hand on the shot but could not keep it out of the bottom right of the net.

FSU's best chance came late in the second period, as defender Kristin Grubka shook free for a header off a deep throw-in by Megan Campbell. The shot looked true until Oyster made a terrific play to deflect it wide of the net.

The conditions were cold and wet, with the field temperature at 35 degrees when play began and precipitation intermittently adding even more moisture to the already saturated field.

The two programs have the most College Cup appearances of any programs since 2003. This was UCLA's first College Cup title in its eighth appearance over that span, with Florida State coming up short in its seventh appearance.

Nole Digest Top Stories