GREENSBORO, N.C. – A first half goal by Carson Pickett was all second-ranked Florida State (18-1-1) needed Sunday afternoon as the Seminoles defeated fourth-ranked Virginia (18-2-0) 1-0 in the finals of the 2014 ACC Women’s Soccer Championship inside the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
The Seminoles captured the league title for the second straight year and third time in the last four years as Florida State becomes the first repeat champion in the ACC since North Carolina won five straight titles from 2005-09.
“This is why you want to go out and play,” Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian said. “You want to go out and play against the top competition in the country. Virginia is a fabulous team, and they are going to do a great job in the NCAA Tournament.
“We know that it isn’t easy to win this championship. All of the teams that play in this tournament are top 10 teams in the country.”
The only goal of the match came in the 17th minute when a cross from Cheyna Williams traveled to the far post where Pickett was waiting with a header that snuck inside the left post for her first goal of the season. Williams did a fantastic job keeping possession of the ball down near the end line with a swarm of Cavalier defenders around her. After a cut back toward the top of the box, Williams had enough space to send a beautiful cross to Pickett, who finished the play off with the eventual game-winner.
“I saw Cheyna just carving people up on the outside and she just crossed it,” said Pickett. “I saw a girl jump and she missed the ball. I just tried to get there as quickly as I could and saw it go into the back of the net.”
Florida State outshot Virginia 12-8 for the match as Dagny Brynjarsdottir led all players with five shots on the afternoon including three shots on goal in 90 minutes of action. Brynjarsdottir, who scored a goal against Notre Dame in the semifinals, took home ACC Tournament MVP honors.
“Winning our third title in four years has been great,” said Brynjarsdottir. “The team spirit has been great, and we defended really well as a team. This is my last year here, and it is great to go out as an ACC Champion. Now, we will look ahead to the NCAAs.”
The Seminole defense did an outstanding job of limiting the Cavaliers chances on goal especially in the second half. Brittany Ratcliffe had both of UVa’s shots on goal but Cassie Miller was there both times with the save.
Miller’s first save of the game was the biggest of the afternoon coming on a one-on-one opportunity created by Ratcliffe in the sixth minute of play.
Following a Florida State free kick, UVa countered as Makenzy Doniak sent a long ball down the middle of the field to a wide open Ratcliffe. With the junior forward streaking down the middle of the field, Miller came through with a tremendous kick save to keep the score knotted at zero.
The shutout for the Seminoles was their 13th of the season and second straight over the Cavaliers. In the last 81 games, Virginia has been shutout just four times as all four shutouts have come at the hands of Florida State.
“This was a really physically game, and the officials did a great job of controlling the game,” added Krikorian. “Our kids are competitive and the Virginia kids are competitive. That is what happens when you put two good teams on the field.”
Joining Brynjarsdottir on the ACC All-Tournament Team was Megan Campbell, Carson Pickett, Jamia Fields and Cheyna Williams.
Florida State earns the automatic bid out of the ACC following Sunday’s victory. The Seminoles will now await their fate to see who and where they will play in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament Women’s Soccer selection show will be Monday, November 10 at 4:30 pm on www.ncaa.com.