CARY, N.C. – Helping lead the Seminoles to the College Cup in all three phases of the field, forward Deyna Castellanos, midfielder Yujie Zhao and defender Natalia Kuikka received national honors on Thursday night as the United Soccer Coaches announced their 2018 All-American Teams.
Castellanos and Zhao were named to the Second Team, while Kuikka earned Third Team accolades. It is the second All-American honor for both Castellanos and Kuikka as they were recognized in 2017 and 2016, respectively.
Florida State placed three student-athletes on the United Soccer Coaches All-American teams for the seventh time in school history, joining 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2008 and 2006. The 2008 squad is the only Seminole team to receive four United Soccer Coaches All-American honors.
The Seminoles are one of five schools to have at least three United Soccer Coaches All-Americans – joining Georgetown, North Carolina, Stanford and USC. The Cardinal and the Trojans top the list with four selections each.
Castellanos leads the Seminoles with 26 points on 10 goals and six assists. She has tallied five game-winning goals, including three against ranked teams – No. 6 Virginia, No. 11 Virginia and No. 14 Penn State. She now has 15 game-winning goals, which ranks second all-time in FSU history.
Kuikka has anchored Seminole defense that ranks eighth in the country with a 0.505 goals against average. The senior captain has helped FSU record 14 shutouts and a 7-1-2 record against ranked opponents this season, including victories over No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 5 Duke and No. 6 Virginia.
Zhao has shined in her first season of collegiate soccer as she ranks second on the team with seven goals and is third with five assists. Four of her seven goals have been game-winners, and her penalty kick conversion against No. 6 USC on November 18 sent the Seminoles to the NCAA quarterfinals.
The No. 5 Seminoles will face No. 1 Stanford on Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the NCAA Semifinals at WakeMed Soccer Park. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Throughout 2018-19, the Seminoles will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Florida State and there are many events and reunions planned for all women’s sports. Head to www.seminoles.com/50th/ for more information that will be updated throughout the year.
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