CARY, N.C. – The top-seeded Florida State soccer team (13-0-1) advanced to the College Cup for the 11th time in program history after defeating ninth-seeded Duke (12-5-4), 5-3, in PKs.
“I thought Duke had a wonderful game plan and their kids executed it to perfection,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “It was clear that they were trying to minimize our opportunities at goal and they did a really good job at that. I thought our kids stayed disciplined throughout without giving much at our goal.”
The Seminoles dominated possession of the ball the entire game but could not get a ball in the back of the net through 110 minutes of action. Florida State outshot Duke 14-2 and had possession of the ball for 74 percent of the game. Duke’s only two shots came in the first seven minutes of the game and neither was on goal.
Sunday’s game was the first time that Florida State played in a game that went into PKs since 2018 when FSU defeated USC 5-4 in PKs to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Seminoles went on to win the National Championship that season.
Duke had an early advantage over Florida State after the Blue Devils got off shots in the second and seventh minutes. That would be all for Duke as they would not get a shot off for the rest of the game.
Florida State got off their first of three shots in the first half in the 20th minute when Clara Robbins put a shot on frame. Again in the 25th minutes, the Seminoles got a shot on goal, this time from Yujie Zhao.
The Garnet and Gold took seven more shots in the second half with four on goal but Ruthie Jones of Duke continued to keep the Seminoles off the board.
FSU had chances in overtime with four shots between the two overtimes but again could not convert, sending the game into penalty kicks.
Freshman goalkeeper Cristina Roque came up huge in PKs, deflecting Duke’s Taylor Mitchell in the first round. That was all FSU needed as they would convert on all five PKs, sending FSU to the College Cup.
“That was a big save,” said Krikorian. “She guessed right and got to it and that was the difference. All of our shooters stepped up and finished their chances pretty well.”
Florida State plays the winner of TCU and Virginia on Thursday, May 13 in the NCAA Tournament Semifinals.
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