The Tar Heels (25-0-0) scored twice late in the first half and dominated No. 3 Santa Clara (14-4-6), 3-0, before 1,618 on a frigid night at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
UCLA (20-1-3) parlayed a spectacular first half into a 4-0 rout of No. 7 Penn State (19-4-2) before 780 at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles.
The UNC-UCLA semifinal, slated for Dec. 4 in Cary, N.C., is a rematch of the 2000 final, won by North Carolina. The Tar Heels beat the Bruins, 5-2, on Sept. 19 in Durham, N.C.
No. 6 Florida State (17-7-1) dictated play most of the way in a 2-1 triumph over No. 8 Florida (19-4-2) before 3,432 at Percy Beard Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The Seminoles, who finished second to North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference, will face the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal in Storrs, Conn., between No. 23 Connecticut (13-5-3) and unranked Brigham Young (14-5-3).
In action Sunday:
North Carolina 3 Santa Clara 0: The Tar Heels reached their 22nd successive final four, avenging defeats to the Broncos in the 2001 NCAA final and 2002 semifinals, and moved within two victories of their 18th national championship.
National Player of the Year favorite Lindsay Tarpley scored one goal and assisted another -- her 21st goal and 25th assist of the season -- as North Carolina grabbed a two-goal lead by halftime and continued to dictate play in the second half.
Fellow U.S. national-teamers Heather O'Reilly and Catherine Reddick also scored goals, and it would have been 4-0 had Santa Clara goalkeeper Julie Ryder not saved Alyssa Ramsey's penalty kick with eight minutes remaining.
Santa Clara, saddled with a No. 9 seed although ranked third in all four major college women's soccer polls, failed to reach the final four for the first time since 2000 and second since 1995.
North Carolina went ahead in the 33rd minute. Tarpley stole the ball from defender Chardonnay Poole and fed O'Reilly's 13th goal of the season. The assist extended Tarpley's NCAA Tournament record for assists to nine.
Reddick got the second goal just before halftime, heading home Anne Felts' free kick from just outside the Santa Clara box. It was the first time in 45 games, dating to last season, that the Broncos have surrendered two goals in the first half.
Tarpley scored from Ramsey's feed in the 81st minute, the Tar Heels' record 23rd of the tournament. The previous tournament record, 22, was set by the 1996 Carolina team.
UCLA 4 Penn State 0: The Bruins dominated first-half action, using superior speed and athleticism to attack at will, to reach its second final four. Whitney Jones, Iris Mora, Bristyn Davis and Kim Devine scored goals, and UCLA might have doubled its output if not for mostly superb play by Nittany Lions goalkeeper Amanda Brown.
Penn State generated no offense the first 45 minutes -- Carmelina Moscato fired well over the crossbar with the Lions' first shot, in the 48th minute -- and never realistically threatened to score. All-American Joanna Lohman saw little time on the ball as UCLA won nearly three-quarters of the 50-50 balls, repeatedly feeding through balls for, usually, Davis. Brown was exceptional coming off her line to defuse the danger.
Penn State was more aggressive in the second half and controlled midfield for long stretches, although it struggled to find a path past Jones and a Bruin backline anchored by U.S. national team pool player Nandi Pryce. Its best chance was in the 61st minute, when Lohman forced UCLA goalkeeper Arianna Criscione to make a diving stop.
Jones, outstanding as holding midfielder, scored the opener in the 16th minute from a corner kick. Nandi Pryce, near the spot, headed Iris Mora's serve toward the near post -- the left post -- and Lindsay Greco's header was stopped at the goal line by the Penn State defender. Jones, at the post, nodded the rebound in.
Mora, a Mexican international, doubled the advantage in the 37th minute with a volley that hit the right post and ricocheted off a diving Brown and into the net.
Mora set up Davis' 77th-minute goal from a Pryce long ball to make it 3-0, and Kim Devine curled a corner kick just inside the far post in the final minute,
Florida 1 Florida State 2: The visiting Seminoles gave one of their most dominant performances in four NCAA tournament appearances, neutralizing the third-seeded Gators' attack while creating myriad opportunities.
The victory completed a sensational turnaround for Florida State, which started the season with a 1-4 record, with losses to USC, Penn State, Florida (2-0 on Sept. 5) and Kansas, and rebounded against the toughest schedule in the nation. The Seminoles' semifinal game will be its 19th, in 25 games, against NCAA tournament qualifiers.
Freshman defender Kelly Rowland broke a scoreless tie in the 57th minute, heading home Katie Beal's 45-yard free kick into the box. Twelve minutes later, Florida goalkeeper Brittni Goodwin punched out Amber Tollefson's corner kick, and Jez Ratliff half-volleyed the rebound into side-netting to make it 2-0.
Rowland's goal, her sixth, was her fifth since the conclusion of regular season.
Florida, which had been unbeaten at home for 19 games, got its goal in the closing minutes. Canadian international Melanie Booth arced a ball over goalkeeper Joy McKenzie and off the far post. Megan McMillan knocked home the rebound.
NCAA DIVISION I
Friday, Nov. 28
North Carolina 3 (O'Reilly 33, Reddick 45, Tarpley 81) Santa Clara 0
UCLA 4 (Jones 16, Mora 37, Davis 77, Devine 90) Penn State 0
Florida 1 (McMillan 88) Florida State 2 (Rowland 57, Ratliff 69)
Saturday, Nov. 29
Brigham Young (14-5-3) at Connecticut (13-5-3), noon EST