Women's College Cup Preview: Florida State-Duke

Defending champion Florida State will be favored when it plays ACC rival Duke in the semifinals of the Women's College Cup on Friday (TV: 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU), but the Seminoles, who enter the College Cup with 10 straight shutouts wins in NCAA Tournament play, will face a young team that has improved a lot since their first meeting.

Featuring only one senior, four juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen in the starting lineup, the Blue Devils have the youngest team in the College Cup.

Duke has played the spoiler throughout the NCAA Tournament with wins over CAA champion James Madison, Atlantic-Sun champion FGCU (which entered the second round with an 11-game unbeaten streak), Florida (which was unbeaten in 12 straight games) and a shootout win over Pac-12 champion Stanford (unbeaten in 14 games).

A pair of freshmen -- Taylor Racioppi and Kayla McCoy -- have come up big and lead Duke with seven goals apiece.

Duke held FSU to a 0-0 tie when they met in September, but the 'Noles were missing five players on international duty: All-American freshman Megan Connolly and Megan Campbell with Ireland, Natalia Kuikka and Emma Koivisto with Finland and Berglind Thorvaldsdottir with Iceland.

“I think that both Duke and Florida State have gotten a lot better since we played early on,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “That was our first ACC game, it was quite early in the season and it was a tough, hard-fought game. Watching them on video in their last few games, I think that they look great. Any team that can go down and win at Florida and then turn around and fly out to California, play against Stanford and win out there, they are certainly worthy of our respect.”

Florida State:

PROJECTED STARTERS:
38 Cassie Miller So. Cave Creek, Ariz.
6 Megan Campbell Sr. Ireland
16 Carson Pickett Sr. Island, Fla
22 Kirsten Crowley
Jr. Panama City Beach, Fla.
23 Emma Koivisto So. Finland
3 Megan Connolly
Fr. Ireland
8 Michaela Hahn Sr. Titusville, Fla.
11 Isabella Schmid Sr. Germany
12 Kaycie Tillman Fr. Rowlett, Texas
14 Natalia Kuikka Fr. Finland
19 Cheyna Williams Sr. Hampton, Ga.
KEY SUBS
:
5 Elin Jensen Fr. Iceland
10 Berglind Thorvaldsdottir Jr. Iceland

Duke:
PROJECTED STARTERS:
0 EJ Proctor So. Wilson, N.C.
5 Rebecca Quinn Jr. Toronto, Ont.
6 Lizzy Raben
Jr. Greenwood Village, Colo.
24 Morgan Reid So. Cary, N.C.
31 Christina Gibbons Jr. Raleigh, N.C.
1 Casey Martinez
So. Towson, Md.
4 Ashton Miller So. Okemos, Mich.
7 Taylor Racioppi Fr. Ocean Township, N.J.
10 Toni Payne Jr. Birmingham, Ala.
12 Kayla McCoy Fr. Lincolnwood, Ill.
15 Kara Wilson Sr. Potomac, Md.
KEY SUBS:
2 Chelsea Burns Fr. Jacksonville, Fla.
3 Imani Dorsey So. Elkridge, Md.
22 Malinda Allen So. Memphis, Tenn.
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