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
Ireland, Natalia Kuikka
and Emma Koivisto
with Finland and Berglind Thorvaldsdottir
“I think that both Duke and Florida State have gotten a lot
better since we played early on,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikoria
n. “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
Cave Creek, Ariz.6 Megan Campbell
Sr. Ireland16 Carson Pickett
Sr. Island, Fla
22 Kirsten Crowley
Jr. Panama City Beach,
23 Emma Koivisto
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
19 Cheyna Williams
Sr. Hampton, Ga.
KEY SUBS: 5 Elin Jensen
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
Fr. Lincolnwood, Ill. 15 Kara Wilson
Sr. Potomac, Md. KEY SUBS: 2 Chelsea Burns
Fr. Jacksonville, Fla. 3 Imani Dorsey
Md. 22 Malinda Allen
So. Memphis, Tenn.