Women's College Cup: Florida State and North Carolina move into final after unbeatens fall

Florida State, which has already beaten the 2015 and 2016 national champions en route to the 2018 Women's College Cup, knocked off 2017 champion Stanford, 2-0, to advance to Sunday's final against ACC rival North Carolina, a 1-0 winner over unbeaten Georgetown in overtime.

Stanford came into the game with a 45-game unbeaten streak, dating back to Aug. 25, 2017, but it fell behind 2-0 in the first half and never recovered before a sellout crowd that braved the rain at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

The FSU goals came from improbable sources. Both were scored by defenders, Gabby Carle and Malia Berkely, and both were their first goals of the season.

“We’re thrilled,” FSU coach Mark Krikorian said, “that we were able to find a way to score a couple goals and be able to advance and have a chance to play on this beautiful field in this beautiful stadium again.”

In the 29th minute, Carle scored on a low shot with her left foot from the top of the penalty area.

“I started going inside and kept going until I realized I could score,” she said.  “I just thought that would be the hardest shot for the keeper, and I swung my leg and it happened.”

Berkely’s goal 13 minutes later came from 25 yards, beating Alison Jahansouz with a shot that went right through the Stanford keeper's hands.

Leading by two goals, the Seminoles held Stanford without a shot the rest of the game.

"Credit Florida State for really bringing it tonight and earning the result," said Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe. "This team has had an incredible season and I'm so proud of all they've accomplished from start to finish."

The Cardinal's 45-game unbeaten streak was the fifth longest in NCAA Division I women's history and the longest by a school other than North Carolina.

Nov. 30 in Cary, N.C.
Florida State 2 Stanford 0. Goals: Carle 29, Berkely (Castellanos) 42.
Florida State -- Jeffers, Pavlisko, Kuikka, Carle, Berkely, Howell, Villalobos, Tillman, Zhao, Castellanos, McFarland. Subs: Patten, Dorosy, Bergau.
Stanford -- Jahansouz, Girma, Cook, McGrady, Pickett, Hiatt, Boissiere, Macario, Haley, DiBiasi, Kuhlman. Subs: Briede, Xiao, Goad, Harber.
Att.: 10,811.

North Carolina and Georgetown played more than 107 minutes before the Tar Heels won, 1-0, on senior defender Julia Ashley's golden goal.

The goal was a brilliant counterattacking move that began when U.S. international Emily Fox gathered the ball on the UNC end line and
fed Ashley, who was off to the races. She played a one-two with freshman midfielder Brianna Pinto before feeding the ball to another freshman, Rachael Dorwart, who returned the ball to Ashley, now just inside penalty area. Her shot gave reserve Georgetown goalkeeper Lauren Gallagher no chance.

Both teams had their chances in regulation, none bigger than when Taylor Otto’s penalty kick was saved by Gallagher, playing only her third collegiate match. Only minutes earlier, the Hoyas lost All-American goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman, who was injured trying to prevent a ball to go out for a corner kick and had to be replaced by Gallagher.

It was all Carolina in overtime. The Tar Heels looked like they were going to win in the 102nd minute, but Madison Schultz had her shot cleared off the line by Georgetown’s Meaghan Nally.

"I couldn't be any prouder of these kids," said Hoyas coach Dave Nolan. "I thought they put in a great effort tonight. Carolina asked a lot of us out there. We had to deal with a lot of adversity when Arielle went down, but we knew what we needed to do and Lauren stepped up and made a great save in the penalty kick and handled the game the rest of the way like a veteran."

Carolina is now 25-3 in College Cup semifinals and will be playing for its 22nd NCAA championship on Sunday.

Next up: The UNC-FSU match will be the third meeting between the two teams in 2018. UNC won, 1-0, in Tallahassee in September.  The Seminoles defeated the Tar Heels, 3-2, in the ACC Tournament final on the same Sahlen’s Stadium field where they will meet on Sunday.

Nov. 30 in Cary, N.C.
North Carolina 1 Georgetown 0. Goal: Ashley (Dorwart) 108.
North Carolina -- Leshnak, Fox, Ashley, Wubben-Moy, Bingham, Otto, Pinto, Bailey, Schultz, Andrzejewski, Kimball. Subs: Spruill, Mucherera, Kingman, Dorwart, Jones, Goff, Redei.
Georgetown -- Schechtman, Royson, Nally, Staudt, Livingstone, Trissel, Germino-Watnick, Nguyen, Nizialek, Farrell, Carusa. Subs: Gallagher, Carolan, Menta, Jackson.
Att.: 10,439.

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