Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament Semifinal Game Breakdowns

Virginia Women's College Soccer

Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament Semifinal Game Breakdowns


#2 Virginia vs. #1 Texas A&M

Virginia went on the road all the way across the country to Drake Stadium and took down the high-flying UCLA Bruins 2-1 in the quarterfinals, snapping UCLA’s 44 match unbeaten streak. The Cavaliers got it done thanks to efficient execution in the attack, converting twice on their three shots on frame. Emily Sonnett and Morgan Brian scored in the 33rd minute and 71st minute, respectively. It was the first time all season long that the Bruins had conceded two goals to any opponent. The backline for Virginia was fantastic all night long in limiting UCLA’s chances as the Bruins could only generate two of their seven shots to end up on frame. This result was the first win on the road in the NCAA Tournament for the Cavaliers since 2009 when they Penn State in the second round. When Virginia is on in all phases like they have been in the last two rounds against Kentucky and UCLA they are very difficult to stop.

Texas A&M punched their ticket to their first-ever women’s soccer College Cup by taking down perennial tournament power Penn State 2-1 in the quarterfinals on Saturday night in front of a raucous crowd at Ellis Field. This run to the College Cup has been building for several years as the senior class led by Shea Groom, Kelley Monogue, Allie Bailey and Jordan Day in goal have been stalwarts all season long. In the quarterfinals the Aggies went back and forth with the Nittany Lions as the Aggies struck first with Allie Bailey scoring in the 5th minute. Penn State responded in the 53rd minute on a goal by Salina Williford, finishing off an assist by Frannie Crouse. Then just a few short minutes later, Allie Bailey punched the Texas A&M ticket to Boca Raton by scoring the game-winning goal in the 58th minute to give the Aggies a 2-1 lead that they would never relinquish the rest of the way. Texas A&M is explosive enough to test the Virginia backline so this will be a very intriguing and potentially high-scoring affair if both attacks are at their best.

Overall, Virginia looks like a team on a mission after falling short in the National Semifinal last year against UCLA. Texas A&M, with their experience and ability to play high-scoring soccer, will have to overcome the challenge of being on the Women’s College Cup stage for the first time. If the Aggies can start fast and stay in the match with the Cavaliers in the first half, they will have shot to get the result. But if they let Virginia get an early goal and open the flood gates they will be in for a very long night. The Cavaliers are way too explosive offensively to be completely slowed down over the course of 90 minutes.


#1 Florida State vs. #1 Stanford

Florida State punched its ticket to their fourth straight Women’s College Cup by dominating South Carolina 5-0 in the quarterfinals. The Seminoles overall in the run to Boca Raton have not been tested except for the Sweet 16 against rival UCF. Florida State left no doubt in the quarterfinal match against the Gamecocks as they scored a late goal in the first half by Jamia Fields in the 43rd minute to put the Seminoles ahead 2-0 and forced South Carolina to have to press forward. Florida State sealed the deal with three goals in just under a seven minute span in the early part of the second half to put the match away. The Seminoles have a tremendous depth within their attack with three double-digit goal scorers on the season. Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Cheyna Williams, and Berglind Thorvaldsdottir have combined for 40 goals and 15 assists. Defensively, they have been excellent as well by only conceding nine goals heading into the national semifinal against Stanford. The ability to control things at both ends of the pitch is going to be crucial to trying to slow down the Stanford Cardinal attack.

Stanford took the best shot from Florida in the quarterfinals after playing to a 2-2 draw after 110 minutes and finding a way to advance 4-3 in the penalty kick shootout. Cardinal goalkeeper Jane Campbell slammed home the winning penalty kick to send them through to Boca Raton and the College Cup. Overall, Stanford has the pieces in place to cause the Seminoles plenty of problems. Lo’eau LaBonta, Chioma Ubogagu and Taylor Uhl have all scored at least ten goals on the season. They also know how to rise to the occasion in extra time as they have outscored their opponent 4-0 in overtime this season.                

This match should be fiercely contested as both backlines should keep the other from being able to pull away from the other. The experience of Florida State in the College Cup should give them a slight advantage in dealing with the stage. The Cardinal has the biggest travel challenge to overcome by having to cross three time zones but they did the same thing to open the season and beat North Carolina on the road.  Thus, this match has the feel of two sides stonewalling each other to a 1-1 type of draw and having to a penalty kick shootout.


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