Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament Virginia vs. Florida State Final Game Breakdown

Florida State vs. Stanford Women's College Soccer

#1 Florida State vs. #2 Virginia

The 2014 women’s college soccer season comes to a close on Sunday with the two most well-rounded teams still standing and each looking for their first national championship in Florida State and Virginia. The Seminoles and Cavaliers will meet for the third time this season as Florida State has won the first matchups by 1-0 scores and did a great job in keeping the explosive Virginia attack in check.

The Seminoles punched their ticket to the national title game by dispatching of Stanford 2-0 in a match that was tight but you never got the sense that Florida State was going to be in peril. They always found a way to hold off quality chances from the Cardinal in the limited times that they were able to threaten the Seminoles backline, especially in the second half.

Cheyna Williams got things started for Florida State with a goal in the 16th minute as she finished a great pass into the top of the box and beat standout Cardinal goalkeeper Jane Campbell in the upper-left corner of the goal to give the Seminoles a 1-0 lead. The game then settled in as Stanford had to push forward to try and get the equalizer. But with only getting three of their seven shots on goal, they just could not break through the stout backline of Florida State.

Williams slammed the door on the Cardinal in the 87th minute when she was able to breakaway and, with Campbell off her line, was able to get around her and put away the decisive second goal and secure the 2-0 result for the Seminoles.

The Cavaliers played very well in defeating Texas A&M in their national semifinal 3-1. However, the scary thing is they are very capable of even more at both ends of the pitch as the Aggies were not easy to put away throughout the duration of the match. Makenzy Doniak got things started for the Cavaliers with a goal in the 13th minute. She scored her 20th goal of the season and her 50th of her career as she took a pinpoint pass from Morgan Brian to give Virginia a 1-0 lead.

Texas A&M responded like you would expect from an experienced side like the Aggies as Kelley Monogue scored her 18th goal for the equalizer in the 32nd minute and fought the Cavaliers very hard well into the second half. The match was in the balance with Virginia holding a 2-1 lead until the 87th minute when Alexis Shaffer put the match away winning a one on one battle to stretch the Cavaliers lead to 3-1.

This championship match is going to be fascinating as Florida State faces the challenge of trying to beat a strong Virginia side for the third time in a season, a difficult task in any sport. Their ability to control possession and generate ample pressure from Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Cheyna Williams will be key. Also, it is going to be crucial for the Seminoles to limit quality chances on goal for the Cavaliers as they have in the first two meetings where Virginia only had six shots on frame. If they can keep the tempo under control and get an early goal, it will go a long way in putting Florida State in position to win their first national championship.

For the Cavaliers it is simple. They need to play their style and start fast to gain confidence against a side that has beaten them twice by scoring in the opening 20 minutes of the match. If they can do this it should open things up with the Seminoles backline and increase the opportunities to get a second goal and lock down a national championship. Last year UCLA won the national championship against Florida State from the same number two seed position that Virginia has in this NCAA Tournament and the Cavaliers are a team on a mission, taking this match to the wire. This match is the ultimate 50-50 proposition with two outstanding sides that can win any style of match. With the way the defenses have dominated the first meetings and with what is at stake, it should be a lower scoring contest, but something tells me both offensive attacks are going to be special and this match eventually gets decided in a penalty kick shootout.

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