NCAA Quarterfinals: Duke, Florida State Advance to Women's College Cup

Blue Devils and Seminoles set to meet in national semifinal match in Cary, N.C. on Friday.

STANFORD, Calif. –Duke sophomore goalkeeper EJ Proctor stopped a pair of penalty kicks and the Blue Devils made three of their four to advance past top-seeded Stanford in a penalty kick shootout in the NCAA Women’s Soccer quarterfinals Friday night. Duke advances to the NCAA semifinals for the third time in program history with the 3-2 shootout victory.

Toni Payne netted Duke’s lone goal in the game early in the first half and Proctor finished with seven saves in 110 minutes of action that ended in a 1-1 draw. Stanford (19-2-2) held a 22-8 advantage in shots, but the two teams created equal quality scoring chances throughout the game.

Proctor stopped the first Stanford penalty and forced the second wide to give the Blue Devils an early cushion. Christina Gibbons, Chelsea Burns and Casey Martinez all finished their chances, forcing Stanford to make its final attempt. Proctor had other ideas, diving to her left to make the stop and send Duke back to the College Cup.

Duke (13-5-5) controlled the early possession with crisp passing through the back and into the midfield, but couldn’t find any openings in the Cardinal defense. Stanford managed the first shot, but the Blue Devils backline was outstanding in the early going in keeping the Cardinal in front of them and forcing low percentage shots.

The Blue Devils, after struggling to get into the final third against Stanford, broke through with the game’s first goal in the 14th minute. Martinez collected the ball on the right side and served ball into the penalty box for a streaking Kayla McCoy. The Stanford goalkeeper came off her line, but couldn’t corral it and Payne was there on the back post to put the Blue Devils up 1-0.

Despite building quality attacks through the midfield, Stanford was unable to solve the Duke backline as it settled for shots from outside the box. The Cardinal found the equalizer in the 39th minute when Michelle Xiao got loose on the right side of the penalty area and ripped a shot past the near post for her fifth goal of the year.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – One of the most consistent soccer programs in recent history, No. 2 Florida State (18-2-4) defeated No. 21 Texas A&M (17-7-2) by a score of 5-0 to reach the 2015 NCAA Women’s College Cup on Friday afternoon. The Seminoles are among the final four teams competing for a national championship for the fifth season in a row and the ninth time in school history.

Florida State scored twice in the first half and added three second-half goals in the shutout of the Aggies. The clean sheet for the Seminoles extended their scoreless streak to an NCAA-record 900 minutes, as FSU has not allowed a goal in its last 10 NCAA postseason games. The Noles surpassed North Carolina’s streak from 2003-04 of 829:31 minutes without surrendering a goal in NCAA tournament.

Overall, 10 Florida State players recorded a goal or an assist on the afternoon, led by two goals from Elin Jensen and three assists from Kaycie Tillman. Tillman is the ninth Seminole to register three assists in a game and the first one to accomplish the feat twice in her career. The freshman from Rowlett, Texas also posted three assists in FSU’s 6-0 win over Pitt on October 3.

The Noles continued the pressure and broke into the scoring column in the 19th minute on a great goal from Connolly. Natalia Kuikka started the play with a run down the left side. The freshman midfielder passed ahead to Cheyna Williams, who deftly tapped the ball back to a waiting Connolly who struck it into the net for a 1-0 lead.

Michaela Hahn made it 2-0 at 34:59 on her fifth goal of the season. Emma Koivisto took the ball out left and centered the ball to Tillman, who found Hahn at the top of the box. Hahn one-timed a low shot that found the back of the net and extended the FSU lead.

Florida State came out of halftime with the same level of determination and aggression and didn’t waste much time putting another goal on the board as Cheyna Williams posted her 10th goal of the season in the 52nd minute. Tillman sent a ball through the box for Isabella Schmid, who made a diving pass into Williams at the top of the six-yard box. The senior forward turned on her defender and tapped the ball into the open net.

Jensen was also on the end of the final scoring chance for Florida State at 74:38, following a corner kick from Connolly. The freshman’s service into the box found Megan Campbell, whose header went out to the right for Tillman. The freshman midfielder found her classmate in the middle of the box and Jensen drove it into the net to make it 5-0 Florida State. It was the second two-goal game of Jensen’s career, matching the scoring output from September 17 at UNC Greensboro.

For the game, Florida State held a 21-3 advantage in shots and led 8-0 in shots on goal. The combined shutout for Cassie Miller and Caroline Brockmeier was the 15th of the season for the Seminoles.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Cavaliers and Scarlet Knights battled to a draw through 110 minutes, but it was the visiting team that moved on as No. 9 Rutgers (19-3-3) advanced past No. 1 Virginia (19-1-3) 7-6 in a shootout on Friday (Nov. 27).

Virginia keeper Jessie Ferrari (Fairfax, Va.) saved the first two penalty kick attempts by Rutgers in the shootout, but after a five kicks the score stood at 3-3 as Rutgers came up with a save of its own and the final kick hit off the crossbar. The shootout then moved into sudden victory from there, with Rutgers advancing in the ninth round as the Scarlet Knights made the kick, but keeper Casey Murphy saved the Virginia kick.

It ends the season one game shy of the College Cup for the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers' best chances offensively came following corner kicks. Three of the four first-half shots for Virginia came after a service on the corner. Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) and Ayan Adu (Ashburn, Va.) sent shots wide, while Kristen McNabb (Montville, N.J.) had a shot blocked in the box with seconds remaining in the first half.

Despite holding a 9-to-3 edge in shots through regulation, the Cavaliers couldn't find the net as the match headed into an overtime period.

Virginia went up in the shootout after saving the first two attempts by Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knight keeper responded and made a save of her own before the fifth kick by the Cavaliers clipped the crossbar and bounced back into the field of play, forcing sudden victory kicks.

The two teams traded kicks into the ninth round before Rutgers would claim the shootout to advance to the College Cup.