The bracket for the NCAA Women’s Division I Soccer Championship has been whittled down to just four teams, as the quarterfinals came to a close Friday. The expected No. 1 seeds made it to the semifinals, well, all except for BYU, who was booted after a stunning upset by No. 2 North Carolina.
The third ranked team was taken out by 14th ranked North Carolina after a neck and neck game, with two overtimes ending 2-1. Junior forward Crystal Dunn scored those two winning goals, one in the first four minutes and the last in the second overtime. BYU equalized in the 27th minute, keeping the score 1-1 until the 107th minute, where Dunn scored the winner off an assist from junior forward Kealia Ohai and senior forward Alyssa Rich.
North Carolina gears up for the semifinals, where they will take on No. 1 Stanford. Yea, Stanford has been a steady and strong brick wall, but if the Tar Heels can pull through after defeating powerhouses like BYU, Baylor and Radford- all three hadn’t lost a game since August this season- then who knows what can happen in the semis. At this stage, it’s anyone’s game, and after a few upsets that kept them out of the cup the past few seasons, this could be the Tar Heels year to shine, as they make their first College Cup appearance since 2009.
Then you have good ole’ Florida State, as they move on to play Penn State after senior forward Tiffany MCCarty found the back of the net on a header, beating Notre Dame 1-0 in the quarterfinals. This is the Seminoles sixth College Cup appearance in school history, and with the season they’ve had under the guidance of head coach, Mark Krikorian, who led the team to four of these appearances, they may very well be staying in San Diego past the semifinals.
Penn State defeated talented Duke 1-0, taking out the team that played Stanford last year in the Championships. Senior Midfielder Christine Nairn scored the winning goal on a penalty kick in the 13th minute.
The Nittany Lions have had quite the battle this season, barely beating Michigan in penalty kicks in the third rounds. But, it goes to show that they can tango with the top, as they advance to play Florida State. This will be their first college cup appearance since 2005.
The Semifinals will be held November 30 in San Diego, and the final two will move on to compete for the title of the long anticipated 2012 College Cup. Check out the bracket, Click Here