Southern California claimed its first Women’s College Cup December 9, beating Florida State, 2-0, at the Aggie Soccer Stadium in College Station, Texas.
It was the first title-game appearance for both teams.
Southern California goalkeeper Kristin Olsen kept the nation’s second-highest scoring team in check, registering two saves en route to her fifth shutout in six NCAA tournament games. For her efforts, the sophomore was named the tournament’s most outstanding defensive player.
“They had really skilled players up top,” Olsen said. “We mainly talked to our backs and made sure we didn’t give them any space to turn and shoot, not giving them any chances, giving them half-chances, and that helped a lot. We prevented a lot of shots on goal.”
“They’re organized, well coached and disciplined in their defending. Then behind the back line is a goalkeeper who is quite good,” said Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian. “To break that down and beat that defending you have to be quite precise. We weren’t quite sharp enough in and around the penalty box, and that’s why we didn’t put the ball in the net.”
The Trojans took their first lead of the title game in the 25th minute when Marihelen Tomer beat Florida State goalie Erin McNulty on a header. Florida State trailed at halftime for just the third time this season.
Southern California added an insurance goal late in the second half when Janessa Currier collected her own rebound and redirected the ball past McNulty. It was Currier’s fifth goal of the season.
On its way to the title, Southern California outscored its opponents, 10-1, surrendering the lone goal in a 2-1 victory over UCLA in the national semifinals. The Trojans beat Creighton, Missouri, Florida and West Virginia to get to the College Cup and become just the seventh program to win the championship since its inception in 1982.
Southern California forward Amy Rodriguez was named the tournament’s most outstanding offensive player. She was joined by teammates Olsen, Tomer, Currier and Kasey Johnson on the all-tournament team. UCLA’s Lauren Cheney and Christina DiMartino and Florida State’s Mami Yamaguchi, Amanda DaCosta and Sanna Talonen also earned all-tournament accolades, along with Notre Dame’s Kerri Hanks.
Notre Dame 3, Duke 2; Florida St. 3, Connecticut 2 (ot); Southern California 1, West Virginia 0; UCLA 3, Portland 2 (ot).
Southern California 0 2 — 2
UCLA 1 0 — 1
First half: UCLA — Lauren Cheney, 37:37.
Second half: SC — Amy Rodriguez (Ashli Sandoval), 67:31; Rodriguez (Sandoval, Kasey Johnson), 73:55.
Shots: Southern California 8, UCLA 19. Goalkeeper saves: Southern California 8 (Kristin Olsen), UCLA 4 (Valerie Henderson). Corner kicks: Southern California 5, UCLA 4.
Notre Dame 1 1 — 2
Florida St. 2 1 — 3
First half: FS — Mami Yamaguchi (Amanda DaCosta), 0:15; ND — Carrie Dew (Kerri Hanks), 14:16; FS — Sanna Talonen (Yamaguchi), 32:22.
Second half: ND — Elise Weber, 55:32; FS — DaCosta (Talonen), 71:30.
Shots: Notre Dame 16, Florida St. 7. Goalkeeper saves: Notre Dame 2 (Lauren Karas), Florida St. 4 (Erin McNulty). Corner kicks: Notre Dame 7, Florida St. 1.
Florida State 0 0 — 0
Southern California 1 1 — 2
First half: SC — Marihelen Tomer, 24:45.
Second half: SC — Janessa Currier, 75:02.
Shots: Florida St. 11, Southern California 18. Goalkeeper saves: Florida St. 4 (Erin McNulty), Southern California 2 (Kristin Olsen). Corner kicks: Florida St. 11, Southern California 7.