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Florida State beats University of North Carolina 1-0 for Women’s College Cup title

Florida State celebrates its national title victory over UNC at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (Photo courtesy Larry Novey-FSU Athletics)

CARY, N.C. — Florida State senior Dallas Dorosy made a name for herself this postseason.

Before Sunday, four of her six goals came in the postseason, earning her the nickname “Miss November.”

The forward saved her best effort for Sunday’s Women’s College Cup final against the University of North Carolina.

She earned a new nickname while she was at it. 

In front of an announced crowd of 12,512 at WakeMed Soccer Park, Dorosy lifted the Seminoles to a 1-0 victory over the Tar Heels in the NCAA title match with a goal in the 60th minute. The goal – a finish at the near post – came thanks to an inch-perfect cross from Venezuelan star Deyna Castellanos.

“As a senior, you realize that it’s your last run,” Dorosy said. “My teammates, they work so hard for me and I try to work hard for them. Deyna gave a perfect ball and I just threw my body in there. It was a team effort today, all around.” 

The win gave the Florida State’s soccer program its second national title and stopped UNC’s storied program from winning a title in a place that had been its home field throughout the NCAA Tournament.

“She’s done great, right?” FSU coach Mark Krikorian said of Dorosy. 

“I did rename her ‘Miss December’ now. Just so we’re clear. I asked her and she was good with it. Dallas has had just a fantastic career. She came in maybe a little bit under-appreciated. A kid from South Florida who had some room to grow before she was going to be able to influence the games. She’s just a great kid. She works hard everyday. You can see, when you speak with her, she’s humble and she’s a likable kid.” 

The last time Florida State had a player go on a postseason tear like what Dorosy put together this season, the Seminoles won a national title. Jamia Fields – who played two seasons for the Orlando Pride in the NWSL – scored four postseason goals 2014, including the national title winner against Virginia.

That game ended 1-0, too. 

Sunday’s game was some redemption for Florida State’s senior class. When Florida State’s seniors were freshmen back in 2015, the Seminoles lost 2-0 to Duke in the College Cup semifinal at WakeMed Soccer Park. FSU didn’t advance to the Women’s College Cup semifinals in 2016 or 2017. 

To claim this year’s national title, Florida State had to beat Stanford (last year’s national champion), USC (the 2016 champion) and Penn State (2015) before taking down UNC. 

“Freshman year, it was the biggest loss for us,” FSU senior centerback Natalia Kuikka said. “That kind of gave us the drive that we know that we could be there again. Having two harder seasons after that, playing my last year and my last game, I just wanted to win it so bad. I just means a lot.” 

UNC didn’t go away quietly after Dorosy’s goal. The Tar Heels were on the front foot for the remainder of the match, but the Seminoles turned away chance after chance. UNC managed six second-half shots, but only one was on target.

“It was one pass or one shot away,” said UNC defender Julia Ashley. 

UNC coach Anson Dorrance said the margin between the two sides was slim.

“Today, if you clip out the goal that [Florida State] scored and you ask anyone that knows anything about the game, ‘We’ve clipped out the one goal, which team won?’ Guess what they would say? They would say North Carolina,” Dorrance said. “One of the things that’s really interesting about our sport is it’s incredibly punishing sometimes. At worst, if you look at the match itself, the game’s a tie.”

Dorosy’s goal was a solid breakthrough after an aggressive first half.

Both sides created chances in the first half, but neither could capitalize.

Florida State’s best chance in the first half came thanks to a solid passing sequence in the 23rd minute. Castellanos – who was mostly playing as a central attacking midfielder – found freshman forward Yujie Zhao, who found Dorosy at the top of the box. Dorosy had a solid look at the goal but fired wide.

The majority of Florida State’s six first-half shots came from the top of the box. The Seminoles put two shots on target in the first half.

North Carolina had just two shots in the first half but had probably the best chance to open the scoring. Freshman midfielder Racheal Dorwart got her head on a corner kick from sophomore defender Lotte Wubben-Moy. Her header was inches wide.

The Tar Heels’ one shot on goal in the first half was an early shot that was easily saved by Florida State goalkeeper Caroline Jeffers. Jeffers, FSU’s starter after first-choice goalkeeper Brooke Bollinger went down with an injury in the ACC title game, added a second save in the second half. 

The two teams committed a combined nine fouls in the first half.

“Might have some bruises, but it’s all good,” Kuikka said. 

With a smile, Dorosy added, “Worth it.” 

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