This weekend in Cary, N.C., four of the top teams in women’s college soccer will compete for the national championship.
Georgetown, North Carolina, Florida State and Stanford have survived in the 64-team NCAA Women’s College Cup and will vie for the 2018 crown this weekend at WakeMed Soccer Park. The semifinal matches are Friday at 5 and 7:30 p.m. ET, with the winners advancing to Saturday’s 1 p.m. championship.
All four teams are No. 1 seeds, marking the first time since 2011 that all No. 1 seeds advanced to the final four.
The UNC Tar Heels are back in in the semifinals and are seeking their 22nd championship. Anson Dorrance’s side went unbeaten in regular-season ACC play and leaned on a stout defense and versatility on offense. In the NCAA tournament, the Tar Heels outscored opponents 13-3 over four games. Seven different Tar Heels have scored at least five goals this season. One of the stars of the Tar Heels’ defense is Emily Fox, who received a call-up to the United States women’s senior national team earlier this year.
Georgetown is in the final four for the second time in three seasons. This season, the Hoyas are led by the second-best defense in the nation, one that allowed just 0.362 goals per game. But there is plenty of firepower on the other end of the pitch, too. Caitlin Farrell is one of the nation’s top four goal-scorers this season, finding the back of the net 18 times. The squad, led by coach Dave Nolan, also got a boost this year from Kyra Carusa, a graduate transfer from Stanford who has tallied 10 goals and 12 assists for the Big East Champions.
Florida State was one of the few teams to deal a loss to North Carolina and did so in the ACC tournament title game. Mark Krikorian’s side won the cup in 2014 and hopes to add a second title this weekend. The Seminoles are armed with a handful of professional and national team prospects, such as Deyna Castellanos, Natalia Kuikka, Megan Connolly and Yujie Zhao. Castellanos and Zhao have formed a formidable tandem up front, combining for 17 goals and 11 assists this season.
Stanford is the reigning champion of women’s college soccer, taking the crown a season ago in a 3-2 win over UCLA. The Cardinal haven’t lost a game this season and have drawn just twice, with Santa Clara and Washington State. Over their last six games, the Cardinal outscored teams by a combined score of 16-2. Their roster is littered with NWSL draft prospects, such as Jordan DiBiasi, Catarina Macario, Alana Cook and Tegan McGrady.
How to watch
All three games – the semifinals on Friday and the championship on Sunday – will be aired live on ESPNU. Viewers can also watch on ESPN+, the network’s online streaming service.
|FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30|
|9:00 – 10:00 a.m.||Practice – North Carolina||WakeMed Soccer Park Field 3|
|10:15 – 11:15 a.m.||Practice – Georgetown||WakeMed Soccer Park Field 3|
|11:30 – 12:30 a.m.||Practice – Stanford||WakeMed Soccer Park Field 3|
|12:45 – 1:45 a.m.||Practice – Florida State||WakeMed Soccer Park Field 3|
|3:00 p.m.||Gates open to public||WakeMed Soccer Park|
|5:00 p.m.||Semifinal Match #1 – North Carolina vs. Georgetown||WakeMed Soccer Park|
|7:30 p.m.||Semifinal Match #2 – Stanford vs. Florida State (Begins approx. 30 min following Semi #1)||WakeMed Soccer Park|
|SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2|
|11:00 a.m.||Gates open to public||WakeMed Soccer Park|
|1:00 p.m.||Championship Match – North Carolina vs. Florida State||WakeMed Soccer Park|
— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) November 28, 2018