Last year, the Florida State Seminoles fell 1-0 to the UCLA Bruins in the 2013 National Championship Game. Since that match, the Seminoles have won every match with the exception of a regular season loss to Florida and a draw to North Carolina to fight their way back into the National Championship game for the second consecutive year. This year, the Seminoles triumphed over the Virginia Cavaliers for the third time this season by a score of 1-0 to earn the first Championship in the history of their women’s soccer program. It was an impressive finish to the season, emerging victorious in yet another tightly contested defensive battle.
Defense was the strong suit of the Florida State Seminoles throughout the 2014 campaign. The Seminoles finished the season ranked 3rd in the NCAA in goals against average, with only a .402 over the 26 game season. During their run through the College Cup, the Seminoles defense did not concede a single goal, rallying behind the defense that mounted six consecutive shutouts to finish the season. Florida State’s goalkeeper, Cassie Miller, finished the season with nineteen shutouts on the season, meaning they were able to keep a clean sheet in over two thirds of their matches during the campaign. The defense was anchored by Kirsten Crowley and Kristin Grubka, who led the team in minutes played.
The Florida State attack was a formidable force led by the Icelandic duo of Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Berlind Thorvaldsdottir, who combined for 26 goals during the campaign. Cheyna Williams was another outstanding member of the Seminoles attack, proving her mettle during the crucial semi-final match against Stanford, where she netted a brace to give her team a spot in the National Championship. In that Championship game, it was Jamia Fields, who broke the deadlock after displaying some dazzling dribbling skill to create her own space before scoring the only goal of the match. This versatility in the attacking end gave the Seminoles an advantage over nearly every team they played.
The Seminoles also benefitted greatly from having a wealth of creative players in the team at head coach Mark Krikorian’s disposal. Perhaps none of these players is more impressive than Carson Pickett. Pickett was born without a left arm, chooses to forego the use of a prosthesis, and has dominated her opponents this season. Pickett is a midfielder with outstanding pace and a skilled left foot that she has used to lead the Seminoles with 13 assists. Pickett also scored the winning goal of the ACC Championship game against Virginia. She contributed a goal and two assists during the Seminoles successful tournament run, and will be one of the senior leaders when she returns next season.
The outstanding senior class for Florida State can now be sent off as the first team in their program’s history to win a National Championship. The seven seniors includes several standout players including ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Dagny Brynjarsdottir. Defender Kristin Grubka was honored as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Jamia Fields was named to the All-ACC Second Team along with freshman goalkeeper Cassie Miller. Berlind Thorvaldsdottir and Isabella Schmid were named to the Third Team, while Emma Koivisto earned All-Freshman team honors. The Florida State Seminoles will return as a formidable force to defend their two consecutive ACC titles and their first National Championship.