The UVA women’s soccer team finished the 2014 season as the NCAA runner-up, falling to Florida State 1-0 Sunday afternoon in the Women’s College Cup final at FAU Stadium. The second-ranked Seminoles (24-1-1) captured their first NCAA Championship with the win, while the fourth-ranked Cavaliers (23-3-0) fell in their first appearance in the NCAA final.
Florida State’s Jamia Fields scored the game’s lone goal in the 83rd minute to give the Seminoles the championship. It was the third 1-0 victory of the season for Florida State over Virginia, as the Seminoles were the only team this season to defeat the Cavaliers and to hold them scoreless.
“Congrats to Florida State, they had a great year,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “It is tough for us as there isn’t much separating our two teams. It was three one-goal games and we couldn’t get a goal against them in three tries and they deserve credit for that. I am very proud of how our team played today. Both teams had a few chances and give them credit, they took advantage of one.”
The teams played an even first half that featured few chances for either side. The Seminoles held a 4-2 shot advantage, although neither team recorded a shot on goal, while the Cavaliers had a 5-4 corner kick edge over the first 45 minutes.
The second half continued like the first, with neither team having a shot on goal over the first 80 minutes of the contest. Shortly after Morgan Stearns (San Antonio, Texas) made a diving save on a Seminole free kick on the game’s first shot on goal, Fields took advantage of Florida State’s second, cutting a shot inside the near post from the top of the area for her fourth goal of the season.
A late Virginia rally came up short as an attempt from top of the area by Morgan Reuther (Chantilly, Va.) off a corner kick in the 88th minute sailed just over the bar, as did a header from Veronica Latsko (Venetia, Pa.) in the 89th minute.
“We put ourselves in position to win late in the game and we put ourselves in position to tie it up after they went ahead,” said Swanson. “That is soccer and that is the way it goes sometimes. I thought we fought hard, were organized and did the things we wanted to do. Maybe we could have executed here or there a little bit better to create some better chances, but I am so proud of this team. They are really just the greatest group to work with. They play such great soccer and it is sad day for us that this is the last time this particular group gets to play together.”
Overall, Florida State outshot Virginia 8-7 and had a 7-6 corner kick advantage. Stearns made one saved in goal for the Cavaliers, while Cassie Miller posted the shutout in goal for the Seminoles.
Cavalier junior defender Emily Sonnett (Marietta, Ga.) was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the 2014 College Cup. She was joined on the NCAA All-Tournament Team by Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.), Danielle Colaprico (Freehold, N.J.) and Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.).