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Florida State outlasts BYU in penalty kicks to win College Cup

(John Todd/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Monday night brought a bit of déjà vu for the Florida State women’s soccer team, who once again needed penalty kicks to decide the national championship. Seven months after losing to Santa Clara in a shootout in the College Cup final, the Seminoles edged BYU 4-3 on penalty kicks Monday to win the NCAA title.

It’s Florida State’s third national championship and second in the past four years.

“It feels quite nice to be sitting on this side of it,” Florida State coach Mark Krikorian said after the game. “Last year, I thought that we were quite good and had some unfinished business that we needed to address.

“Extremely proud of our group. I thought we played well, played smart, played hard, but BYU matched us all along the way. Heck of a national championship, heck of a final.”

Unlike in May — when Florida State fell to Santa Clara in PKs after finishing regulation and overtime tied 1-1 — the Seminoles and Cougars were scoreless after 110 minutes of play. FSU went ahead 2-1 in the shootout before BYU made two of their kicks to tie things up at three. Senior midfielder Yujie Zhao converted hers to secure the game-winner for the Seminoles.

For her effort, Zhao was named the Offensive Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 Women’s College Cup.

Sophomore goalkeeper Cristina Roque, who made two saves in the shootout to seal the win, was named the Defensive Most Outstanding Player.

“I feel like everyone’s behind me no matter what way it goes,” Roque said. “Just like how last year, it just didn’t go our way and everybody was behind me then. I knew whatever happened this year, they were going to be behind me. I’m not gonna lie, it does feel better here.”

With their third championship, Florida State is now tied with Stanford and Notre Dame for the second-most NCAA titles in women’s soccer.