Florida State women’s soccer won its fourth national championship — and third in the last six years — on Monday night, with a dominant 5-1 win over Stanford.

The five goals are the most in a women’s championship game since 2003, and the most that the Cardinal have allowed since 2000. Stanford hadn’t conceded five or more goals in a game since 1996, and the 2023 team had allowed just 10 goals all season.

With the win, Florida State (22-0-1) became the first undefeated NCAA women’s soccer champion since Stanford went 23-0 in 2011. The game also marked the first time in history two undefeated teams met in the women’s College Cup final.

Stanford became the first team to score on the Seminoles in the NCAA Tournament when midfielder Maya Doms broke through in the 52nd minute, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Florida State’s offensive onslaught.

Monday night’s College Cup final was billed as an offensive-defensive battle: Stanford entered the championship allowing just 0.42 goals per game this season, while Florida State had the top scoring offense in the country, with goals in 34 straight games.

Freshman Jody Brown registered a brace, while senior Beata Olsson had a goal and two assists. Onyi Echegeni — a senior midfielder and member of the Nigerian national team — and freshman Jordynn Dudley each recorded a goal and an assist in the win.

Dudley, who scored her 14th goal of the season on Monday, earned College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player honors, and junior defender Lauren Flynn was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player. The title was the first for FSU second-year head coach Brian Pensky, who succeeded legendary coach Mark Krikorian.

The Seminoles are now second all-time in Division I women’s soccer history with four national championships, surpassing Stanford and trailing only North Carolina (21).

The 2023 NCAA College Cup kicks off on Friday, with Florida State, Clemson, BYU and Stanford battling for a spot in this year’s national championship game. In many ways, these final four teams follow the arc of the regular season. In total, the semifinalists have lost just five games and two of the teams are undefeated.

Outside of reigning champion UCLA’s shocking ouster in the first round of this year’s tournament, the semifinals are full of powerhouse teams featuring numerous players with professional careers in front of them.

Nearly every starter on these four teams has a shot at the pro level, and increasingly in both the NWSL and beyond, those opportunities are not reserved for graduating seniors. Here are a few of the upperclassmen (and one underclassman) worth watching in the semifinals, some more well-known than others but all serious professional prospects.

Jasmine Aikey, Midfielder, Stanford

Stanford briefly lost their way after winning the 2019 national championship, but in 2023, they’ve been rejuvenated by the success of their recent recruiting classes. Sophomore Jasmine Aikey, the only underclassman on this list, has turned heads on her way to being named a MAC Hermann semifinalist. She leads the undefeated Cardinal in goals (11) and assists (10). And in this year’s NCAA Tournament, she’s played facilitator, currently on a four-game streak with at least one assist.

Maya Doms, Forward, Stanford

Fifth-year senior Maya Doms is one of the final connectors between the 2023 Stanford team and the squad that won the 2019 NCAA championship in her freshman year. She’s captained the team since 2022, providing both the chance-creating talent and leadership qualities that have led the Cardinal to an undefeated season. She’s scored 10 goals and registered six assists in the Stanford attack, including a dramatic strike in overtime against Nebraska last week that sent her team to the College Cup. She also recently spent time with the USWNT U-23s, teaming up with a number of players already succeeding in the NWSL.

Onyi Echegini, Midfield, Florida State

Born and raised in England and already featuring for the Nigeria national team, including at the 2023 World Cup, senior Onyi Echegini should garner heavy interest across the pond after closing out her final year of eligibility. She’s scored 15 goals and contributed four assists for the Seminoles this season. She can make runs in behind the defense and make backlines pay from distance. Echegini’s pure striking ability and poise in front of goal is also among the best in the entire college system.

Taylor Huff, Midfielder, Florida State

Junior Taylor Huff, playing in her first season with the Seminoles after transferring from Tennessee, can sometimes fall under the radar, but she has been a consistent midfield engine since her arrival. She leads the team in assists with 13, keeping the Seminoles’ vaunted attack humming with ease. Florida State has executed two big wins so far in the NCAA Tournament, most recently with Huff opening the scoring in a 3-0 defeat of Pitt in the Elite Eight.

Makenna Morris leads Clemson in goals this season from defense. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Makenna Morris, Defender, Clemson

Don’t let senior Makenna Morris’s position fool you because she’s a proven goal-scorer. Doing it all for the Tigers, Morris has notched 10 goals this year, the second-most for a defender in NCAA history. And she didn’t reach that tally by taking lucky shots from distance. Morris has keen off-the-ball vision to find good positions in front of goal, and she’s just as capable of collecting and sinking a through-pass as she is defending on the other end. She’s the kind of fearless, multi-talented player who can propel a team to a title game.

Megan Bornkamp, Forward, Clemson

Senior Megan Bornkamp will also be crucial to the Tigers’ shot at their first-ever NCAA title game. Another player with USWNT U-23 experience, Bornkamp started her college career as a defender but has since flourished in the Clemson attack, most notably scoring the late equalizer in Clemson’s Round of 16 win over Georgia. She consistently produces high-quality scoring chances, and she has functioned as much as a playmaker as an out-and-out scorer in 2023.

Brecken Mozingo, Midfielder, BYU

Senior Brecken Mozingo is the complete package of an attacking midfielder, leading BYU’s balanced attack with a whopping 14 goals and 15 assists this season. She’s the Cougars’ primary penalty taker, going 5-for-5 on the season, and she has shown a skill for reading the field with a calm mind. Mozingo notched a goal and an assist in BYU’s furious 4-3 comeback against North Carolina in the Elite Eight, and fans can expect to see her pulling the strings in the College Cup.

Olivia Wade-Katoa, Midfielder, BYU

Senior Olivia Wade-Katoa works alongside Mozingo in perfect tandem, contributing 12 goals and eight assists of her own in 2023. None were more crucial than her strike in the second-to-last minute of the Elite Eight, giving the Cougars their improbable 4-3 victory over the Tar Heels. Wade-Katoa has the mentality of a college veteran, coming in clutch multiple times this season to provide game-winning goals. Look for her to combine with Mozingo to try to launch BYU into their second title game in the last three years.

Claire Watkins is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @ScoutRipley.

The best time of the year is here, with the NCAA women’s soccer tournament set to kick off on Friday, Nov. 10.

A total of 64 teams are set to compete for the national title, with defending champion UCLA among them after the Bruins took home the Pac-12 conference crown. They are joined by Florida State, Clemson and BYU as No. 1 seeds in the tournament.

Four teams will play in the tournament for the first time: Idaho, Maine, Ohio and Towson. Check out the full bracket here.

The first round will be played Nov. 10-12, and the second and third rounds will take place on Nov. 17 and 19. The quarterfinals will take place on Nov. 24-25.

This year’s College Cup will take place in Cary, North Carolina, at WakeMed Soccer Park on Dec. 1 and 4. The first semifinal will be played on Friday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. ET, with the second semifinal at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The national championship will kick off at 6 p.m. ET Monday, Dec. 5. The College Cup matches will be televised on ESPNU.

NCAA women’s soccer tournament: Schedule

  • Round of 64: Nov. 10-12
  • Round of 32: Nov. 17
  • Round of 16: Nov. 19
  • Quarterfinals: Nov. 24-25
  • Semifinals: Dec. 1
  • Championship: Dec. 4

The U.S. women’s national team is preparing to welcome its next head coach. And as the new chapter begins, college soccer stars could get their chances on the USWNT roster.

With the NCAA tournament kicking off Friday, Just Women’s Sports highlights four players who deserve a look from incoming USWNT coach Emma Hayes.

The recent debuts of Mia Fishel, 22, and Jaedyn Shaw, 18, underscored the shift in the national team, as a youth movement is beginning to take over in the presence of veterans. Already, Fishel and Shaw have provided a sneak peek at what the future could look like, with each scoring a goal in the last match against Colombia.

Our previous edition of this list picked out NWSL players who should get USWNT consideration. This time around, we turn to the college ranks to spotlight prospects who could receive call-ups in 2024.

Trinity Byars, 20, Texas

A standout for Texas, which claimed a No. 5 seed in the 64-team bracket, Byars has the abilities to be a top pick in the 2024 NWSL draft. Through three seasons with the Longhorns, she has had 46 goals and 32 assists in 64 games. She also was an all-state sprinter in high school, making her an explosive forward with the power to outrun opposing defenses – a skill which has helped other USWNT forwards, including Mallory Swanson.

While the USWNT certainly has options at forward, Byars could warrant a look as the team retires star players such as Megan Rapinoe. She also has extensive youth experience, including being nominated for U.S. Soccer’s Young Female Player of the Year award in 2019.

Lexi Missimo competes for the U-23 national team in March 2023. (Jaime Valdez/USA TODAY Sports)

Lexi Missimo, 20, Texas

Missimo is another star out of of Texas that has spent time in the USWNT’s youth system. The midfielder has been linked to both Manchester City and Arsenal, and she has at times been compared to the likes of Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis.

Considering what those three have accomplished, Missimo could be the next big thing for the USWNT midfield.

Ayo Oke competes for the U-23 national team in March 2023. (Craig Mitchelldyer/USA TODAY Sports)

Ayo Oke, 20, UCLA

Oke transferred to UCLA from Cal ahead of the 2023 season, and she and the Bruins enter the NCAA tournament with a No. 1 seed. In the 2022 season, she posted nine assists as a right back.

The 20-year-old defender also has youth national team experience, playing as a starter on the U-23 national team in March 2023. She also played at the U-20 Women’s World Cup and helped the U.S. to the U-20 Concacaf Championship in 2022.

She’s been a part of U.S. Soccer’s youth system since the U-15 age group, and as the USWNT looks to replace aging defenders (and Emily Sonnett seemingly transitions to the midfield), Oke deserves a look.

Reilyn Turner competes for the U-23 national team in March 2023. (Jaime Valdez/USA TODAY Sports)

Reilyn Turner, 21, UCLA

Reilyn Turner, who became the first college athlete to sign an NIL deal with Nike, has been a star for UCLA in three seasons. In 2022, she was named the Most Outstanding Player at the College Cup, helping UCLA to the national championship. And in 2023, she is putting together her best year to date, with 10 goals and six assists through 18 games played.

While Turner would have to compete against a stacked forward group on the USWNT, she has the ability to show up in big moments. A fixture on U.S. youth national teams, she should see a senior USWNT call-up soon.

An NCAA women’s soccer player did the improbable Sunday, scoring a goal off an acrobatic front-flip throw-in.

Such a goal is rarely seen, and that’s because it’s often that it would count. It can be difficult to throw the ball far enough to reach the goal. And even if it does reach the net, NCAA rules dictate that it would not count.

Unless, of course, the opposing goalkeeper touches the ball.

On Sunday, Northern Iowa’s goalkeeper touched the ball as it went into the net, meaning that the throw-in from freshman Zoey Mahoney counted as a goal. It was the defender’s first-ever collegiate goal, and she didn’t even need to use her foot to score it.

Throw-ins into the box can often lead to goals elsewhere, too. Extrapolating from the last four Premier League seasons, throws into the penalty box should produce 22 goals for every 1,000 throws, according to the Athletic — more than double other throw-ins in the final quarter of the pitch.

A second goal helped Drake to a 2-1 win, ending UNI’s eight-match unbeaten streak to start the 2023 season.

Four former Butler women’s soccer players are suing the university for alleged sexual assault by an athletic trainer while they played for the team.

The lawsuits allege a culture in which trainer Michael Howell “was close with one of the team’s coaches” and “wielded influence over athletes’ treatment and playing time,” according to a report in The Athletic. Howell allegedly often exposed players’ intimate body parts during massages, an occurrence players nicknamed “the breeze.”

The first three lawsuits were filed against Butler in U.S. district court in Indianapolis in July, with the fourth filed last week. They are suing the school, athletic director Ralph Reiff and Howell for negligence, battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The fourth woman, identified as Jane Doe 4, said that Howell rubbed his erect penis on her hand and touched her breasts, labia and groin, in addition to pressing his groin against her buttocks.

The woman also alleges Howell gave players treatment in his and their personal hotel rooms in the spring of 2021 during a tournament in Rhode Island. He required some players to take ice baths in his room, indicating “this was non-negotiable.”

A Title IX investigation, in which a panel of outside attorneys presided over a five-day hearing, found that Howell had “sexually assaulted and harassed” players on the team.

Butler said it removed Howell from campus and suspended him after learning of his alleged misconduct in September 2021. He was fired in 2022.

“After a thorough investigation and hearing, the trainer was found responsible for violating university policies, and he was then terminated in summer 2022,” the university said in a statement. “Butler looks forward to the opportunity to show the high integrity and responsiveness of the coaches and senior personnel. Because the complaints do not name the plaintiffs and they have not waived federal student privacy protections, Butler is limited from further comment outside of the legal process.”

An attorney for Howell told The Athletic that Howell “flatly denies the claims in these lawsuits.”

Florida State junior midfielder Jaelin Howell has won the Hermann Trophy, which recognizes the top female college soccer player in the country.

NCAA Division I coaches voted on the award winners, which were announced Thursday by the Missouri Athletic Club.

Howell, a Lone Tree, Colo. native, led Florida State to the NCAA Division I final, where it lost to Santa Clara 4-1 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw.

During the season, Howell helped the Seminoles to nine shutouts in 15 games. She also recorded five goals and two assists.

Howell’s teammate Malia Berkely was also nominated for the award, giving the Seminoles two of the free finalists.

The College Cup Final is locked in.

No. 11 Santa Clara will be taking on top-seeded Florida State for the title. It all comes after two semi-final games that saw the Broncos upset the Tar Heels followed by another dramatic win by the Seminoles. 

No. 11 Santa Clara vs No. 2 UNC: 

Goals by Izzy D’Aquila, Skylar Smith and Kelsey Turnbow helped propel the Broncos to the upset over No. 2 UNC by a score of 3-1. 

Kelsey Turnbow snapped the one-all tie on a Izzy D’Aquila set up.

That goal would give Santa Clara the 2-1 lead, before Skylar Smith would score unassisted in the 60th to give the team a 3-1 advantage.

It’s the Broncos’ third championship game appearance and their first since 2002. They last won the title in 2001.

No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 13 Virginia

This one was a defensive battle from start to finish, as the two teams finished regulation plus two overtime periods scoreless. Virginia did a good job putting the pressure on Florida State, but ultimately couldn’t find the back of the net.

The game would be decided in penalty kicks, where FSU goalkeeper Christina Roque proved to be a brick wall.

Gabby Carle finished it off, delivering a strike to the left side that fooled UVA keeper Laurel Ivory and propelled Florida State to the championship, having scored 3-0 on PKs.

The NCAA Tournament Final will be broadcast Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

The second-round of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament kicks off today, which includes the first group of seeded teams. You can find more information on today’s slate of games here, as well as how to watch them all here

Here are the three games to keep an eye on Saturday. 

 No. 9 Duke vs. Arizona State: 12 p.m. ET

Arizona State ended Siena College’s undefeated season on Friday in a decisive 4-0 victory. It was more goals than the Saints had allowed all season, with three of those goals coming in the final 29 minutes of the game, including this exclamation point by Cori Sullivan.

The Sun Devils advance to face a test in Duke, who are coming in at their highest seed in three years, finishing the fall season 7-4-2 and losing to eventual champion Florida State (and current No. 1 overall seed) in the ACC Tournament. This is their 17th tournament appearance in the past 18 seasons and their fifth top-16 national seed in the last six years. 

No. 16 Vanderbilt vs. Penn State: 3 p.m. ET

Penn State is looking strong heading into their second-round game against Vanderbilt. They were dominant in their first game against Alabama State, with four goals in the first half propelling them to a 5-0 win. 

While the Commodores played a fall season and had to supplement it with exhibition matches in the spring, Penn State has been facing tried and true opponents all spring. Additionally, Penn State’s record, 11-2-1, is better than Vanderbilt’s, 9-5-1. However, Vanderbilt had some statement wins during their season, including a 3-1 win against No. 6 Arkansas in the SEC Tournament that propelled them to the title.

No. 6 Arkansas vs. Utah Valley: 4 p.m. ET

Utah Valley took care of business in the 60th minute on Friday to propel them to a 1-0 win over Memphis. Sadie Brockbank scored the lone goal of the game to help her team to their first-ever NCAA tournament win in program history. (It was also the first NCAA tournament win for any sport in the school’s history.)

This is Utah Valley’s third all-time NCAA appearance as the Wolverines finished the season with a 10-2-2 record and as 2021 WAC Champions. They’re also riding a nine-match unbeaten streak heading into their matchup against Arkansas. 

The Razorbacks promise to be a formidable opponent, however. Arkansas enters the match-up with a record of 11-3-0, claiming the regular season SEC title for the second-straight year. They currently rank in the top 15 in total goals, assists and points nationally. 

The best of the rest (all times ET):

  • Milwaukee over Elon 1-0. Next up: No. 1 Florida State at 12 p.m.
  • Rice over Furman 3-1. Next up: No. 5 West Virginia at 12 p.m.
  • Virginia over SIU-Edwardsville 3-1. Next up: No. 12 BYU at 3 p.m.
  • South Carolina over Montana 1-0. Next up: No. 13 Georgetown at 6 p.m.
  • Ohio State over Stony Brook 5-1. Next up: No. 11 Santa Clara at 8 p.m.