College Cup: BYU has a monumental task in championship match vs. FSU

The good news for the BYU women’s soccer team is that the Cougars won’t face a familiar opponent in Monday night’s College Cup Championship game.

The bad news is that BYU, seeded No. 4, will face the nation’s best team this season, seeded No. 1 and seeded No. 1 overall, the Florida State Seminoles.

“I think it’s always exciting to see a different team, but Florida State is the No. 1 team in the country,” Brigham United University coach Jennifer Rockwood told BYU Sports Network right after the Cougars defeated Santa Clara on penalties in the semi-final match. Friday night to advance. “They are exceptional, they like to keep the ball, and they move the ball really well.”

The first kick was at 6 p.m. BST on Monday at Stevens Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the same location where BYU set up the Broncos and their losing crowd 3-2 in a penalty shootout after neither team scored in 110 minutes.

“It would be great to have the opportunity to see someone new, and to be back in the field,” said Rookwood. “It felt like we played really well tonight against a really tough home crowd with Santa Clara.”

The Cougars (18-4-1), in the first championship game in their 27-year history, will be decided as a non-familiar against the Seminoles (21-1-2), who advanced with a 1-0 win over Rutgers. .

The BYU should have the advantage of the local crowd, as the same big group they watched as they beat Santa Clara 26-13 and what Broncos fans decide to return to the field after a heavy loss in the West Coast Conference should return. mates.

“Yeah, it was so much fun,” BYU star Makayla Coluhan said of the atmosphere on Friday night. “It made it hard to hear each other on the field. But I think any college football player wants a full stadium for every game, and that’s good for the sport, and we love to see the turnout, it’s even fun when you win at their stadium.”

Colohan, who was bagged by Santa Clara’s defense and then hit the crossbar in her penalty shootout attempt, will be the focus of FSU’s stellar defense on Monday, but said her teammates will take the slack if they have to, like they have throughout the tournament.

“I think our motto all season has been, ‘Play the full 90,'” said Coluhan. “And today that was 110 (min). We just reminded ourselves to stay in it, not go down, not get too high, and not get too low. Sometimes you get a little unlucky and it’s tough when a team plays defensively like Santa Clara. So he made it difficult but we got the result and that’s all that matters.”

The championship match was moved from Sunday to Monday when BYU moved forward because the Cougars do not play on Sundays due to religious reasons. While thanking the NCAA several times Friday night for making the stay, Rockwood said BYU could use the extra day of rest after a tough physical exam against Santa Clara.

“It’s all about recovery now,” she said. “We are certainly grateful that the NCAA was willing to move the game for us so that we could be involved on Monday. I know this is a big request for them to move the action. But both teams will have two days to recover. Obviously this is very important. We had a physical match. Extremely “.

Florida State is making its second consecutive National Championship appearance, having lost on penalties to Santa Clara last spring (the 2020 championship was moved to 2021, due to COVID-19). Legendary coach Mark Krikorian, who has crossed 300 career coaching victories this season, has won two national titles, most recently in 2018.

In his twelfth appearance in the College Cup, the Seminoles earned a goal from Jalen Howell to defeat Rutgers. Goalkeeper Cristina Roque saved four big saves to give ACC their thirteenth goal.

“Our standard is always the National Championship, so it’s always special for us to come back and we’re going to go out and give our best,” Howell said.

It will be the first on-field meeting between BYU and Florida State.

“Once again, I’m so proud of our equipment, our players, how far we’ve come this year and that we’ve made making it to the National Championship game a reality,” said Rockwood. “We definitely have hands full of a really talented, well-trained squad at Florida State. But you know, that’s all you can ask for is a chance to play against the best on the biggest stage in college football. We’ll be prepared for that.”

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