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Rutgers, Duke, Florida State advance to College Cup

Rutgers stunned No. 1 Virginia to advance to the College Cup for the first time. (Photo: Rutgers Athletics)

Rutgers stunned No. 1 Virginia to advance to the College Cup for the first time. (Photo: Rutgers Athletics)

Rutgers, Duke and Florida State all advanced to the NCAA women’s College Cup on Friday with victories in the Elite Eight, with Rutgers and Duke deciding their fates in a penalty-kick shootout.

Rutgers is headed to the College Cup for the first time after upsetting No. 1 seed Virginia in penalty kicks in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division I women’s soccer tournament.

After a scoreless 110 minutes of play, No. 9 Rutgers defeated No. 1 Virginia, 7-6 on penalty kicks in nine rounds of a shootout.

Virginia coach Steve Swanson chose to pull starting goalkeeper Morgan Stearns for penalty kicks and insert Jessie Ferrari, who did not play a minute of the match. Ferrari saved Rutgers’ first two penalty kicks, but it wasn’t enough for the nation’s top-ranked team. Virginia has never won an NCAA title in women’s soccer, falling in the final to FSU last year.

[GORDON: Is this finally Penn State’s year to win it all?]

Makenzy Doniak had a chance to clinch the game for Virginia on the Cavaliers’ fifth penalty kick, but her shot hit the crossbar.

“Rutgers gets a lot of numbers behind the ball and they’re a pretty physical team,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “We knew this would be the kind of game that transpired today. We didn’t move the ball as well as we should have or as quickly as we needed to change the point. Credit Rutgers for that because they didn’t give us a lot of good looks and got it into a penalty kick situation where anything can happen, and it did. They played hard to come in to our place and play they way the did defensively, you have to give them credit.”

Rutgers will play the winner of Saturday’s West Virginia-Penn State game in the College Cup semifinals next Friday.

Florida State 5, Texas A&M 0

Florida State also advanced to the College Cup for the fifth straight time with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Texas A&M on Friday.

Elin Jensen scored twice and Megan Connolly, Cheyna Williams and Michaela Hahn added a goal each for the Seminoles.

Florida State set an NCAA record for 900 consecutive minutes in the NCAA tournament without conceding a goal. The Seminoles haven’t given up a goal in their last 10 NCAA tournament games.

“It’s clear to me that our group has a very good focus and high level of concentration,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “We have an awful lot of talented players that have bought in to whatever game plan it is we come up with. I thought our group was very good, very sharp in defending the attack. Certainly, Texas A&M is an outstanding program and for us to be able to go out and win a game like we did today against such a good program is great for us.”

Duke 1, Stanford 1 (3-2 shootout)

Duke upset No. 1 seed Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., winning 3-2 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 match through extra time.

Duke sophomore goalkeeper EJ Proctor stopped a pair of penalty kicks, including the decisive one on Stanford goalkeeper Jane Campbell, to help the Blue Devils advance. Last year, the U.S. youth international goalkeeper Campbell converted the decisive penalty kick which sent Stanford to the College Cup.

Toni Payne opened the scoring for Duke in the 14th minute, scoring a scrappy goal which fell to her feet. But Stanford equalized before halftime through Michelle Xiao. Stanford ends its season 19-2-2 and technically on a 15-game unbeaten streak, but that will be no consolation for the Cardinal.


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