Last Updated 12:49 PM, May 19, 2021

Santa Clara tops Florida State on PKs to win the DI women's soccer championship

Florida State v. Santa Clara: Full PK shootout in 2020* NCAA women's soccer championship
12:13 am, May 18, 2021

Santa Clara defeats Florida State on PKs to win 2020-21 College Cup

Santa Clara women's soccer

Santa Clara is the 2020-21 College Cup champion after defeating Florida State 4-1 on penalty kicks for the national title. This is the program's second championship and first since 2001.

View the final stats here

Julie Doyle gave the Broncos a 1-0 edge in the shootout, the first opening-round penalty attempt conceded by FSU during the tournament. The Seminoles were chasing the rest of the way as Clara Robbins and Emily Madril hit near-identical spots on the right post as Sally Menti doubled the lead for Santa Clara. Kelsey Turnbow made it 3-0 before Gabby Carle converted to keep the Seminoles in it, but it was Izzy D'Aquila who dealt the final blow with a blast into the lower right corner for the title. Watch the game-clinching kick below.

Here's how the full shootout went down:

  • Julie Doyle (Santa Clara) – Make
  • Clara Robbins (Florida State) – Miss
  • Sally Menti (Santa Clara) – Make
  • Emily Madril (Florida State) – Miss
  • Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara) – Make
  • Gabby Carle (Florida State) – Make
  • Izzy D'Aquila (Santa Clara) – Make

D'Aquila's game-winner is poetic in a sense. The Seminoles had neutralized her for 110 minutes and she finishes them off in the one place no defender can mark up. In fact, the Broncos as a whole were struggling to find their footing for much of the game's first 80 minutes while chasing a goal. Jenna Nighswonger's 63rd-minute goal was the first in regulation for FSU in more than two games, putting the Seminoles on the doorstep of their third title in seven years.

But a possession-heavy gameplan by FSU eventually backfired. After a potential insurance goal for FSU was ruled offside, the Seminoles committed a critical giveaway deep in their own third as a pass intended for Emily Madril was pushed too far out with the fullbacks out wide, allowing Turnbow to come in unmarked and equalize in the 84th minute, giving the Broncos a second chance that they capitalized on to win their second championship.

Click or tap here to view the final bracket


12:04 am, May 18, 2021

No. 1 Florida State, No. 11 Santa Clara heading to PKs

It's going to take more than 110 minutes to decide the national championship. Florida State and Santa Clara will go to penalty kicks to determine a winner. Yujie Zhao had the best opportunity of either side in the extra period with a shot off the crossbar in the first 10 minutes of overtime. Turnbow drew a foul outside of the box late in the second overtime period, but Alex Loera's free kick effort went into the wall.

After just one title game went to PKs in the first 37 years of this tournament, it'll be where a champion is crowned for the second straight postseason.

11:39 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State 1, No. 11 Santa Clara 1 | End of regulation

It's going to take extra time to decide a winner for the sixth time in College Cup history. The second half was much more active offensively on both sides. Jenna Nighswonger put Florida State ahead in the 63rd minute with her fifth goal of the year. A Seminoles turnover deep in their own third opened the door for Kelsey Turnbow to pull Santa Clara level in the 84th minute on her 10th score this season.

Florida State is playing its third consecutive extra time game. They are 0-0-2 with wins on penalties in both previous contests. Santa Clara is 1-0. 

11:30 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State 1, No. 11 Santa Clara 1 | 84th minute

Santa Clara only needs an inch of space to make something and Kelsey Turnbow got way more than that on her 84th minute equalizer. Florida State's possession game backfired when a pass for Madril went wide and out to the Broncos' striker. Madril appeared to recover but the space was more than enough for Turnbow to shake her and fire a left-footed strike past Rocque and into the bottom left corner.

It's important to note that FSU nearly went up 2-0 in the 80th minute but the flag went up on Yujie Zhao before scoring. 

11:23 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State 1, No. 11 Santa Clara 0 | 76th minute

There is a heightened sense of urgency from Santa Clara as they chase an equalizer into the late stages of this championship match. The Broncos have been able to establish possession in the final third with some chance creation, but FSU hasn't allowed the runs and positioning that got Santa Clara to this point. The Seminoles continue to work on possession and have looked for the occasional counter, though their emphasis remains on disrupting the Broncos' forwards. 
11:04 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State 1, No. 11 Santa Clara 0 | 63rd minute

Jenna Nighswonger strikes and Florida State leads 1-0 in the 63rd minute. The Seminoles got a quick buildup along the left side before Yujie Zhao got the ball atop the box as a target and fed Nighswonger to her right. The sophomore cut back to her left and took one touch before unleashing a curling missile towards the bottom left corner. Her shot rang the post and banked in without any challenge from Nicolos. FSU is within a half hour of its third championship.

10:51 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State 0, No. 11 Santa Clara 0 | 52nd minute

Florida State's come out of the half in its possession look again, but the Seminoles appear more comfortable building up against Santa Clara in this half. FSU is finding some space out on the wings for Kristen McFarland and Yujie Zhao. Both have earned the Seminoles free kicks outside of the box for moderately threatening chances.
10:21 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State 0, No. 11 Santa Clara 0 | Half

We've played 45 minutes of the national championship game with Florida State and Santa Clara locked at a scoreless draw.

The top-seeded Seminoles started to push up more over the final 20 minutes of the half after opening with a possession-heavy gameplan. Kristen McFarland produced FSU's top scoring opportunity in the 26th minute but it was pushed aside by Marlee Nicolos after McFarland took too heavy of a touch inside the box. Jenna Nighswonger also had a chance on a free kick later in the half but her attempt went right into the wall.

Santa Clara spent most of the half trying to adapt to Florida State's man-to-man coverage of Kelsey Turnbow and Izzy D'Aquila. The Broncos have had to use their forwards as targets for the ball rather than finding them in stride or over the top of the defense. Turnbow started to figure things out and challenged Cristina Roque in the 31st minute with a screamer from the right side. Santa Clara's going to need to figure out a way to free up D'Aquila. FSU's Kristen Pavlisko marked her very effectively in the first half.

10:00 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State 0, No. 11 Santa Clara 0 | 26th minute

Kristen McFarland nearly made it 1-0 Seminoles on the first shot of the match. Jenna Nighswonger dropped in an entry pass for the senior, who beat her defender with a good first touch. McFarland pushed her second touch too far, allowing Marisa Bunnis and Marlee Nicolos to close in and prevent a goal.

The chance for McFarland came right after Santa Clara got its first threatening chance of the half. A middle third turnover by FSU allowed Kelsey Turnbow to get wide in space with a move around Emily Madril to earn the first corner of the match. The possession didn't impact the score, but Turnbow has been marked one-on-one to this point. A bit of space could generate some confidence for the Broncos.

9:45 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State 0, No. 11 Santa Clara 0 | 10th minute

Neither Florida State nor Santa Clara has attempted a shot through 10 minutes. The Seminoles have been playing the possession game early, though it's worth noting that FSU is straying from its 4-3-3 shape quite a bit to mark Kelsey Turnbow and Izzy D'Aquila man-to-man. Head coach Mark Krikorian's defensive strategy has limited Santa Clara's touches in the middle and final thirds, but the Broncos are beginning to employ a high press on the Seminoles back line. 
9:15 pm, May 17, 2021

No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 11 Santa Clara | Pregame

It’s just about game time in Cary, North Carolina, where either No. 1 Florida State or No. 11 Santa Clara will be crowned College Cup champions in a few hours. This year’s title game is on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. We’ll also have in-game updates all throughout the match.

Click or tap here for live stats

The Seminoles are looking for their third title in seven years while trying to become the first unbeaten champion since Stanford in 2011. FSU comes into tonight’s match riding a 290-minute shutout streak with each of its past two wins coming on penalty kicks following a scoreless 110 minutes. Florida State’s defense has done the talking for most of this tournament, but the Seminoles will likely need some help from their top 10 offense as well.

Santa Clara has only let up two goals this postseason, but it’s the Broncos’ attack you need to be aware of. Santa Clara’s scored multiple goals in three of four tournament games. Its forward pairing of Kelsey Turnbow and Izzy D’Aquila are capable of giving most back lines trouble as both struck in the semifinal win over No. 2 North Carolina. It’s been 19 seasons since the Broncos last played for a national title and they’ve got the personnel to potentially get back to the pinnacle of college soccer tonight.

Click or tap here to view the interactive bracket.

12:37 pm, May 17, 2021

The College Cup final in the DI Women's Soccer Championship is tonight at 5:30 p.m. ET

Santa Clara Athletics No. 11 seed Santa Clara will face No. 1 seed Florida State in the College Cup final.

Tonight, either No. 1 seed Florida State will win its third national championship and third in eight years, or No. 11 seed Santa Clara will win its second national title. The Seminoles and Broncos will meet in the College Cup final in the 2020-21 NCAA DI Women's Soccer Championship at 5:30 p.m. EDT Monday, May 17.

The College Cup final has the potential to be a high-scoring affair, as Florida State ranks sixth nationally in scoring average (2.67 goals per game), just ahead of Santa Clara, which ranks seventh at 2.64 goals per game. Santa Clara's Kelsey Turnbow leads the Broncos with nine goals on the season, while her teammate Izzy D'Aquila has scored eight.

Here's the schedule for Monday's championship from Cary, North Carolina.

  • 5:30 p.m. ET | No. 1 seed Florida State (13-0-2) vs. No. 11 seed Santa Clara (11-0-1) | Live stats | Broadcast: ESPN2 | Stream: WatchESPN

Click or tap here to view the interactive bracket.

For a .PDF of the bracket, click here.

5:31 pm, May 15, 2021

Here is the schedule for Monday's championship

Florida State and Santa Clara will meet in the 2020 DI women's soccer championship on Monday, May 17. One of these teams will add another national championship trophy to their collection.

The Seminoles are looking for their third title in the sport. They won it all in 2014 and 2018. A victory for the Broncos would give them their second national championship, and first since 2001. 

Here's the schedule for Monday's championship from Cary, North Carolina.

  • 5:30 p.m. ET | No. 1 seed Florida State (13-0-2) vs. No. 11 seed Santa Clara (11-0-1) | Live stats | Broadcast: ESPN2 | Stream: WatchESPN

Click or tap here to view the interactive bracket.

For a .PDF of the bracket, click here.

DI women's soccer bracket
2:43 pm, May 14, 2021

Florida State and Santa Clara to meet for the national title Monday

The 2020-21 NCAA women's soccer bracket, through May 14.

No. 1 Florida State (13-0-2) and No. 11 Santa Clara (11-1-0) will meet Monday night to crown the first DI women's soccer champion since Stanford defeated North Carolina in December of 2019.

You can watch the game live at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and stream it on ESPN. Stream it in Spanish here. The DI men's soccer championship follows. Both will be played at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.

No. 1 Florida State has won its last two games on penalties after playing to scoreless ties against Virginia in the semifinals and Duke in the quarterfinals. 

Santa Clara beat No. 2 North Carolina, 3-1, on goals by Izzy D'Aquila, Kelsey Turnbow and Skylar Smith. The Broncos are making their third appearance in the title game. They won the 2001 title and were runner-ups the next year. Florida State won in 2014 and 2018. The Seminoles were second in 2013 and 2007.

3:10 am, May 14, 2021

No. 11 Santa Clara bests No. 2 North Carolina to reach championship game

Santa Clara women's soccer

Santa Clara will play for the national championship for the first time since 2002. The No. 11 Broncos defeated No. 2 North Carolina 3-1 in the College Cup semifinals.

Izzy D'Aquila scored the first goal of the semifinals with a 20th-minute strike, capping an offensively active start to the match for both teams. UNC was held without a shot over the final 31 minutes of the first half, but came out firing and got its equalizer from MAC Hermann Trophy finalist Brianna Pinto in the 51st minute.

The 1-1 score would only last 30 seconds before Kelsey Turnbow put the Broncos ahead for good. Turnbow gets the tally for the goal, but D'Aquila set that one up too after forcing a turnover inside the Carolina 18. Skylar Smith, who lost Pinto on the lone UNC goal, got her redemption with an insurance goal for Santa Clara in the 60th minute to put the Tar Heels out of reach. UNC had a few threatening chances in the final 30 minutes, but goalkeeper Marlee Nicolos made a couple of big save to keep the two-goal lead intact.

No. 11 Santa Clara will play No. 1 Florida State on Monday, May 17 for the national championship.