LeiLanni Nesbeth’s Florida State advance to NCAA Championship final
LeiLanni Nesbeth and her Florida State University team-mates took another step towards a fourth national title after coming away with a 2-0 win over Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Clemson in the NCAA Championship semi-final in Cary, North Carolina last night.
The tournament top-seeded Seminoles prevailed with goals either side of the interval courtesy of midfielder Kaitlyn Zipay and forward Jordynn Dudley at WakeMed Soccer Park to advance to their seventh NCAA Championship final, and fourth in the last five seasons.
In Monday’s final they will face the winner of the remaining semi-final, between BYU and Stanford.
Clemson dominated possession during the opening stanza but fell behind when Zipay made the breakthrough in the 38th minute after lashing home from around the penalty spot for her fourth goal of the season.
All-American and freshman Dudley then doubled Florida State’s advantage in the 53rd minute with her 13th goal of the season to put the match beyond Clemson’s reach.
The Tigers pressed hard to cut the deficit but were held at bay by some robust defending by the Seminoles who have yet to concede a goal in the competition and remain unbeaten this season.
It was the third time this season that Florida State has defeated their ACC rivals, who were making their first appearance in the NCAA Championship semi-final.
Nesbeth and her team-mates clinched their spot in the NCAA Tournament after edging Clemson 2-1 in the ACC Championship final on November 5.