History on Stanford’s side entering women’s College Cup

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The Florida State women’s soccer team has been here before, now the Seminoles are hoping for a different result this weekend: Their first NCAA College Cup title.

This is FSU’s fourth consecutive trip — and eighth overall appearance — to the College Cup. The Seminoles’ best result in the in the past four years was reaching the 2013 final, where they lost to UCLA.

FSU (22-1-1) will square off in on of today’s semifinal matches Stanford (20-1-3), which won the Women’s College Cup title in 2011.

The other semifinal pits Virginia (22-2-0) against Texas A&M (22-2-2). The Cavaliers are making their second consecutive, and third overall, appearance in the Final Four; the Aggies are making their first appearance.

The Seminoles have played the role of bridesmaid recently, losing to UCLA 1-0 in the title game last year, in overtime in semis to Penn State in 2012 and a semifinal loss to Stanford in 2011. But Florida State coach Mark Krikorian believes past failures will have no bearing on this weekend’s outcome.

Among this year’s Final Four, Stanford is the only team to have won the Women’s College Cup.

Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe doesn’t consider being past champions — even with some players from that title team still on the field — an obvious advantage.

“I’m not a big believer in [history helping] too much,” Ratcliffe said. “It all comes down to this team. We have to stay focus and have that drive and composure this year.”

Last year, the Cardinal failed to reach the Final Four, ending their journey in the third round.

“Obviously it’s exciting to come back to the College Cup because it became routine for us and the highlight of our season,” Ratcliffe said.

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