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  • Sophie Lodes

Florida State Women's Soccer Wins Fourth National Championship

The NCAA women’s championship was a battle between two undefeated teams in a game where one streak had to end. In the end, 18 teams tried to stop Florida State, but FSU would remain undefeated en route to their fourth national championship.

FSU Women's Soccer team in white National Champion shirts holding the brown NCAA trophy. In front of them is a banner that reads "NCAA Women's Soccer National Champions" and to the right someone is holding an FSU National Champions sign.
Florida State women's soccer celebrating after winning their fourth national championship over Stanford University on December 4, 2023 in Cary, NC | Photo Credit to FSU Athletics

A Jody Brown brace, Jordynn Dudley penalty kick, Beata Olsson goal, and Onyi Echegini goal would seal the win for the best offense in the nation and now National Championship winning, Florida St. Stanford’s consolation would be being the only team in the tournament to score on FSU.

From the opening whistle, the match was noisy, but not chaotic, with Stanford and Florida St. testing each other’s backline. As fans chanted and tried to urge their team on, the teams on the pitch settled into an uneasy rhythm, alternating dangerous chances. Florida St. held possession, but Stanford appeared to have the better use of space on the field, finding ways to counter and dragging FSU defenders wide.

In the opening minutes, Stanford nearly scored, narrowly missing with an attempt off the woodwork. Not to be outdone, FSU’s Olsson would have her chance to go off the right woodwork in the 20th minute. It was the last warning shot FSU would give.

Jordynn Dudley turned at the top of the box in the 27th minute and Stanford’s defender caught her back foot, sending her down and the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Dudley stepped up to take it with a deep breath, one step, two step, a slight run-up, and then an inside-the-right foot rocket that skimmed the bottom of the crossbar on its way to rippling the back of the net. Florida St. 1, Stanford 0.

26 seconds later, Jody Brown doubled the score for FSU with an ice-cold goal that was the result of perfect spacing by the whole team. The play started in the midfield, where Brown let Onyi Echegini play the ball back to Taylor Huff, who sent a perfectly weighted ball over the top of the Stanford defense right to the foot of Brown, who had continued her run. Brown took a touch before burying the ball into the top netting with the inside of her right foot to make the score 2-0 Florida St.

But Stanford wasn’t having the Florida St. narrative. With Andrea Kitahata drawing out FSU keeper Cristina Roque off her line, her pass across the front of the goal found Jasmine Aikey who turned and found Maya Doms at the top of the box in the 52nd minute. Instead of one-timing the ball, Doms pushed the ball wide, buying herself more space, before tucking the ball into the corner to cut the deficit to one with seemingly eons of time left.

Ultimately, Stanford’s undoing was FSU’s understanding of space from every player on the field. Just six minutes after Dom's goal, Dudley one-timed a ball over the backline of Stanford, finding Olsson out wide. With speed, Olsson took her space and kept her defender a step behind her before calmly slotting the ball across the face of the net and into the far post netting. FSU had their two-goal lead back.

Brown wanted insurance and so, just over a minute later, she combined with Olsson to score her second of the night. A deft touch and the miss by the Stanford defender sprung Olsson, who cut towards the goal and dragged three defenders with her. As the Cardinal defense closed in, Olsson slipped a pass through to Brown, who had Ryan Campbell going one way while Brown coolly chipped the ball into the near post top netting. 4-1 Florida St.

The cherry on top came from Echegini in the 84th minute. The play started with who else but Olsson, who ran through two attempted Stanford clears to keep possession of the ball. With the second deflection sending the ball towards the center of the box, Echegini came up on the Stanford defender's back shoulder and got her foot onto the ball, lopping the ball into the back of the net to make it 5-1.

As the clock ran out, Florida St. stormed the field dancing before hoisting their fourth national championship in program history.


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