- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The seniors on Florida State women’s soccer team could go out on a historic note.

The Seminoles head into Friday’s national semifinal matchup against Duke as the sixth program to make five or more consecutive trips to the Women’s College Cup. If the defending national champions advance to Sunday’s title match in Cary, North Carolina, and beats the winner of Penn State-Rutgers, the Seminoles join 21-time champion North Carolina as the only schools to win consecutive titles.

“It would be unreal,” said midfielder Carson Pickett. “You expect advancing each year but when we won last year what we accomplished hit us pretty hard.”

The Seminoles (18-2-4) have made the NCAA Tournament every year since 2000 but this is the second straight senior class to reach the College Cup every season.

The players and coaches don’t shy away from the word dynasty. They realize that they are on the verge of accomplishing something special.

“For this class to have been able to maintain this level of consistency is wonderful,” coach Mark Krikorian said. “When the new players come in they know they are going to be able to compete for a national title.”

Florida State is the tournament’s top seed and hasn’t allowed a goal. Combined with last year’s run, the Seminoles haven’t allowed a goal in 900 minutes - or 10 games - of NCAA play, which is a tournament record. North Carolina had the former record at 829 minutes, 31 seconds.

The Seminoles enter the tournament with the nation’s eighth-best goals against average (0.522).

“I’m not sure we have played a whole lot better in my 11 years than we have played now. The attack has been good, we have had great possession play and we’re not giving up a lot of scoring chances. We’re in a very good spot and we’re healthy.”

On a team where two of the top three scorers in the regular season were freshmen, the seniors have come to the forefront during the tournament. Forward Cheyna Williams (2 goals, 3 assists) is tied for the team scoring lead with seven points while midfielders Isabella Schmid (2 goals, 2 assists) and Michaela Hahn (2 goals, 1 assist) are among the top seven on the team.

Despite being the defending national champion, Williams said she hasn’t noticed anything different in terms of preparation from last year to this year.

“It gives us a boost of confidence knowing that we won last year but we are feeling the same pressure because last year is done,” she said. “If we continue to do what we have done up this point it will be tough for teams to beat us. If we take care of the things we can control the results will come.”

The Florida State-Duke game is an all-ACC affair. The two teams played to a scoreless tie on Sept. 20.

Not only would the underclassmen like to send the seniors out on a high note, but back-to-back titles also raises the program’s stature even more.

“Right now this is the Florida State dynasty,” junior defender Kirsten Crowley said. “It is helping with recruiting which you can see with our freshman class (midfielder Megan Connolly and forward Elin Jensen were the team’s leading scorers). It just keeps getting better and better and we’re trying to work to maintain that level.”



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