Your Curated Guide to Women's Sports

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, AP Women's Soccer
Twitter: @AnnieMPeterson

Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, High Post Hoops
Twitter: @HowardMegdal

Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, NWHL Broadcaster
Twitter: @ELindsay08
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College Cup thoughts—Interview with Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian—must-click woso links

First off, hats off to Florida State for winning the 2018 Women's College Cup. 

The Seminoles upset top-ranked Stanford and ended a 45-match unbeaten streak for the Cardinal. Two days later Florida State claimed the championship with a 1-0 victory over North Carolina.

Dallas Dorsey scored in the 60th minute, her fifth goal in the team's final seven matches. "As a senior, you realize it's your last run. My teammates work hard for me, and I try to work hard for them. Deyna gave me a perfect ball and I just threw my body in there. It was a team effort all around."

Dorsey's goal came off a cross from Deyna Castellanos, the young Venezuelan national team star. Her name keeps coming up: she was the FIFA women's football ambassador during the men's World Cup. 

It was Florida State's second title after winning their first in 2012. I thought Stanford would defend, but it's fun to see another team up there.

A couple of newsy things came out of the College Cup: North Carolina senior defender Julia Ashley says she expects to enter the NWSL draft because she'd like to play in the United States. Coach Anson Dorrance said she not only should be a top 5 pick, but a starter, too. (Note to self: Let's look at the top draft prospects in the a future IX Newsletter!)

Florida State coach Mark Krikorian said the short turnaround between the Friday night game and the Sunday championship was hard on the players and that he thought it impacted both teams in terms of energy. I agree, it must have been hard for the Seminoles to regroup and get ready after the emotional buzz over beating Stanford. 

My one beef: I don't get ESPNU. I thought I did, but apparently it's a subscription-only service on my cable provider. Kind of disappointing it wasn't on one of the more widely available ESPN platforms. It's an NCAA title match, you think it would have made ESPN2. I'm gonna be in the same boat this week trying to watch the NCAA volleyball tournament.

I also heard complaints that as soon as the championship match was over ESPNU went immediately to a men's basketball game without showing the trophy ceremony. I'm not a huge fan of trophy ceremonies, but I understand there are a lot of Seminoles fans out there the would have liked to see the players get their moment.

This Week in Women's Soccer

The Guardian's Suzy Wrack reports that FIFA is investigating allegations of abuse of the Afghanistan women's national team.

Newsy item from the AP: The refs have been selected for the Women's World Cup, but no word on video review.

HEGERBERG wins the first Ballon d'Or for women! And just to sully the whole thing this guy asks her about twerking. Sigh.

Here's the AP's story on the Natty.

As usual, Graham Hays is awesome with his story for ESPNW. 

Banyana Banyana are in the World Cup!

The women's Euro 2021 will be hosted by England. I want to go!

The World Cup draw is upon us and the Matildas are ready.

New Zealand claimed the last spot in the World Cup field.

US Soccer provides a handy "five things to know" about the draw.  

Tweet of the week!

Five at The IX:

Here are the post match comments from Mark Florida State coach Mark Krikorian following the national championship. Because I thought he hit all the right notes. 

"She's done great, right? I did rename her Miss December now, just so we're clear. I asked her if she was good with it. Dallas has had just a fantastic career. She came in maybe a little under appreciated. A kid from South Florida who had some room to grow before she was going to be able to influence the games. She's just a great kid, she works hard every day, you can see when you speak with her she's humble, she's a likable kid. She always shows up prepared to work and works hard every day. For a coach who works with a player day after day after day, it's nice to see them rewarded on the big stage for the hard work that they put in. We have a lot of seniors this year and as one of you noted, four years we had a big disappointment. That was a good team here that Duke beat on that day and I think all of us we're pretty devastated by it. For Dallas and the rest of her teammates, to walk out of Florida State with a national championship I think they have to feel great about it. I think we all feel great about it. A lot of hard work." 
"The whole team has to be committed to defending. In the modern game of soccer it's no longer the defenders just defend and the front players score the goals. In the game today everyone  has to be a little bit of everything. You see Malia on Friday night, showcased a beautiful attacking play out of the back line. So a defender who is really creating the game and making the game for us. I think its really important that we have a specific idea about the game plan going in. I have three outstanding assistant coaches who are working extremely hard and breaking down video, trying to put together a game plan and hopefully we're good enough teachers to make sure the players understand it and be able to apply the information. When you're playing against high-powered teams like North Carolina, like Stanford and Penn State and Southern Cal, you darn well better have a plan. You have to get a little lucky, too _ they're going to get a look at your goal. How about Caroline Jeffers, coming in and not having an opportunity to play much of the season and then stepping in and winning a national championship as goalkeeper. Great story. 
"We're talking about the margins being so small between their quality players and our quality players, the experience that their staff has in designing different situations to minimize the affect of some of our players. With Deyna and Yujie in particular, they're very good at reading the play and finding the proper spaces. Sometimes, team are going to try and eliminate their impact during a game and by and large Carolina did a great job at that, then that one moments pops up and either Deyna or Yujie or one of the other playmakers, finds that spot _ and don't forget Tillman because she's pretty good, too -- I think that those are the moments when the goals come. And that is what happened today through the course of the game. Both teams had limited chances at goal. But fortunately for us we had the quality to finish the one big chance that we got and find the result and win the game."
"I think part of the great value in having the opportunity to practice as much as you do is that you really get a chance to figure out each other's strengths and weaknesses. One of the things -- it probably took us a couple of years to figure out that Dallas was fast but once we eventually figured that out we were able to create seams for her to run into and play her through. And with the quality that Deyna and the other midfielders bring, if that seam appears they're going to find it and give a well weighted pass and hopefully the timing of the run will be good and we can get a goal at the end of it. 
"We knew last year, it was a young team each of the last two years. We knew it would be hard for us to get to this stage. And last year we played Stanford that just _ they annihilated us last year -- such a quality team and a quality program. We knew that we had to re-tool our group a little bit and re-evaluate how we were doing things. All the kids who have been part of the program for the last few years were very open minded to it and today they got the reward for it. So is it a disappointment in previous years of not getting to the College Cup? I think we've spoiled everyone into thinking it's easy to do this. It's not easy. There's 320 or so schools that would love to go to one College Cup. And we've been to a lot of them."

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