FSU, looking to defend its national title, has advanced to the Elite 8 in 16 of the last 18 seasons.
The Seminoles earned their latest trip off a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers, continuing a string of strong postseason victories in head coach Brian Pensky’s debut year.
From our Prince Akeem Joeffer:
Pitt is a very well coached quality side. They could easily ascend to the top tier of the ACC next year. However, right now Florida State has too much talent and is playing too well. This was a team victory. There were times where Pitt grabbed the momentum in this game. In fact, the Noles used the counter-attack for much of their offense tonight. However, Pitt couldn’t deal with FSU’s speed (in particular Jody Brown) and that was the key to the game.
Florida State (once again) seems to be peaking at just the right time. Throughout the Mark Krikorian era the Seminoles always seemed to save their best soccer for the postseason and while it is still early, the Brian Pensky Seminoles seem to be carrying on that tradition.
Arkansas, a No. 3 seed, cruised in its first two matches but survived a thriller vs. the Memphis Tigers in the Sweet 16, advancing off of penalty kicks.
From Arkansas Sports Info:
Arkansas soccer will make its second straight Elite 8 appearance after advancing past Memphis in penalty kicks, 3-2, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at Razorback Field.
The Hogs won their first penalty shootout since 2017, and their first in an NCAA Tournament game, after netting three of five attempts. Hauser, freshman Taylor Berman and backup goalkeeper Sierra Cota-Yarde had the makes. Barbara saved three of Memphis’ five attempts.
The Razorbacks are outscoring NCAA Tournament opponents 14-5.
Some game notes, via FSU Sports Info:
• Saturday’s meeting between the Seminoles and the Razorbacks marks the third all-time meeting between the two schools. Florida State holds an 2-0-0 lead in the series with a 1-0 record against Arkansas at home and a 1-0 record on the road. The last time the two teams met was in 2012, resulting in a 1-0 FSU win.
• Florida State is 10-4-2 all-time in the quarterfinals
• Jenna Nighswonger is second in the country with 16 assists. She has three goals and six assists off set pieces and corners.
• The Seminoles are 3-2-1 this season against the final eight teams in the NCAA Tournament.
• This is the 11th time in school history the Seminoles have been named a No. 1 seed and the fifth straight season. It is also the 18th straight season and 19th time overall that Florida State received a national seed in the NCAA Tournament.
• Florida State has advanced to the Elite 8 in 16 of the last 18 season, dating back to 2005.
• Head coach Brian Pensky won his 200th career game after the Seminoles defeated LSU 4-1.
• Brian Pensky became the first head coach to win the ACC in their first season as head coach and becomes just the sixth ever coach to win an ACC Title. No other coach has won an ACC and SEC Title.
• Sunday’s game will be graduate Midfielder, Clara Robbins, 109th career game at Florida State. 109 games is the most games played in FSU soccer history and the second most in NCAA soccer history.
• Since September 3, 2010 the Seminoles have not lost a game they have lead at halftime. The Seminoles are 274-11-10 all-time when leading at the half and 208-3-7 when leading at the half since 2005. FSU is 148-0-3 when leading at the half since 2010.
FSU vs. Arkansas is set for 5 p.m. start time, with the match set to be broadcast on ESPN+.
Florida State vs. Arkansas how to watch, TV info
Saturday, November 26