The ACC has long been the premier conference for soccer and that reputation was solidified after Florida State won the College Cup this season on the women’s side (on the strength of USWNT U-20 star Cheyna Wiliams, 2 goals in the final) and Virginia won on the men’s side of the bracket.
The Cavaliers faced UCLA Sunday and after a scoreless game in regulation, Virginia won in penalty-kicks 4-2.
Virginia was the No. 16 seed in the tournament while UCLA was No. 2 meaning this was one of a handful of upsets pulled off by the Wahoos.
The championship run is even more impressive considering it happened without significant contributions from All-American midfielder Eric Bird. The senior played just 36 minutes in the championship game and was limited throughout the tournament because of a groin injury he suffered last month.
Bird is considered by many to be the most likely ACC player to land in the MLS next season as he’s been invited to the league’s proving ground January 8-13 ahead of the draft on January 15.
With the victory the Cavalier men’s soccer program earned its seventh national championship, good for third most in NCAA history, and the 21st overall for the school.
That also make’s it seven of the last ten seasons on the men’s side that an ACC school won the national title.
With @FSU_Soccer‘s win, the ACC earned its 22nd NCAA Women’s Soccer title. It is the 137th NCAA title overall for the league.
— ACC Women’s Soccer (@ACCWSoccer) December 7, 2014
Add one more to that total number above and you’ve got the updated and eye-popping total of national championships for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Florida State women’s team won the first title in that program’s history with a 2-1 victory over Virginia December 7. It’s the 22nd title for the ACC on the women’s side.
The game marked the third meeting this season between the schools with each contest being decided by just a single goal.
The women’s title game featured two finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy given to the nation’s top men’s and women’s soccer players.
Seminoles’ senior Dagny Brynjarsdottir finished with 16 goals and 38 points. She was named first-team All-ACC and ACC Tournament MVP while also garnering All-American honors. She finished her Florida State career as the all-time leader in game-winning goals (19) and second in career points (111), goals (44) and shots (232).
Virginia standout midfielder Morgan Brian is another nominee and probably the best player in the conference. Brian was also an All-American and All-ACC selection, becoming the fourth player in Virginia history to be a four-time ACC first-teamer. She was the only collegiate player to be on the U.S. Women’s National Team for Women’s World Cup qualifying and already has 16 career caps for the USWNT including four goals.
Junior goalkeeper Alex Bono from Syracuse and senior forward Andy Craven from North Carolina were both named finalists on the men’s side giving the ACC four of the six nominees.
The Hermann Trophy has been given to the top soccer players in the country since 1967. Morgan Brian won the award on the women’s side last season.
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