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Tuesday Cannon Fodder: Unconquered

2023 Division I Women’s Soccer Championship Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, folk! Today, I am taking over CF duties in order to celebrate the accomplishments of the FSU Women’s Soccer team, who won their 4th national championship last night in commanding fashion. The Noles capped off their first ever Invincible campaign, beating Stanford 5-1 in Cary, NC, to cap off an historic season. The Noles finished with a 22-0-1 record and put themselves into the conversation for being one of the best teams ever.

In the post season alone, they outscored opponents 21-1 (25-2 if you also include the ACC Tournament). They boast the #1 offense in the country and #2 defense, and the roster is littered with international talent, some of whom have already represented their countries already internationally. Dominant doesn’t come close to describing them.

And they accomplished it all under second-year coach Brian Pensky. After Mark Krikorian, who single-handedly molded FSU’s soccer team into a national powerhouse over the course 16 years, departed, the next coach was going to have huge shoes to fill (sound familiar?). Pensky has not only carried on the winning ways, he has done so in record-breaking fashion.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that this is post is entirely for the purpose of celebrating the team. If you live under a rock, perhaps you didn’t see the calamity caused by the College Football Playoff committee on Sunday when they chose to omit Florida State from the playoffs despite finishing the season as undefeated ACC champions. Controversial does not begin to cover it. The announcement was a gut punch that felt worse than any loss on the field of play that I can remember.

I do not plan on elaborating on that subject much further. My bias as a Florida State alum should be obvious, and I’ve already spent more time than I ever should have arguing with uninformed folks on the internet about it.

They say that winning cures all, and while the football team was unjustly robbed of a chance to play for a title, the soccer team’s accomplishment on Monday was a bit of a salve on the wound. After a day of lamenting what could have been and oscillating between being rage blind and totally depressed, it was nice to be able to smile, root for my Alma mater, and see them hoist a well-earned and well-deserved trophy.

As both an Arsenal fan and FSU alum, I’ve had a pretty enjoyable soccer experience this fall. Are there any other sporting endeavors that occupy your time? Any results that have made you particularly proud or helped you get past some bad news? Have you been present for a historic match or result in person? Let’s hear them.