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NCAA Nov 06, 2023

Florida State continues ACC dominance with 4th conference title in a row

CARY, N.C. – Onyi Echegini scored twice to lead first-ranked Florida State (16-0-1) to a 2-1 victory over seventh-ranked Clemson (15-3-3) for a fourth straight ACC Tournament Championship. This marks the second time in program history the Seminoles have won four straight conference tournament championships.

The two teams faced each other in the regular season to open conference play back in September with the Seminoles storming back from two goals down to win 4-2 on the road. The road to the championship for the Tigers included victories over Wake Forest and Notre Dame while the Seminoles used two second-half goals to defeat Pitt 2-0 in the semifinals.

Florida State couldn’t have gotten off to a better start as the lethal attacking duo of Onyi Echegini and Jordynn Dudley created yet another goal-scoring opportunity. Dudley drove through defenders across the face of goal before laying off a pass at the top of the box to Echegini who rifled a shot with precision and pace into the top left corner for the game’s opening goal inside ten minutes. This was Echegini’s 12th goal of the season and her sixth goal in the past six games.

Just before the half-hour mark Clemson earned the game’s first corner kick and found the equalizer as Mackenzie Duff headed the ball at the back post which bounced through the melee in the box and into the net for a 1-1 game, The Tigers were the first team to score against the Seminoles in over 300 minutes of action.

Cristina Roque was challenged towards the end of the first half and showed off her aerial ability as a long-range cross came her way in a crowded box. She emerged with a tough catch to deny the goal-scoring threat. The sides were even at one apiece after 45 minutes.

The Seminoles have proven to be one of the best second half teams in the nation as they’ve outscored opponents 39-4 in the second half this season. They’re also one of the most opportunistic as a Clemson turnover in the back was picked up by Beata Olsson as she set up a low-steaming cross right to Echegini as she beat her defender and tucked away the goal to regain the lead. This marked her 35th career goal and sixth multi-goal game as a Seminole.

Roque came up strong once again as Samantha Meredith’s near-post shot was fired quickly but equally as quick was Roque with a save off her foot to deny Clemson one of their best chances of the game with twenty minutes to go.

Clemson increased the pressure as the game was drawing towards the end but the Noles withstood the challenge and claimed sole possession of the 2023 ACC Tournament Championship. The Seminoles now have double-digit championships with their tenth as a program and have won nine of the past eleven.

Five Seminoles were named to the ACC All-Tournament Team. Echegini was named the ACC Tournament MVP and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Dudley, Olsson, Roque and Mimi Van Zanten.

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