By Jennifer Roback
As the fall semester of the 2021-22 National Collegiate Athletic Association season starts to wrap up, a new soccer champion has been crowned.
On December 6, 2021, the Florida State Seminoles faced off against the BYU Cougars in the championship match where they came out victorious after a winning penalty kick by Yujie Zhao, for a final score of 4-3.
This win marks the team's third national championship in program history and is their second in the past four years. The win also comes one year after the team lost the 2020 national championship game to the Santa Clara Broncos in penalty kicks.
"I had faith that we were going to win in the PKs," Zhao said following the match via ESPN. "I was super, super happy."
Florida State coach Mark Krikorian added: "It feels quite nice to be sitting on this side of it. Last year, I thought that we were quite good and had some unfinished business that we needed to address."
Despite a loss, this match marked the Cougars' first appearance in the college cup and they were able to put up a fight despite the loss of their All-American midfielder Mikayla Colohan, who was carried off the field with a reported ankle injury during the 32nd minute.
Overall, No.13 BYU was able to outshoot Florida State 10-8 through regulation and the two overtime periods.
"I'm really proud of our players and our team," BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "I thought we battled hard. We were really close a few times."