CARY, N.C. (AP) — UCLA and Florida State are old hands at this. They have appeared more times at the NCAA Women's College Cup than anyone else.
One of them will break through for its first national title Sunday when the Bruins (21-1-3) and Seminoles (23-1-3) meet in the championship game.
"This means so much to us and so much to our program, especially because we've never won a national championship for women's soccer at our school," UCLA defender Ally Courtnall said. "I think this is huge for us, and we want to get that one time for our school."
The Bruins bring a 20-game unbeaten streak and the nation's top scoring defense into their first appearance in the championship game since 2005. UCLA, which returned to the College Cup for the first time since a seven-year streak from 2003-09, is making its fourth appearance in the championship game.
The Bruins advanced on penalty kicks after playing No. 1 overall seed Virginia to a 1-1 tie on Friday night.
"One of the things I said to them in pregame is that not only does this team deserve to win a national championship, but I think this program deserves to win a national championship," UCLA coach Amanda Cromwell said. "I think these girls have that feeling. They're playing for more than just themselves, and that's really cool."
While the Bruins have made eight appearances in the College Cup since 2003, Florida State is right behind them with seven trips to the final four during that span.
Florida State's lost in the NCAA semifinals in 2011 and 2012, and fell to Southern California 2-0 in 2007 in its only previous championship game.