By Official Florida FC

Florida’s capital city and its oldest city are home to the best women’s college soccer programs in the country.

Florida State (7-0-0) remained the No. 1 team in the United Soccer Coaches Division I poll for the fourth straight week. Flagler College (3-0-0) is the No. 1 team in the United Soccer Coaches Division II poll for the second straight week.

Flagler College winger Josefine Nilsen wins a ball in the midfield ahead of Lynn University’s Sophia Thomas during a Sept. 8, 2021 match. Nilsen’s 99th minute goal won the match for the Saints. (Photo by Will Brown, OfficialFloridaFC.com)

Flagler is undefeated in its past 30 regular season matches. The Saints increased that streak via a pair of overtime goals from sophomore winger Josefine Nilsen.

Nilsen scored both Flagler goals in a 2-1 overtime win over Rollins on Sept. 12.

“Today was a hard-fought win and the third win in seven days,” Flagler head coach Ashley Martin said after the Rollins win. “It has been a very tough stretch of games for us, but now we look forward to some well-earned rest and can turn our focus to (Peach Belt Conference) play. Josefine caused Rollins a lot of problems all game, and she came up big when we needed her. I’m extremely pleased with her start to the season and hopefully that form continues.”

Flagler kicks off its conference schedule on Saturday against Clayton State. That is also the day the Seminoles begin their quest to win a second straight Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title when they host Boston College (6-1-1).

Florida State has conceded just four times this season. The most recent goal allowed came in the 55th minute of a Sept. 12 win over Auburn. Florida State’s 2-1 win in that contest meant the No. 1 team in the country was not only 4-0 against Southeastern Conference programs, but 2-0 against then-ranked opponents.

What makes the Seminoles difficult to stop is their ability to retain possession and wellspring of attacking talent. So far, 12 Seminoles have scored this season, led by Beata Olsson’s five goals in only 396 minutes.

Florida State continues to rotate between Cristina Roque and Mia Justus in goal. The two have not had much to do this season as Florida State has allowed just eight shots on goal in seven games.

Florida State goalies Cristina Roque, left, and Mia Justus, right, have faced a combined eight shots on goal in seven matches for the undefeated Seminoles. (Photos by Official Florida FC)

Whoever is between the pipes will likely be busier against Boston College. The Eagles have scored 27 times this season and are led by freshman forward Ella Richards who has eight goals in eight games.

Presence in the polls

Florida State and Flagler are not the only Sunshine State soccer programs ranked by the United Soccer Coaches. UCF (5-2) moved ahead three spots to No. 14 in the Division I poll. In Division II, West Florida (4-0-0) is ranked fourth while Florida Tech (2-0-1) is tenth.

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