Tar Heels reclaim women’s soccer crown
Notre Dame started fast, but North Carolina finished stronger, and the Tar Heels claimed their 19th NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship with a 2-1 victory December 7.
Irish senior forward Kerri Hanks took an assist from Courtney Rosen off the opening kickoff and slid the ball past Tar Heels goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris 16 seconds into the match, but North Carolina regrouped admirably.
Casey Nogueira converted a free kick into the top left corner from 23 yards out for her 24th score of the season to tie the game in the second half and set up a furious finish. In the final eight minutes, Tar Heels freshman Courtney Jones began to harass the Notre Dame defense, firing three shots in three minutes, including two just five seconds apart. But it wasn’t until Nogueira drilled a 20-yard shot over goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander with just 2:06 left in the game that North Carolina could smell victory.
North Carolina beat second-ranked UCLA to get to the title game.
Tar Heel coach Anson Dorrance called both of Nogueira’s goals “world class.”
“If both of those goals were scored in a Premiership game, you would be seeing both of those goals on a highlight reel at the end of the week,” he said. “On the greatest platform we have, which is the national championship final, she scored two of the most phenomenal goals I’ve ever seen. We’re absolutely thrilled to be sitting here as 2008 national champions. I’m especially proud of a team that never gave up.”
The Irish defeated the Tar Heels earlier this year, claiming a 1-0 victory September 5.
Notre Dame Coach Randy Waldrum, whose team was looking to be the second to go undefeated and win a national championship, called the season “phenomenal.”
“I told the girls they’ll look in a few weeks and recognize how great of a season it’s been,” he said. “I think that the standard has been extremely high.”
North Carolina 1, UCLA 0
North Carolina 1 0—1
UCLA 0 0—0
First half: NC – Yael Averbuch (penalty kick), 40:14.
Shots: North Carolina 12, UCLA 8. Goalkeeper saves: North Carolina (Anna Rodenbough 1, Ashlyn Harris 3) 4. UCLA (Ashley Thompson) 5. Corner kicks: North Carolina 4, UCLA 2.
Notre Dame 1, Stanford 0
Notre Dame 1 0—1
Stanford 0 0—0
First half: ND – Courtney Barg (Melissa Henderson), 14:07.
Shots: Notre Dame 12, Stanford 20. Goalkeeper saves: Notre Dame (Kelsey Lysander) 7, Stanford (Kira Makar) 3. Corner kicks: Notre Dame 3, Stanford 6.
North Carolina 2, Notre Dame 1
North Carolina 0 2—2
Notre Dame 1 0—1
First half: ND – Kerri Hanks (Courtney Rosen), 0:16.
Second half: NC – Casey Nogueira (unassisted), 51:08; NC – Nogueira (unassisted), 87:54.
Shots: North Carolina 18, Notre Dame 7. Goalkeeper saves: North Carolina (Anna Rodenbough) 2, Notre Dame (Kelsey Lysander) 2. Corner kicks: North Carolina 6, Notre Dame 3.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association