ESPN2The UNC women’s soccer team won the national championship for the second straight year and for the 20th time in the 28-year history of the competition, beating the previously undefeated Stanford Cardinals 1-0 in cold, rainy conditions in College Station, Texas.
The game was won in the third minute: Junior striker Jessica McDonald split two defenders inside the 6-yard box and volleyed a beautiful curling cross from senior striker and All-American Casey Nogueira. Nogueira, a Raleigh native who played for Broughton and Capital Area Soccer League (CASL), finishes her career with 55 goals and three national championships.
Stanford was forced to play the final 17 minutes with 10 players after their star forward, All-American Kelley O’Hara, inexplicably melted down, getting sent off with two yellow cards after committing two reckless fouls in the span of just four minutes.
O’Hara’s frustration was understandable. Carolina outshot the Cardinals 19-9 (with 10 taken by McDonald and Nogueira) and took 11 corner kicks to Stanford’s three. Carolina’s back line was especially impressive, catching Stanford’s attackers offside six times.
UNC finishes the season 23-3-1, while Stanford goes home with a record of 25-1-0. Click here for the box score.