Dec. 1, 2012
Box Score | Postgame quotes
SAN DIEGO - A golden goal in the second overtime ended the season for the Stanford women's soccer team in the College Cup semifinals on Friday, and also ended the collegiate careers of three All-America seniors all too suddenly.
The top-ranked Stanford women's soccer team was unable to defend its national championship, falling to North Carolina, 1-0, in double overtime on Friday night before 7,289 at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego.
Stanford goalkeeper Emily Oliver made a series of spectacular saves throughout the night, but was unable to prevent North Carolina's Kealia Ohai from scoring off the post after 104 minutes, 8 seconds of play.
"It was a disappointing end to a great year," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "It's always difficult to lose in overtime because you can't make any changes or do anything to get back into the game because the game is over with one kick of the ball. Overall, I'm proud of the team, great year. Tough way to end."
Stanford (21-2-1) will not advance to the championship final for the first time in four years. Instead, North Carolina (14-5-3) will play Penn State (21-3-2), a 2-1 overtime winner over Florida State, on Sunday for the title.
Thus ended the career of Stanford's 10 seniors, though as many as two could return for their final seasons of eligibility. The class of 2013 featured four All-Americans -- Alina Garciamendez, Mariah Nogueira, Rachel Quon, and Courtney Verloo -- who went a combined 94-4-4 over the past four seasons.
"This entire senior class when you look at their overall record, through their four years, it's pretty remarkable," Ratcliffe said. "I'm really thankful that they won the championship last year because they're definitely champions. No doubt in my mind."
Stanford had the best chances of a scoreless first half.
The Cardinal has been dangerous on set pieces all season, scoring 21 times going into the match. The Cardinal nearly made it 22 when Courtney Verloo's corner kick found the head of Mariah Nogueira, who made a solid connection. But North Carolina defender Caitlin Ball saved the ball off the line, just inside the post in the 14th minute.
Later, Lo'eau LaBonta intercepted a clearing pass and immediately fired it back, from more than 40 yards. Only a retreating diving save by goalkeeper Adelaide Gay prevented the goal.
Early in second half, Madeleine Thompson returned back into the box after a corner kick and found LaBonta behind the defense. LaBonta lifted a shot, but barely over the goal.
After that, however, the Tar Heels came storming back, though Oliver was there to stop them, making two spectacular diving saves to deflect the ball over the goal, and another on the ground to stop another scoring chance.
However, it wasn't enough, and Stanford's all-time record against North Carolina fell to 0-9-3.
"Both teams showed a lot of heart," Stanford forward Courtney Verloo said. " You have to give credit to North Carolina, they came out strong and high pressure. I think we battled back just as strong and gave everything that we had. It was unfortunate that we couldn't come out with the result tonight."