SAN DIEGO-The top scoring offense in the nation was nearly shutout as the Penn State women’s soccer team fell 4-1 to North Carolina in the College Cup National Championship.
The Tar Heel’s Kealia Ohai got the match off to a quick start, scoring from just inside the 18-yard line just 1:11 seconds into the match to put UNC up 1-0.
After the opening goal the Penn State defense cracked down and opportunities opened up for the Lions' scoring attack. After two missed shots from senior Christine Nairn and junior Maya Haye, Nairn was able to find junior Taylor Schram on the left side after catching UNC goalkeeper Adelaide Gay off of her line.
Schram lobbed a goal to the back right of the net in the 18th minute to tie the game 1-1.
UNC remained on the attack with a total of nine shots in the half compared to Penn State’s two. Erin McNulty continued the superb play she has displayed all tournament long with two crucial back-to-back saves in the 33rd and 34th minute.
The Lions and Tar Heels traded sides several times to close the half however either side was unable to score, ending the half with a tie.
The Tar Heels came out firing once again in the first half, scoring off of a set piece just 48 seconds in the half to take the lead 2-1. UNC’s Katie Bowen was able to arc a corner kick to Hanna Garder for a header to the back of the net.
The Lions, who have been characterized all season long by their ability to score quickly, were unable to generate any offense with the UNC completely controlling the ball early in the half, firing three shots in first ten minutes
The set piece troubles continued for the Lions as the half went on as UNC’s Satara Murray was able to score after a corner on a high beaming kick from the middle to put Tar Heels up 3-1. The Lions had several opportunities to clear but the Tar Heels were able to recover the ball multiple times.
The Tar Heels were able to ice the game with a goal from Ranee Premjii off of assist from Crystal Dunn in the 74th minute to put UNC goes up 4-1.
UNC was able to utilize its bench playing 22 players and tiring the Penn State offense. The Lions were not able to get many scoring chance and were out shot 24-12 in the game.
The win marked the 22nd national championship for the Tar Heels in their history.