Stanford wins 2nd NCAA title, 3-2 over UCLA
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Stanford midfielder Jaye Boissiere scored the winner in the 67th minute as the Cardinal claimed their second NCAA women's soccer title with a 3-2 win over UCLA.
Boissiere's left-footed shot from 25 yards supplemented first-half goals from Kyra Carusa and Andi Sullivan to give Stanford its 22nd straight win this season and first title since 2011. Catarina Macario was credited with assists on all three goals.
The Cardinals, who defeated Pac-12 rival UCLA during the regular season, dominated possession for much of the game, just missing several chances to expand the lead while outshooting the Bruins 15-2.
''You never really like to see an opponent a second time when you already have beaten them because they have more fire, more fuel to beat you,'' Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. ''But it showed the mentality of our team that they didn't succumb to that. The character of this team has been very strong all season
UCLA (19-3-3) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game on second-half goals from Jessie Fleming and Delanie Sheehan. However, Boissiere's shot curled just inside the far post, and UCLA was unable to find an equalizer.
''We were very opportunistic,'' UCLA coach Amanda Cromell said. ''We got so momentum in the second half, but you use so much energy, emotional and physical, tying it up and then Stanford picked it up again.
''That goal by Boissiere was world class.''
Boissiere had plenty of space to line up the shot, but the fact it came from 25 yards and was driven low and hard just inside the far post made it memorable.
''When you're given that much time and space, you have to capitalize on it and I did,'' Boissiere said. ''I just saw an opening and took it.''
Stanford dominated the first half, but it took a misplay by UCLA keeper Teagan Micah for the Cardinal to get on the board. Micah misplayed a carom pass by Macario, letting it bound over her head and on to Carusa's foot. The Cardinal forward quickly volleyed the ball into an open net 15 minutes into the game.
Ten minutes later, Sullivan made a timely cut through the UCLA defense, took a perfect pass from Madison Haley and was free just inside the penalty box. She whipped a right-footed shot past Micah.
Fleming scored UCLA's first goal on a penalty kick after Stanford goalie Alison Jahansouz tackled forward Zoey Goralski in the penalty box.
The second UCLA goal was a textbook set play. Julia Hernandez nodded on a corner kick from Anika Rodriguez to Sheehan on the back post, and the Bruins freshman midfielder headed it home in the 59th minute.