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Dec. 2, 2012
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Penn State women's soccer team (21-4-2) dropped its College Cup Final match to the North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday afternoon by a score of 4-1 at Torero Stadium. Tied up at one going into the half, the Tar Heels put together three goals, two coming on corners, to seal the victory.
"I am so proud of this and leadership from the senior class," said head coach Erica Walsh. "I've learned a lot from this team. They set a standard for the Penn State women's soccer program."
Seniors Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) and Maddy Evans (Glenside, Pa.), along with juniors Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) and Taylor Schram (Canonsburg, Pa.) were named to the All-Tournament team. Nittany Lion keeper Erin McNulty (Winnipeg, Manitoba) capped off an incredible individual performance in the NCAA Tournament with seven saves in the loss. Schram scored the lone Nittany Lion goal.
Just over a minute into the contest, Carolina took a quick 1-0 lead on Kealia Ohai's ninth goal of the season. Ohai found some open space and fired a shot from the top of the 18 that skimmed the bottom of the crossbar and bounced in to give the Tar Heels a quick 1-0 lead.
Nevertheless, a scrappy Nittany Lion team battled back and found the back of the net 17 minutes later. Nairn garnered a ball in the middle of the field and played a great ball up the left wing to Schram. With Carolina keeper Adelaide Gay off her line, Schram place the ball on the far post side netting to tie the game up at one heading into halftime.
This puts our program back on the map," said Schram. "Like coach said, we were in the College Cup in 2005 and now we're back this year. Christine, along with our other seniors showed us the way. They led us through this whole thing and now hopefully next year, my class and I can step up and do the same thing they did and more."
The quick UNC attack carried over into the second half, as the Tar Heels took a 2-1 lead 48 seconds into the second half. Katie Bowen's corner kick found the feet of Hanna Gardner who tapped it in. The Tar Heels struck again in the 63rd minute on another corner kick. Bowen's corner kick resulted in two quick UNC shots that were saved by McNulty. But the rebound on the second shot resulted in a Satara Muuray goal, her first of the season, as the Tar Heels took a 4-0 advantage.
The Tar Heels went up by a count of 4-1 in the 74th minute. Ranee Premji scored her fourth goal of the season on assist from Crystal Dunn.
Winners of 15-straight Big Ten titles, Penn State posted its second-straight 20-win season and advanced to the College Cup Ttile for the first time in program history. The Nittany Lions appearance in the championship game was just the second appearance by a Big Ten school in the national championship. Wisconsin reached it in 1991.
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