PSU falls in NCAA women's soccer final
SAN DIEGO — North Carolina scored three goals in the second half to beat Penn State, 4-1, and win its 21st women's soccer NCAA championship.
The Tar Heels (15-5-3), who were making their 26th appearance in the final four College Cup, won the title for the first time since 2009.
Penn State, playing in its first women's soccer championship game, finished the season 21-4-2.
With the game tied, 1-1, Hanna Gardner scored 48 seconds into the second half when she converted Katie Bowen's corner kick with a header past Penn State goalkeeper Erin McNulty. It was Gardner's second goal of the season.
Satara Murray, who had set up the Tar Heels' first goal early in the opening half, made the score 3-1 in the 64th minute when she put home a rebound of a shot by Kelly McFarlane. It was her first goal of the season.
A little more than 10 minutes later, Crystal Dunn set up Ranee Premji on a pass from the end line on the left wing, and Premji made a one-touch volley to increase the lead to 4-1.
North Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the second minute of play as Kealia Ohai rifled a shot from just outside the top of the box 18 yards into the upper right corner of the goal. Murray had set up the scoring play with high ball that led Ohai perfectly.
Penn State got even in the 26th minute when Christine Nairn slipped a pass through three North Carolina defenders to Taylor Schram (Canon-McMillan) on the left wing, and Schram shot over goalie Adelaide Gay into the far right corner.