(Photo Credit: Stanford Athletics)
Beattie Goad has become the first Australian to win two College Cup titles as Stanford followed up their 2017 success over UCLA with a penalty shootout victory over North Carolina in the 2019 final. The Cardinal were held goalless for just the second time this season, but the undoubted top team all year held their nerve in the shootout to grab their third title in program history.
2019 NCAA Division I College Cup Final
Stanford (Beattie Goad) 0-0 North Carolina (Stanford won 5-4 on penalties)
Stanford v North Carolina. The country’s pre-eminent program of the last few seasons against one of the most storied programs in the history of college sports. The teams have already faced off once in a national championship game, with Jessica McDonald’s third minute goal delivering North Carolina the 2009 title. However, that game is ancient history with regards to this contest, as Stanford came in as heavy favourites.
With both teams possessing elite talent both in attack and defence, this match could have gone any number of ways. The first half failed to produce a goal, but it was by no means a cagey affair as Stanford piled on the pressure throughout the first 45 minutes. This was evidenced as much as anything by the fact that Stanford finished the first half with 7 corners to UNC’s zero, but it meant little as the scoreboard read 0-0 at halftime.
The early stages of the second half saw UNC come out firing, dominating the early stages and going the closest of either team to a goal in regulation time as Alessia Russo just failed to meet Isabel Cox’s ball across the box with the goal wide open. Stanford had chances of their own, with Beattie Goad finding Catarina Macario in the area, but the Brazilian-born superstar was unable to fashion an opening. Macario would test North Carolina goalkeeper Claudia Dickey on a number of occasions later in the piece, but the Tar Heels custodian remained up to the task. A frenetic final few minutes of regulation failed to result in a goal, and with 90 minutes unable to split the teams, golden goal overtime followed.
The end of regulation spelled the end of Goad’s time on the pitch as a Stanford player as the senior was subbed out for the final time at the start of overtime. With players noticeably tiring, opportunities opened up, but although North Carolina managed three shots to Stanford’s zero, a second overtime would be required.
Both teams forced saves out of the opposition goalkeepers, before Sophia Smith, who would later be named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, crashed a shot against the crossbar with Dickey soundly beaten. It was the closest either team had been to scoring all day in a game, and it almost ended the game just 95 seconds before the final whistle.
But to penalties we would go. Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer saved Taylor Otto’s penalty to kick things off, but Dickey would return the favour on Carly Malatskey’s shot to knot things up at 3-3 through four shots. Both teams slotted their next penalty, before Meyer came up with her second save of the shootout to leave Kiki Pickett with the opportunity to win it all. The junior calmly buried her penalty past Dickey, sending both the Stanford team and a crowd heavily populated with Cardinal faithful into raptures as they celebrated the team’s third national title and second in three years.
Beattie Goad finished her college career playing 39 minutes in an impact role off the bench, a role in which she had excelled most of the season after starting earlier in the year when injuries had taken their toll on the Stanford team. Goad’s second title is also the third for an Australian in four years, following Lulu Pullar’s success with USC in the 2016 College Cup.
2019 NCAA Division I College Cup Semi-Finals
Washington State (Aly Hay) 1-2 North Carolina
History dictated that North Carolina should roll to victory in this fixture, but history doesn’t play the game, and Morgan Weaver demonstrated that early in the piece. With Washington State piling on the pressure early in the piece courtesy of their high press, it didn’t take long for the Cougars to create something. A long ball from goalkeeper Ella Dederick was nodded on twice by Washington State players, and with North Carolina unable to adequately deal with the situation, Weaver buried a low shot from the edge of the box across Tar Heels goalkeeper Claudia Dickey for an early 1-0 advantage.
However, Washington State’s advantage lasted just 17 minutes before North Carolina star Alessia Russo tallied the equaliser, latching onto a neat chip from Taylor Otto just in front of the oncoming Dederick, nudging the ball home to tie the game at 1-1.
North Carolina would complete the turnaround in the 39th minute. Legendary coach Anson Dorrance is renowned for his mass substitutions heading into the back end of the first half, and his second unit, nicknamed the ‘Gamechangers’, did exactly that. Against a far less fresh Washington State starting lineup, Ru Mucherera got to the byline before whipping in a cross that was met at the back post by the head of Alexis Strickland, who buried the header for a 2-1 advantage.
However, Washington State certainly had their chances in the second half. The Cougars tested Dickey on a number of occasions and went close on several others, eventually outshooting the Tar Heels 10-8, with both teams finishing with four shots on target. On the balance of play, nobody would have been surprised if Washington State advanced to the final, but it would be North Carolina who moved on as they chase a 22nd national championship.
Backup goalkeeper Aly Hay may not have featured on-field for the Cougars, but was spotted front and centre of the Washington State bench’s goal celebrations following their early opener.
Stanford (Beattie Goad) 4-1 UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)
For the sixth time in four seasons, Teagan Micah and Beattie Goad faced off, with Goad and Stanford looking to maintain a perfect record in games between the two sides in that timespan. It took just six minutes for the first goal to transpire, but it wouldn’t be Stanford taking the lead. Instead, it was UCLA’s Chloe Castaneda launching a shot from distance that Stanford goalkeeper should have done better on that saw the Bruins open the scoring.
However, just two minutes later, Stanford star Sophia Smith equalised, nutmegging Micah with a powerful low shot that skidded through on the slick surface. Suddenly, Stanford seemed to click into action, and a prolonged period of dominance followed for the Cardinal. A second goal for Stanford seemed inevitable, and it came in the 21st minute as Carly Malatskey finished powerfully to hand her side the lead.
This quickly looked as though it was to be Smith’s day, though. Running at the UCLA defence menacingly, the sophomore took every inch that the Bruins gave her, extending the lead to 3-1 after cutting inside and finishing past Micah on her left foot.
However, late in the first half, UCLA were gifted a chance as Kennedy Wesley bundled over Bruins freshman Mia Fishel in the box, resulting in a penalty. Fishel stepped up to take the spot kick, but Meyer atoned for her earlier error with the save to keep the score at 3-1 as the teams headed into halftime.
Smith then made UCLA pay for that missed penalty, sealing her hat-trick with a finish across Micah for Stanford’s fourth and final goal in the 52nd minute. Although Micah would make a season-high ten saves for the Bruins, the senior remained powerless to prevent Stanford from rolling into the final as it was Goad’s college career that would extend until Sunday.
Goad would finish the game with 2 shots off the bench, whilst UCLA freshman Rachel Lowe saw her first College Cup action, playing 11 minutes off the bench for the Bruins.