Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
2. WOMEN: O'Reilly leads UNC to 18th title
December 3rd, 2006 11:27PM
Subscribe to College Soccer Reporter



U.S. international Heather O'Reilly went out as she began her college career with a national championship, leading North Carolina to its 18th NCAA women's championship Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Notre Dame at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
The Tar Heels finished a magical season with 27 successive wins after a season-opening loss on overtime at Texas A&M, tying the school record for victories in a season. They dominated possession, holding a 20-9 edge in shots against Notre Dame, and took a 2-0 lead before high-flying Irish attack could score late in the game. UNC had to be rebuilt after losing U.S. national team starters Lindsay Tarpley and Lori Chalupny, among others, to graduation. UNC coach Anson Dorrance fielded the most first-year players in UNC history when he started seven freshmen in the second half of the final.

O'Reilly and freshman Casey Nogueira both repeated their semifinal performances with goals to lead UNC past Notre Dame for the fourth time in an NCAA championship game.

O'Reilly, Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Tournament, put the Tar Heels on the board in the 18th minute with her 12th of the season and 59th of her career, drawing Irish goalkeeper Lauren Karas out of the goal, dribbling around her and then lofting a shot to the far post over three Notre Dame defenders from 15 yards out. The goal was the 15th NCAA Tournament goal for O'Reilly, tying Mia Hamm for second place in Carolina history. Only Christine Sinclair of Portland (25 goals) and Lindsay Tarpley of UNC (16 goals) have now scored more NCAA Tournament goals than O'Reilly.

Nogueira, making her first collegiate start, scored the second goal shortly after halftime on a header off a cross from Whitney Engen. Brittany Bock score the lone Notre Dame goal in the 81st minute. For the second straight game, Notre Dame stars Kerri Hanks and Michele Weissenhofer, 1-2 in the nation in scoring, were held without a goal.

"I think this team -- from the beginning we knew it was special," O'Reilly said of the young Tar Heels. "Everybody got a long so well, and everybody worked so hard for each other. I wouldn't rather win with another group of girls."

O'Reilly helped UNC win a national title as a freshman -- after returning from a broken leg that kept her out of the 2003 Women's World Cup -- but UNC failed to reach the final four in 2004 and 2005 for the first two times in its history.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent College Soccer Reporter
College Men: Stanford improves to 5-0-0 in Pac-12    
Stanford scored three times in less than 15 minutes in the second half to beat UCLA, ...
College Women: 'World-class' free kick gives Irish big win    
Notre Dame beat North Carolina for the first time ever in South Bend when a goal ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25    
There was no change in the top five in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 weekly ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25    
Unbeaten Maryland remained No. 1 in the Soccer America Men's Top 25 rankings, while North Carolina ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25    
West Virginia regained the top spot in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 weekly rankings after ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25    
There was again no change at the top of the Soccer America Men's Top 25 rankings, ...
College Men: Virginia ends drought against Carolina    
Virginia picked up its biggest win of the season when it beat North Carolina, 2-1, in ...
College Women: USC hands Stanford first defeat    
USC handed top-ranked Stanford its first loss of the season when it beat the Cardinal, 3-0, ...
Florida State falls to BC, draws to Syracuse    
Florida State, which began the week at No. 2, endured a tough road trip as it ...
Dorrance wins his 800th game as UNC women's coach    
North Carolina head coach Anson Dorrance won his 800th career win as the women's coach at ...
>> College Soccer Reporter Archives