Stanford became only the second team to win three straight NCAA Division I men's championships when it beat Indiana, 1-0, in Sunday's final at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.
Werner, a junior from Montana by way of the Portland Timbers academy, scored the golden goal in the second overtime when he took the ball away from Indiana's Griffin Dorsey at the top of
the area, fell to his knee but quickly recovered and slotted a shot over Hoosier freshman keeper Trey Muse and under the crossbar for the winning goal.
Werner said he wasn't sure what happened but he was happy to decide the game in overtime
and not have to go to penalty kicks, where the Cardinal beat Wake Forest to win the 2016 title on Werner's penalty kick in the sixth round.
“It felt great," he said. "It certainly
took some pressure off, getting one in overtime.”
The three-peat was the first since Bruce Arena led Virginia to four straight titles in 1991-94. Five other times, teams have
tried to win a third straight championship and lost in the final: Saint Louis (1964, 1971 and 1974), San Francisco (1977) and Indiana (1984).
“We’ve been fortunate enough
through our hard work to be standing and celebrating at the end of the season three times," said Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn, who has won three Division I title at Stanford and one Division
II championship at Fort Lewis. “It’s really, really cool. We get the success at the end, saying that we’re champions, and to have that three times is amazing. It really is.”
With Sunday's victory, Stanford also became the first Division I school to win national titles in both men's and women's soccer in the same season.
NCAA DI men's repeat champions: YEARS TEAM 2015-17 Stanford 2003-04 Indiana 1998-99 Indiana 1991-94 Virginia
1982-83 Indiana 1975-76 San Francisco 1972-73 Saint Louis 1969-70 Saint Louis 1967-68 *Michigan State 1962-63 Saint Louis 1959-60 Saint Louis *Co-champion
The Cardinal had the edge in shots -- 13-5 -- but neither team could score before Werner's goal. Muse, who spent last summer with the Sounders FC 2 in the USL, made good stops
on Bryce Marion and Corey Baird.
The Stanford shutout was the 12th in a row, extending to more than 1,214 minutes -- an NCAA record -- and marking the two consecutive NCAA
Tournament in which the Cardinal didn't allow a goal.
"I don't think what it means to us and what it means to the university and program will sink in for a few weeks," said senior
defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce, one of four starters on all three championship teams and a possible No. 1 pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
The loss was the first of the season for
Indiana, which finished with an 18-1-6 record.
“It’s a tough one,” Hoosiers coach Todd Yeagley said. “Griff thought he had a little window to make the play.
The kid finished it really well. It won’t be our focus certainly, but it’s one that we’ll learn from. The overtime is tough, it’s so sudden. We felt really good heading into