North Carolina blew a 2-0 lead over UCLA and needed the shootout heroics of goalkeeper Samantha Leshnak
to beat the Bruins, 4-2, at WakeMed Soccer Park’s Koka Booth Stadium, next door to
Sahlen’s Stadium, site of the Women's College Cup in Cary.
The Tar Heels complete the 2018 Women's College Cup field that includes all four regional No. 1 seeds. In addition to UNC,
defending champion Stanford, ACC champion Florida State and unbeaten Georgetown also won their quarterfinal matches.
Goals by Julia Ashley
and Dorian Bailey
gave Carolina a
2-0 lead in the 53rd minute, but Hallie Mace
, who played for the USA in the Concacaf Women's Championship, scored a pair of goals just 53 seconds apart to tie the game at 2-2.
Leshnak, who matched her career-high with six saves over the 110 minutes, saved penalty kicks by Julia Hernandez
and Canadian national team starter Jessie Fleming
in the third and fourth
rounds to give Carolina its third victory in eight shootouts in the NCAA Tournament. Ashlyn Harris
and Bryane Heaberlin
won shootouts in 2007 and 2012, respectively.
One of the successful penalty-takers for Carolina was Claudia Dickey, a backup keeper.
Cup. UNC’s trip to Cary will be its 28th appearance at the College Cup but just the fourth in the last decade after appearances in 2009, 2012 and 2016. Its 21 championships are more
than all other teams combined have won (15).
Nov. 24 in Cary, N.C.
North Carolina 2 UCLA 2 (North
Carolina wins 4-2 on penalties). Goals: Ashley (Wubben-Moy) 3, Bailey (Schultz) 53; Mace (Sanchez) 57, Mace (Sheehan) 58.
North Carolina -- Leshnak, Fox, Ashley, Wubben-Moy, Bingham,
Otto, Pinto, Bailey, Schultz, Andrzejewski, Kimball. Subs: Dickey, Spruill, Mucherera, Kingman, Dorwart, Jones, Goff.
UCLA -- Micah, Sheehan, McCullough, Rodriguez, Mace,
Villacorta, Athens, Fleming, Canales, Sanchez, Castaneda. Subs: Brzykcy, Faulknor, Hernandez, Dunphy, Satterwhite, Reyes.