North Carolina win sends all four top seeds to Women's College Cup

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.

College 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.
Att.: 904.

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