Today’s Women’s College Cup Final was really a tale of three different games. The first game was the first half and it was all-Stanford.
Maybe it was the toll of have played a double overtime game on Friday night against Duke, but, in the first half, the Bruins just came out looking flat. Stanford came out of the gate looking faster and more aggressive than UCLA. And, it paid off with two first half goals for the Cardinal and it was 2-0, Stanford, at the half.
The second game was played during the first 15 minutes of the second half. After the break, the Bruins came out and were able to pick up two goals in a four-minute span to tie the game up.
The Bruin rally came when Jessie Fleming drew a penalty kick in the 55th minute and Fleming took that kick and hammered it home to the right side, despite the fact that Cardinal goalkeeper Alison Jahansouz got her hands on it.
Then, just four minutes later, Delanie Sheehan put a header into the net off a corner kick by Anika Rodriguez. Julia Hernandez also got an assist on the goal.
And, so it was tied with 30 minutes left to play.
In the 67th minute, Stanford recaptured the momentum and, ultimately, the game when Jaye Boissiere scored the Cardinal’s third goal of the game. That goal turned the tide of the game as it seemed to deflate the Bruins as they were forced to play catch up again while Stanford seemed to regain their first half aggression.
In the end, though, UCLA could not get another equalizer and Stanford won the game, the national championship and, in the process, passed UCLA for the most NCAA titles by any school.
How long will Stanford hold that lead? That now depends on the outcome of today’s Men’s Water Polo Championship game when UCLA fights Southern Cal for that national championship.
Regardless of the outcome of that game, the future of UCLA Women’s Soccer does look bright as the roster is filled with a talented, young core of players and I won’t be the least bit surprised to see these two teams meet in another Women’s College Cup Final over the coming years.