Monday, December 3, 2012
North Carolina claimed its 21st NCAA Championship on Sunday as the TarHeels took a 4-1 victory against Penn State at Torero Stadium in San Diego. Former Vancouver Whitecaps standout Ranee Premji had a goal for the Tar Heels in their victory, while former Long Island Rough Riders standout Crystal Dunn added an assist for the most successful women’s soccer program in NCAA history.
The Tar Heels took an early lead through Kealia Ohai, who scored in just the second minute, but the Nittany Lions got back on even terms in the 16th minute as former Pittsburgh Riverhounds Academy standout Taylor Schram found the back of the net. Schram’s goal was assisted by former D.C. United Women standout Christine Nairn, giving her 47 points this season.
North Carolina took control from set pieces after the halftime break, however, as Hanna Gardner scored less than a minute into the second half from Katie Bowen’s corner kick. The Tar Heels scored from another corner, former Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Erin McNulty making a pair of saves before the ball came to Satara Murray who finished off the chance.
The Tar Heels capped their victory in the 75th minute as Premji scored her fourth goal of the season. Dunn was the creator, making a strong run down the left flank before centering to the Canadian international to finish first time. The championship was Dunn’s second in recent months after she had helped the U.S. U20 National Team claim the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in September.
Dunn, along with New Jersey Wildcats standout Amber Brooks, was among those named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team following the game. Penn State’s Nairn, and Brooks’ teammate with the Wildcats Maya Hayes also earned selection along with former Hudson Valley Quickstrike standout Maddy Evans. Pali Blues standout Tiffany McCarty (Florida State) was also named to the team.