Stanford edges UCLA 3-2 to win NCAA Women’s College Cup

ORLANDO, Fla. (Via NCAA) – Jaye Boissiere scored in the 67th minute to give Stanford a 3-2 victory over UCLA on Sunday and its second national women’s soccer championship.

“Hats off to UCLA, they played a fantastic game and really pushed us in the second half,” said 15th-year head coach Paul Ratcliffe. “I was pleased how we responded after they drew level and all the credit has to go to our outstanding players. They put in the work all year and have earned this to the fullest extent.”

The victory at Orlando City Stadium gives Stanford an unprecedented 114 NCAA team championships, breaking a tie with the Bruins. Also, Stanford extended two NCAA team records, winning a title for the 42nd consecutive academic year and capturing its 51st women’s championship.

Stanford (24-1) got first-half goals by Kyra Carusa and Andi Sullivan to take a 2-0 lead. But UCLA (19-3-3) countered with two goals within a five-minute span of the second half to pull even.

Eight minutes later, Boissiere struck a 23-yard shot from the top that knuckled inside the left post. Carusa fought for the ball along the end line before floating a pass into the box that Catarina Macario dropped behind to her teammate. Boissiere settled the ball with her right foot and shot with her left, scoring her ninth goal of the year.

For Boissiere, a Los Altos Hills native, the goal was the highlight of a remarkable personal comeback. A series of injuries kept her sidelined for 2 ½ seasons. The cause was a mystery until she was diagnosed with small intestine bacterial overgrowth, which had led to nutritional deficiencies and susceptibility to injury. This has been her first fully healthy collegiate season and Boissiere capped it by being named the Most Outstanding Player of the College Cup.

Macario, a freshman, assisted on all three goals. The last was her 17th of the season, breaking the school season record set by Christen Press in 2009, when many went to Kelley O’Hara.

Stanford completed a dominant season in which it set school records for goals (90) and tied the mark for shutouts (19). For a while it seemed Stanford would cruise to another victory.

In the 15th minute, Sullivan sent the ball to Macario on the left side on a buildup that began in the back. Macario’s cross was deflected off the back of a defender, but with Carusa pressuring, UCLA goalkeeper Teagan Micah misjudged the ball, which bounced over her head. Carusa pounced and, with an open net, nailed a half-volley.

Stanford’s second goal was the result of an exquisite buildup that began with a Tierna Davidson interception and run upfield, and totaled 15 passes. An uncovered Sullivan made a diagonal run from midfield and Macario’s ball had just the right pace. Sullivan let it run and first-timed a right-footed shot into the net at 25:03.

UCLA got new life when Stanford goalkeeper Alison Jahansouz fouled a Bruin on a ball that both were trying to reach. Jahansouz, who had two penalty-kick saves this season, got her hand on Jesse Fleming’s shot, but not enough to prevent the Bruins from closing the deficit. It broke a scoreless streak of 487 minutes by the Stanford defense.

Only 4 minutes, 10 seconds later, the match was suddenly even. A UCLA corner kick was flicked to the back post where Delanie Sheehan met it with a point-blank header to tie the score.

However, Stanford was undeterred. Boissiere scored and Tegan McGrady nearly got the Cardinal another when a cracker of a shot smashed into the right post.

Stanford earned its first championship since 2011 and coach Paul Ratcliffe was rewarded with his second title in 15 seasons.