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NCAA Dec 05, 2022

UCLA and North Carolina facing off in Women’s College Cup Final

No. 1 seed UCLA (21-2-1) vs. No. 2 seed North Carolina (20-4-1)
Date/Time: Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 – 6pm ET / 3pm PT
Location: Cary, N.C. (WakeMed Soccer Park)
TV: ESPNU
Talent: Jenn Hildreth, Julie Foudy 
Live Stats: ncaa.com

CARY, N.C. – No. 2 quadrant seed North Carolina will face No. 1 ranked UCLA in the championship match of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship on Monday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. at Wake Med Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

The Tar Heels are making their 27th NCAA championship game appearance (28th overall) and third in the last five years. UNC is 21-5 all-time in NCAA championship games (22-5 overall). This will be North Carolina’s second appearance in the championship game as a No. 2 seed, winning the 2012 championship from that seed line.

The 2022 Tar Heels will look to join the 2012 Tar Heels and 2013 UCLA as the only teams to defeat three No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. In 2012, Carolina defeated BYU, Stanford and Penn State.

Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 2001, Carolina has a record of 6-0-1 in NCAA championship matches.

North Carolina is 8-2 in College Cup games played at Wake Med Soccer Park including a 3-1 record in national championship games. UNC won the national championship at the venue in 2003, 2006 and 2008.

Top-seeded and top-ranked UCLA (21-2-1) has advanced to the NCAA Championship game for the sixth time in school history and first time since 2017. The championship match against No. 2-seeded and No. 2-ranked North Carolina (20-4-1) will take place on Monday, Dec. 5 at 6pm ET/3pm PT at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. and will be televised live on ESPNU. The Bruins earned their way into the final after a 3-0 victory over No. 1-seeded Alabama in the semifinals.

UCLA will be seeking its second NCAA women’s soccer title and 120th overall NCAA title. The Bruins’ first and only NCAA Championship came in 2013 in Cary after UCLA defeated Florida State 1-0 in overtime on a 97th minute golden goal by Kodi Lavrusky.

FINALS MATCHUPS BETWEEN UCLA AND UNC
Monday’s final will be the second UCLA-UNC championship matchup. The first took place in 2000 in San Jose, Calif., in UCLA’s first-ever championship game appearance. North Carolina won that matchup, 2-1. The two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament six previous times, with UNC holding a 4-1-1 advantage. The last meeting came in the 2018 quarterfinals in Cary. The Tar Heels advanced on PKs after a 2-2 tie. UCLA’s victory came in the 2013 quarterfinals in Chapel Hill, a 1-0 double overtime victory. The Bruins went on to win the NCAA Championship that season in Cary.

BLUE BLOODS ARE LAST TWO STANDING
The last two teams to hold the No. 1 ranking in the United Soccer Coaches poll are the last two teams standing. North Carolina held the top spot after the first two weeks of play before UCLA’s win over the Tar Heels and No. 2 Duke put the Bruins at No. 1 for the remainder of the regular season. North Carolina and UCLA rank one and three, respectively, in finals appearances with 27 and six. Notre Dame ranks second with eight.

BACK TO CHAMPIONSHIP 
UCLA will be playing in their sixth championship game on Monday. The Bruins’ last championship game appearance came in 2017 in Orlando, a 3-2 loss to Stanford. Two current Bruins were in Orlando for that game – goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, who was on the bench as a freshman, and UCLA head coach Margueritte Aozasa, who was an assistant coach on Stanford’s squad.

HOPING TO MAKE HISTORY  
UCLA head coach Margueritte Aozasa is looking to become only the fourth female head coach to win a NCAA Soccer Championship, joining Becky Burleigh (Florida, 1998), Amanda Cromwell (UCLA, 2013) and Erica Dambach (Penn State, 2015). Aozasa is also looking to become just the second Asian American head coach to lead their team to the NCAA title, joining Hank Leung, who guided George Mason to the 1985 title. A UCLA victory would also tie the school record for most victories in a season wtih 22.

SCOUTING THE TAR HEELS
North Carolina enters the championship game with a 20-4-1 record. The No. 2-seeded Tar Heels are outscoring opponents 16-5 in NCAA Tournament play and have beaten  two No. 1 seeds to get to the final, downing Notre Dame 2-0 in the quarterfinals and Florida State 3-2 in the semifinals. North Carolina is seeking its first championship since 2012 and 22nd overall. This is North Carolina’s first championship game appearance since 2019. They also made the championship game in 2018. The Tar Heels are 21-5 all-time in NCAA championship games.

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