This past weekend saw Orlando City Stadium host the NCAA Division I Women’s College Cup, with the tournament returning to Central Florida for the first time since 1983. Four of the best women’s college teams in the nation squared off in a two day, three game tournament to determine the eventual champion.
The Stanford Cardinal, UCLA Bruins, Duke Blue Devils and South Carolina Gamecocks all traveled to Orlando, with the semifinals between Stanford and South Carolina and Duke and UCLA taking place on Friday, with the final match on Sunday.
In the first game, Stanford dominated South Carolina, controlling most of the possession and scoring the only two goals of the game. Both Cardinal goals came before the half hour mark as Stanford did not let up throughout the game, moving on to the final with the 2-0 win.
The second match on Friday between Duke and UCLA took 120 minutes and five rounds of penalties before a winner was decided. With a 0-0 scoreline after 90 minutes and two periods of extra time, the game went into a penalty shootout to decide the victor. UCLA freshman Marley Canales fired home the game-winning penalty for the Bruins to help them move on to the championship game in dramatic fashion.
The final was an all PAC-12 matchup between Stanford and UCLA, who had faced each other earlier in the season, with Stanford winning that matchup 1-0 at UCLA. The Cardinal ladies struck first, scoring just 15 minutes into the match, then adding a second just 10 minutes later, putting Stanford in the driver's seat. However, the Bruins battled back, earning and scoring a penalty in the 54th minute, then tying the game up with a header just five minutes later.
The game came down to the final 30 minutes, before Stanford’s Jaye Boissiere scored an absolute stunner from 30 yards out, beating UCLA’s keeper and giving the Cardinal the lead, one that they would not relinquish.