CARY, N.C. – The No. 7/10 Notre Dame women’s soccer team (21-2-0) knocked off No. 1/1 Stanford (23-1-2) in the title game of the NCAA Championship to capture its third national championship. Freshman forward Adriana Leon scored the gamewinner with 27:53 left in regulation as she knocked home a feed from junior teammate Melissa Henderson from 12 yards out.
“They don’t get old,” beamed head coach Randy Waldrum who won his second title with the Irish.
With the win the Fighting Irish improved to 44-0-2 in games in which Henderson has tallied a point. The junior BIG EAST Player of the Year also was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
“Basically, I knew we had to get forward and attack,” said Henderson. “That was our main mindset this whole tournament. If you walk in our locker room you’ll see the word ‘attack’ 50 times on the wall. Our coaches printed out flyers saying ‘attack’ and posted them everywhere, so we had that mindset going into it.”
It was the fifth shutout in six NCAA tournament games for the Irish this year. Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss finished with five saves in net. It also was her career high 10th shutout of the season. Stanford freshman goalkeeper Emily Oliver had six saves for the Cardinal, including several of the highlight variety.
Notre Dame freshmen accounted for the gamewinners in both the semifinals and finals of the College Cup.
“I left it all on the field and I’m really happy that I scored that goal,” said Leon. “When the ball was coming I just anticipated a goal, saw the open net and told myself ‘this is going in.’ I just saw the open net.”
“I can’t say enough about our freshman,” said head coach Randy Waldrum. “I joked with (Adriana) before the game that she was going to score the gamewinner.”
Notre Dame also joined North Carolina as the only schools with at least three Women's College Cup titles. Stanford had its 22-game winning streak snapped and lost in the NCAA championship game for the second year in a row.
With the victory, the BIG EAST topped off one of its best women’s soccer seasons ever. The league posted a record 12 wins during the 2010 NCAA Championship. Holding a combined 12-5-2 mark during the tournament, the BIG EAST had six teams selected for the 2010 NCAA Championship. Three teams hosted First and Second Round sites (Notre Dame, Marquette and West Virginia), while four teams advanced to the Third Round (Sweet 16) of the tournament (Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame and West Virginia).
The BIG EAST claimed its third women’s soccer national title (Notre Dame in 1995, 2004 and 2010) and captured its 30th national championship overall. In addition, the league has claimed two of the first three women’s national championships this season (Villanova women’s cross country).
1. Hannah Cerrone, Boston College, D
2. Katie Baumgardner, Ohio State, GK
3. Camille Levin, Stanford, F
4. Christen Press, Stanford, F
5. Emily Oliver, Stanford, GK
6. Rose Augustin, Notre Dame, F
7. Mandy Laddish, Notre Dame, MF
8. Courtney Barg, Notre Dame, MF
9. Adriana Leon, Notre Dame, F
Most Outstanding Player on DEFENSE
Jessica Schuveiller, Notre Dame, D
Most Outstanding Player on OFFENSE
Melissa Henderson, Notre Dame, F