North Carolina Repeats as ACC Women's Soccer Champion
Nov. 9, 2008
CARY, N.C. - Top-seeded North Carolina brought home yet another Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Soccer Championship on Sunday, blanking seventh-seeded Virginia Tech 3-0 in the title game at WakeMed Soccer Park.
In claiming the tournament title for the 19th time in 21 tries, the Tar Heels (19-1-2) improved to 54-0-3 all time in ACC Championship play. This year's title is UNC's fourth straight.
"It feels wonderful to win the ACC Tournament," said Anson Dorrance, who now owns 667 wins as the Tar Heels' head coach. "It doesn't get old. The kids are different and the competition is different. Hats off to Virginia Tech. They had a tremendous ACC Tournament."
North Carolina junior forward Casey Nogueira, whose goal early in the second half pushed UNC's lead to 2-0, was voted the 2008 ACC Women's Soccer Championship's Most Valuable Player. Jessica McDonald and Courtney Jones added goals for the Tar Heels on Sunday.
The loss ended a storybook run for Virginia Tech (10-8-4), which outlasted two nationally-ranked teams - second-seeded Florida State and third-seeded Virginia - on penalty kick shootouts to advance to the championship game for the first time.
"For bits and moments of this game, we played the best we ever have against North Carolina," Virginia Tech coach Kelly Cagle said. "We have a few tears, which lets me know we're not satisfied. We are still hungry, and that's great."
Like the Tar Heels, the Hokies looked forward to Monday night and the announcement of NCAA Tournament pairings.
"We have nothing to hang our heads about," Cagle said. "Right now, we're excited to see ourselves in postseason."
The Tar Heels broke through at the 27:46 mark of the opening half, when Jessica McDonald headed a corner-kick pass from Yael Averbuch strongly into the back of the net. The goal was the Glendale, Ariz., sophomore's fourth of the season.
North Carolina was active offensively at the outset of the match, as five different players attempted a total of seven shots on goal in the first 20 minutes. By halftime, the Tar Heels held a 9-1 advantage in shots taken and had attempted five corner kicks. The final stats showed UNC with a 22-8 edge in shots attempted.
Nogueira stuck for her goal in the match's 56th minute, taking pinpoint passes from Tobin Heath and McDonald before slotting a kick inside the left post. The score was Nogueira's 21st of the season.
Jones' game-winning goal came with just 9.9 seconds showing on the clock and came off a long feed from Whitney Engen on a breakaway.
With the shutout, the Tar Heels completed the 2008 ACC Championship without giving up a score. Ashlyn Harris and Anna Rodenbough combined for the shutouts in goal.
Nogueira was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates McDonald, Heath, Engen, Meghan Klingenberg and Nikki Washington; Virginia Tech goalkeeper Kristin Carden, who had seven saves in Sunday's match, and Hokies forward Emily Jukich; Boston College's Brooke Knowlton; and Virginia's Sinead Farrelly and Sarah Senty.