Stanford Cardinals Win Both NCAA Soccer Titles
It is not often that you see the men and women trophy of the NCAA soccer tournament going to the same school in a season. In what can be described as an interesting situation, the Cardinal men and the Cardinal women clinched their respective titles within a space of one week, making national history.
The Stanford male team went into the game as two teams defending champions, having won the tournament in the last two previous seasons, but entered into the tournament as the number 9 seed. They had defeated Akron 2-0 in the semi-final fixtures that saw second seed Indiana knocking off North Carolina 1-0, video highlights click here.
They knew they had an uphill task if they were to be crowned champions and went into the game with the right approach. Indiana was the only team that was yet to lose any game in the tournament, and the game remained goalless after the fulltime whistle. The breakthrough came in the second overtime, precisely in the 103rd minute when Werner latched into an Indiana turnover and blasted the ball past goalkeeper Trey Muse. The lone goal was enough to see the Cardinal win the tournament three times in a row.
Meanwhile the Stanford female team had won the female version of the tournament the previous weekend after defeating their counterparts from UCLA 3-2 in normal time. The Cardinal women had raced into a 2-0 lead in the first half of the match but UCLA rallied round to equalize in the second half, sending fear down the spine of the Stanford squad and fans. The team, however, responded well by finding the back of the net once again before regulation time, bringing their winning streak to 22 wins in a row and securing the National Championship.
The two wins means that Stanford is the first school to win both NCAA soccer titles in the same season.