Leon lifts Notre Dame to title, 1-0 over Stanford
Dec. 05, 2010
CARY, N.C. (AP) — Adriana Leon scored in the 63rd minute and Notre Dame defeated Stanford 1-0 on Sunday to win its third NCAA Women's College Cup championship.
Melissa Henderson assisted on the goal for the Fighting Irish (21-2-2), who joined North Carolina as the only schools with at least three Women's College Cup titles.
Stanford (23-1-2) had its 22-game winning streak snapped and lost in the NCAA championship game for the second year in a row.
The Cardinal had not trailed since Sept. 10, a span of 20 matches, before Leon's fourth goal of the season.
Leon blasted the ball with her left foot into the top of the net over the outstretched right arm of Stanford goalkeeper Emily Oliver.
Henderson made the play possible with one of several scoring opportunities she generated in the game played on a cold, blustery day after snow fell overnight.
She gained control of the ball in the midfield and dribbled past two Stanford defenders down the left flank. Just before she reached the end line, Henderson crossed the ball to the middle where Leon was waiting.
The Fighting Irish improved to 44-0-2 in games in which Henderson has tallied a goal or an assist.
Leon's goal came on the heels of several dangerous threats against Stanford's defense. Henderson had two shots inside the box earlier in the second half, missing the first wide right and watching Oliver save the other.
The Cardinal's best chance to score came a minute before Leon's goal, but Notre Dame goalkeeper Nikki Weiss saved a diving header by Alina Garciamendez after a feed from Lindsay Taylor on a free kick.
Stanford's Courtney Verloo nearly scored in the 17th minute of the first half, making a long run from her defender position and blasting a right-footed shot from just outside the box. The ball hooked out of the reach of Weiss, but it hit the left post and bounced away from the goal.