COLLEGE: Stanford falls short in final

December, 5, 2010
12/05/10
1:00
PM PT

Christen Press will close her college career with every conceivable award -- except the one she wanted.


The Stanford senior from Palos Verdes Estates, who led the nation with 26 goals, was shut out in both games of the NCAA Division I women's College Cup -- Notre Dame did the trick in Sunday's final and pulled out a 1-0 upset over the top-ranked Cardinal.

Freshman Adriana Leon, a Canadian U-20 national-teamer, scored in the 62nd minute for the Fighting Irish (21-2-2), who beat the last three champions (USC, 2007; North Carolina, 2008 and 2009) en route to the final four. It was the first time Stanford (23-1-2) had trailed since Sept. 10, a span of 20 matches.

Notre Dame, which also won titles in 1995 and 2004, becomes the second team to win at least three national titles in women's soccer. North Carolina has 21 championships -- 20 NCAA, one AIAW -- and Portland has captured two. Five schools have won once.

Stanford, which lost to Notre Dame in the semifinals two years ago and to North Carolina in last year's final, had two outstanding chances, but Courtney Verloo hit the left post in the 17th minute and Irish goalkeeper Nikki Weiss saved a diving Alina Garciamendez header just before Leon's goal.

Press (Chadwick School), a first-team All-American who has played for the U.S. U-23 national team, is expected to win the MAC Hermann Award, college soccer's most prestigious honor, and sweep the national player-of-the-year awards.

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