The perfect ending to the perfect season: North Carolina defeated Maryland 2-0 Sunday to win its first national championship since 2009, and it seventh in school history — all under coach Karen Shelton.
The shutout was North Carolina's 10th on the season, and Maryland's first scoreless game since Sept. 1, 2017. Tar Heel goalkeeper Amanda Hendry had a season-high six saves.
UNC broke the scoreless tie with 14:20 left in the first half as Megan DuVernois tipped a beautiful pass from Meredith Sholder above Maryland's goalkeeper. Erin Matson buried the second with 4:30 left in the half — her third in the final two games, and 20th on the season.
Sunday's game was the seventh championship game matchup between UNC and Maryland. The Terps now hold a 4-3 record:
- 1987: Maryland 2, UNC 1 (OT)
- 1993: Maryland 2, UNC 1 (OT, PS)
- 1995: UNC 5, Maryland 1
- 2009: UNC 3, Maryland 2
- 2010: Maryland 3, UNC 2 (2OT)
- 2011: Maryland 3, UNC 2 (OT)
- 2018: UNC 2, Maryland 0
Both teams took pretty different paths in the semifinals to reach this point.
In the first game Friday, top-seeded North Carolina defeated Wake Forest 4-1 to reach its third national title game in four years.
Maryland, the 2-seed, had just one shot on goal through 77 minutes against 3-seed Princeton, but Bibi Donraadt found the back of the net with two minutes left in overtime to break a scoreless tie and propel the Terrapins over the Tigers, 1-0.
Here's the final All-Tournament team:
- Wake Forest - #17 Veerle Bos
- Wake Forest - #24 Jule Grashoff
- Princeton - #8 Elise Wong
- Princeton - #11 Julianna Tornetta
- Maryland - #10 Linnea Gonzales
- Maryland - #12 Bibi Donraadt
- Maryland - #3 Nike Lorenz
- UNC - #1 Erin Matson
- UNC - #13 Ashley Hoffman
- UNC - #22 Eva van’t Hoog
- Goalkeeper - UNC - #30 Amanda Hendry
- Most Outstanding Player: UNC #13 Ashley Hoffman
Read below for a real-time, blow-by-blow account of the championship:
Heading into the penultimate round, three of the top four teams remain.
No. 1 North Carolina is still undefeated after 21 games and took down William & Mary 4-0 in the second round, then Michigan 5-2 in the third round.
The Tar Heels' opponent is Wake Forest, the lone un-seeded team left. The Demon Deacons beat Iowa 3-2 in the second round, then upset No. 4 Duke 1-0 in double overtime to reach the semifinal.
On the other half of the bracket, No. 2 Maryland beat Albany 2-1 in the first round, then survived an overtime matchup with UConn, 2-1. The Terrapins will face No. 3 Princeton, which took down Virginia (1-0), then Harvard (2-1).
The favorites, North Carolina, have been to every semifinal since 2009, finishing as runner-up five times, but only capturing one championship. In three straight years (2009-11), the Tar Heels faced Maryland in the title game. UNC won the first matchup, but the Terps won both of the others.
Princeton won its first championship in 2012, and while Wake Forest has three titles to its name, the Demon Deacons haven't been to the national semifinals since 2008.