The seniors have waited four years for this. 2011 marked the fourth-straight year that Stanford found itself in the College Cup, but the previous three had ended short.
But on Sunday, two seniors ended that unlucky streak.
Senior midfielder Teresa Noyola’s 53rd minute goal was the difference maker for Stanford. Noyola’s header came off a cross from Camille Levin, a senior defender.
The goal held up to keep Stanford undefeated on the season and lift the Cardinal to its first-ever championship in women’s soccer. The win aleviates some of the pains of losing to Notre Dame in the 2008 semifinal, to North Carolina in the 2009 championship and again to Notre Dame in the 2010.
Duke was also seeking its first-ever championship having last advanced to a final in 1992, when the Blue Devils embarrassingly lost 9-1 to North Carolina. Duke was not without its chances on Sunday. The Blue Devils forced Stanford goalkeeper Emily Oliver to make several critical saves, including one on Kaitlyn Kerr’s 20 yard volley in the 74th minute.
Duke proved wasteful on some occasions as well, like two minutes earlier when Laura Weinberg put a volley over the bar from six yards out. Duke put in a strong showing in the second half, but could not overcome a Stanford team that seemed to have a date with destiny.
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