NCAA Tournament – Stanford vs North Carolina – Stream of Consciousness Diary

Chris’ Running Stream of Consciousness Diary of Stanford vs North Carolina

PRE – Love that Foudy acknowledged the social media questioning of the goal being offside at the start of the broadcast. Tap into that niche audience, ESPN.
PRE – Aaaaand, my tactical alignment for Stanford’s forwards was wrong, with Verloo spearheading the attack and not Ubogagu. D’oh. The perils of seeing a team play once this year.

1′ – It has to be said, that the field is an absolute embarrassment for the College Cup. I know the rain hasn’t helped matters, but San Diego had a year plus to figure out a way to ensure the field would be vaguely playable, and it’s just as messy as it was last year.
3′ – OK, ESPN’s graphic with the alignment was wrong, I think, as Stanford’s frontline looks to be lining up how I showed them in my preview.
3′ – PARITY. GGGGGRRRRRR. Note: North Carolina not winning every title isn’t parity. More teams getting to the College Cup? Not parity. Why don’t you ask the bottom hundred teams in DI how much parity there is in college soccer.
4′ – Gay kicks it right to Ubogagu. Yikes.

10′ – Gay takes a routine ball and slips a bit. Yeah. This field, folks.

11′ – Long Ohai shot is fumbled a bit by Oliver. Eek.
12′ – Stanford’s attack for much of the opening minutes has been hoofing it forward ingloriously. UNC’s built a tad more with short passes. It’s bizarro world.
13′ – OK, see, that’s why Nogueira should’ve been on the Hermann Trophy semi-finalist list. She sneaks her way up the pitch, wins a corner, and then gets a free header cleared off the line. Note to UNC: You’ve got one task on corner kicks, don’t let Nogueira get a body part on the ball.

16′ – It’s almost handbags at midnight, as Oliver briefly sees the red mist descend after Lubrano gives her the slightest of pushes as she tries to contend for a looping ball.

22′ – Gay comes waaaaay off her line and has her clearance deflected by the rushing Ubogagu. Nobody at the far post for Stanford though, and the Heels recover.

28′ – Ubogagu’s dribbling already giving UNC problems. Tighter marking needed.
30′ – Verloo bursts into space and plays a Hollywood ball into the box that just misses Ubogagu. What a pass.

31′ – Just as I’m about to type that Dunn’s been a bit muted today, she skips through two challenges and fires a low shot to Oliver.
32′ – Quon dives in for a tackle, gets nothing, and Dunn gets tracked by Thompson, which lets her spring Ohai down the left. Cross into the box is covered well though.

37′ – Gay comes out well off her line but makes another poor clearance and has to make a sprawling save as LaBonta tries to beat her from way downtown.
38′ – Ack. Gay coming off her line had nothing to do with that close shave, the poor kick forward did.

HALF – Stanford started a little shaky but settled better in the latter minutes as they stopped trying to jam it forward quickly. Gotta think that through balls to Ubogagu or Verloo are going to pay off sooner or later.
HALF – Also. The field. Yikes. Sunday’s going to be an ugly scene, I’m afraid. Dorrance mentioning how Gay was upset about the muddy field affecting her goal kicks.

46′ – Right off the bat, an Ubogagu cross finds an unmarked LaBonta at the far post, but she takes a poor first touch to see the chance go.
48′ – UNC lets a free kick bounce, and Ubogagu seems to have a good chance to hit it far post but squares unsuccessfully for Verloo.

53′ – Dunn picks LaBonta’s pocket and goes on a dribbling run but can’t slide anyone in. Dangerous.
53′ – Everyone forgets about Lubrano at the edge of the area, and Oliver just gets a fingertip on it to push it onto the bar. Spectacular save.

66′ – Wide midfielders for UNC waaaaaay back at the moment, almost forming a five-player backline with Brooks also sitting deep.
70′ – Twenty minutes to play in regulation, and it’s been an ugly, ugly half of soccer.

72′ – I just set my DVR to record another extra hour, because I’m almost expecting this one to go to a shootout at this point.
73′ – Unreal. The entire defense of North Carolina sinks in to cut out a cross from Verloo to Sydney Payne, leaving Ubogagu WIDE open at the top of the box. She hesitates, can’t pull the trigger, and it gets swept away. Yikes.

76′ – Yes, North Carolina just made six subs at once.
78′ – Dunn does what Dunn does, as she intercepts a pass and takes off the other way but gets tactically fouled by Garciamendez, who inexplicably escapes a booking.

83′ – Gay tips a shot wide…or does she? More debatable officiating.

87′ – Liedle catches Bowen ridiculously late, but hey, let’s play on, because we’re apparently playing Rugby now. And hey, she’s holding her head. WHY WON’T YOU BLOW THE WHISTLE. POTENTIAL HEAD INJURY.
90′ – Awwww. Quon had a wide open look outside the area but tried to cross it far post.

END OF NORMAL TIME – I’d be lying if I said it was a classic. Both teams playing very conservatively, with lots of numbers behind the ball. I get the feeling we could play nine hundred minutes without a goal tonight. Prove me wrong!

92′ – Ubogagu bursts forward down the far touchline but has no support in the box. A constant theme, really.
95′ – Was that it for Carolina? Dunn goes skipping forward and plays a great ball through after Brooks makes a great run, but Oliver palms it over.

HT in ET – Despite that late flurry, Stanford’s huffing and puffing a bit. Is all that bench depth beginning to pay off for UNC?

101′ – With the left-back gone walkabout, Ohai slips the gap and drives endline but sees her tight angle shot saved. Half-clearance out to Green, who shanks her shot.
105′ – GOOOOOOAL. Ohai! Stanford’s defense was out to sea, as they got dragged apart, with Dunn fighting through tackles to spring Ohai, who couldn’t be contained by Thompson, with Liedle caught out of position. Calm far-post finish and UNC’s in the final.

FINAL – Great goal to win it, but not a thrilling game, to be honest. Stanford had their chances, but they really were worn down when extra time rolled around. UNC vs Penn State should be fun on Sunday.

2 thoughts on “NCAA Tournament – Stanford vs North Carolina – Stream of Consciousness Diary

  1. cpthomas

    Good report. Am I the only one who thinks that Ohai has been the best player for the last few UNC games? She constantly is stretching the opponents’ defenses and then delivering the ball to players in scoring positions, wearing down the defenders over time. It seems appropriate that she and Dunn reversed roles in the 2nd OT.

    I guess I just really like the way Ohai plays. She seems to have more sophistication than the others.

    Reply
  2. Julie Everson

    No doubt Ohai is my favorite player she plays with passion and style. She is so under rated as a passser and play maker. Go all the way back to the U-20 World Championships she was awesome!

    Reply

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