Stanford’s first chance to go up happened in the 17th minute when Courtney Verloo carried the ball down the field, then took a shot from outside the penalty area that went off the left post. Christen Press took a shot a few seconds later but it went over the bar.
Notre Dame’s first good chance came in the 22nd minute when Henderson’s header on goal was knocked away and to the crossbar by Stanford’s outstanding freshman goalkeeper.
Notre Dame created better plays during the rest of the first half but weren’t able to get anything into the net. Stanford had zero shots on goal but also attacked well. The game was scoreless at halftime.
Five minutes into the second half, Henderson received a ball inside the penalty area, and made a last effort to get a touch on it but the ball skipped just wide of the goal.
In the 58th minute, Press played a ball to Lindsay Taylor who let the ball go through to Marjani Hing-Glover whose shot went over the goal. Notre Dame responded with a powerful attack from Henderson. She ran into the box where she cut to her right past a sliding Verloo, blasted a shot, but Oliver put her hand on it to send it away.
Stanford came close to scoring off a free kick in the 63rd minute. Lindsay Taylor took the kick to the far post where Alina Garciamendez came diving in for a header, but goalkeeper Nikki Weiss was there to stop the shot.
About a minute later, Henderson did work on the left side of the field to get past her defender, down to the end line, and play the ball back to the top of the 6-yard box where Adriana Leon shot a rocket to the roof of the net. There was little Oliver could do.
With under 10 minutes to go, Taylor took a free kick for Stanford but Weiss was there to collect to ball at the lower right corner of the goal. A few minutes later, Press took a shot but it was weak and right to Weiss.
With 5 minutes to go, Leon got a little fancy in the box, and cut around a defender, but her shot was saved by Oliver. A couple minutes later Henderson ran across the box and took a shot but Oliver once again made the save.
In the 88th minute, Leon hit a volley with the outside of her foot, but Oliver came up with a huge save again.
Stanford played the last minute with urgency but everything kept getting headed or kicked backwards.
Notre Dame was the better team of the day. They shut down Press, and they attacked well. Oliver made great saves but sooner or later, Notre Dame would score.
And so ends a great season of women’s college soccer.
Congratulations to Notre Dame and Stanford on great seasons.
Also a big congrats to the other champions this week. Grand Valley State defeated UC San Diego 4-0 in the Division 2 final, and Messiah was not able to get the third consecutive championship falling to Hardin-Simmons 2-1 in the Division 3 final.