After over 120 minutes of back-and-forth action in the NCAA College Cup final on Sunday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., Georgetown University won the program’s first national championship by beating the University of Virginia in a penalty kick shootout, 7-6. Both teams entered with top-five defenses in the country, yet they needed spot kicks to resolve a 3-3 draw that persisted through double overtime.
The Hoyas made their first seven penalty kicks, and freshman goalkeeper Tomas Romero played the hero by denying Swedish forward Axel Gunnarsson. Virginia, the ACC champion, entered as the No. 1 overall seed, while Georgetown, the Big East champion, entered as the No. 3 overall seed.
Virginia began brightly and found the breakthrough in the 10th minute on a redirected shot by Joe Bell. The senior midfielder’s strike from 25 yards out was deflected, giving the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead.
UVA entered with 15 shutouts on the year, but allowed a season-high three goals against the Hoyas, starting with a pair in the first half. Seattle Sounders academy product Paul Rothrock bundled home a loose ball inside the six-yard box in the 16th minute, and then freshman center back Daniel Wu deposited the go-ahead goal in the 22nd minute off a set piece.
A cagey period then gave way to a Virginia equalizer in the 58th minute, when sophomore Daniel Steedman picked out the bottom corner from a tight angle to make it 2-2. Steedman, who’s from Scotland, has featured for USL Championship side Charlotte Independence.
Georgetown junior forward Derek Dodson thought he had the game-winner in the 81st minute, having calmly slotted home after being played in by senior winger Achara. But Virginia sophomore forward Daryl Dike made it 3-3 in the 86th minute on a close-range volley off a recycled set piece.
- 10′ – Virginia – Joe Bell
- 16′ – Georgetown – Paul Rothrock
- 22′ – Georgetown – Daniel Wu
- 58′ – Virginia – Daniel Steedman
- 81′ – Georgetown – Derek Dodson
- 86′ – Virginia – Daryl Dike
- THE BIG PICTURE: This College Cup was either going to produce a historic first for Georgetown or an eighth national title for Virginia. It was ultimately the former, as head coach Brian Wiese gets a sweet reward for the program he’s erected in Washington D.C. The Hoyas routinely produce MLS-ready players, and their season now ends with a 17-game unbeaten streak. This was only Virginia’s second loss of the year, with the other coming Oct. 18 against Pittsburgh in ACC play.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The only possible choice here is Tomas Romero’s game-winning penalty kick stop. The Philadelphia Union academy product, who played extensively for Bethlehem Steel (now Union II), sprung to his right on a lackluster attempt from Axel Gunnarsson. Romero was beaten three times but came up big when his team needed him to.
— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) December 16, 2019
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Georgetown center back Daniel Wu may be a freshman, but youthful naivety was nowhere to be found from the Cary, N.C., native. He scored the Hoyas’ second goal, was calm with the ball at his feet and largely helped keep Virginia striker Daryl Dike in check.
— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) December 15, 2019