And then there were two.
On Friday, the No. 1 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers and the No. 2 ranked USC Trojans punched their tickets to Sunday’s NCAA Women’s College Cup Championship match at Avaya Stadium after capping thrilling 1-0 victories, respectively.
In dramatic fashion, junior forward Michaela Abam’s 74th minute goal lifted the Mountaineers over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first semi-final match, while a 60th minute goal from Katie Johnson secured a win over the Georgetown Hoyas in the second fixture.
It’s a storied East Coast program against a storied West Coast program and we take a closer look at both team’s ahead of the College Cup championship.
#1 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. #2 USC Trojans | ESPNU, 3 p.m. PT
The West Virginia Mountaineers (23-1-2) come into their first-ever national championship match with a 17-game unbeaten streak. Their impressive unbeaten streak has been fueled behind their defense, securing a program-record 18th shutout of the season with the win. The Mountaineers outshout North Carolina 13-8 in the semi-final match, six of which were on goal. Forward Michaela Abam, the game’s lone goal scorer, unleashed a game-high four shots on target. The goal was Abam’s 12th goal of the season, a team high. The Mountaineers are also led in the attack by Sh’Nia Gordon, who has contributed seven goals in 2016, and Ashley Lawrence, who boasts 10 assists in her senior campaign.
The USC Trojans (18-4-2) have advanced to their second College Cup Championship after winning the program’s lone title in 2007. After Friday’s win over the Hoyas, USC has now extended their shutout streak to five games. Their lockdown defense, which has accumulated 16 shutouts in 2016, is due in large part to the contributions of Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year Sammy Jo Prudhomme and Pac-12 Defender of the Year Mandy Freeman, who were instrumental in limiting Georgetown’s dynamic attack Friday night. Forward Katie Johnson notched her eight goal of the season in the victory. The Trojans are also led up top by forward Alex Anthony, who has tallied 10 goals and five assists in 2016, and midfielder Morgan Andrews, who has reared nine goals and 4 assists this season.