A little over 10 minutes later North Carolina's Crystal Dunn set up Ranee Premji on a pass from the end line on the left wing and Premji made a one-touch volley to cap the scoring.
“Everytime we tried something, Carolina came back with something else,” Walsh said. “On this day Carolina was the better team and I think the score line is a good indicator of this game went and credit goes to them today.”
North Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the second minute of play in the first half as Ohai rifled a shot on her left foot from just outside the top of the box 18 yards out into the upper right hand corner of the net. Murray had set the scoring play up with perfect high ball that led Ohai perfectly. For Ohai, who scored the overtime game-winner in North Carolina's semifinal final, the goal was her ninth of the season.
Penn State got even in the 26th minute when Christine Nairn slipped a pass through three North Carolina defenders to Taylor Schram on the left wing and Schram shot over goalie Adelaide Gay into the far right hand corner. It was Schram's fifth goal of the season.
North Carolina outshot Penn State, 24-12 for the game, including 9-4 in the first half and 15-8 in the second.
“To have this kind of finish is just extraordinary,” Dorrance said. “I think we overachieved. I thought our NCAA seeding was too high. I thought we should have been a third seed. So when we were second I thought that was a great break.”
Dorrance noted how the tournament has changed so much over his 34 years of coaching.
“It's a longer tournament now,” he said. “Back in the real old days I think you played one game you were in the final four and you had to win two games. Now it's a trek — a six game marathon — and it's not easy. A single game elimination any one can lose, we could have lost, so I consider our championship obiously marvelous, but we definitely got some breaks along the way.”