Stanford tops Wake Forest in PKs, wins 2nd straight NCAA title

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith
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HOUSTON (AP) Andrew Epstein made two diving saves and Corey Baird and Sam Werner scored Stanford’s final shootout goals to give the Cardinal their second straight College Cup title Sunday, 5-4 over Wake Forest after the teams played 110 scoreless minutes.

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Stanford didn’t allow a goal in the tournament, becoming the first team since Wisconsin in 1995 to accomplish the feat and win the national championship.

The game was the sixth national championship to go to penalty kicks, and the first since Virginia beat UCLA in 2014. Stanford beat Wake Forest 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals last season on the way to its first national championship.

Cardinal coach Jeremy Gunn improved to 4-1-1 in the College Cup. Prior to leading Stanford to the national championship last season, Gunn guided Charlotte to the 2011 College Cup as well.

Wake Forest came out firing in the second half, recording three shots and a corner in seven minutes.

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Stanford answered with its attack and Wake Forest goalkeeper Andreu Cases Mundet was solid. In the 71st minute, Mundet saved a goal laying on his back and somehow keeping the ball from crossing the line fully. Seven minutes later, he dove left to deflect away Adrian Alabi’s header.

The opening 30 minutes belonged to Stanford, with the Cardinal outshooting Wake Forest 4-1 and holding a 3-1 edge in corner opportunities. Two of the corner attempts came in the opening five minutes.

Wake Forest ended up outshooting Stanford 10-9, and leading 5-4 in corners.

Demon Deacons made a push toward the end of the first half, firing a pair of shots toward goal.