For 80 minutes on Monday night, North Carolina looked like it was on its way to a national title.
Yet some late-match heroics, including a wild game-tying goal from Reilyn Turner with 16 seconds left, brought top-seeded UCLA back into it in the NCAA women’s soccer championship game in Cary, North Carolina on Monday night.
Maricarmen Reyes in the 107th minute finally won the match for the Bruins, 3-2 in double overtime, giving them their first title since 2013.
The Bruins, who reached the championship match with a 3-0 win over Alabama, held their lead the rest of the way.
North Carolina led most of the match. Avery Patterson scored first in the 58th minute for the Tar Heels, and scored again in the 75th minute to put the Tar Heels up by two on what was her 13th goal of the season.
Five minutes later, UCLA struck back.
First it was Lexi Wright who scored, finishing off a ball in the box to put the Bruins on the board in the 80th minute.
Then, with just 16 seconds left on the clock, Turner headed in a ball right at the net off a corner kick from Ally Lemos, sparking a wild celebration and forcing overtime.
That goal wasn’t without controversy. There was plenty of contact in the net, and the North Carolina goalie appeared to be pushed to the ground. Officials, however, didn’t call a foul, so the goal stood.
That sent the match to overtime, where Reyes eventually sealed the win and the national title.