Morgan Goff did all she could, but in the end it was quite enough as North Carolina came up just short in the NCAA women’s soccer College Cup Final, falling to Stanford in penalty kicks.
Goff played a pivotal role in the Tar Heel’s brilliant defensive effort to hold one of the nation’s top offenses scoreless over 110 minutes of play.
North Carolina played in a new formation in the championship game — a 4-3-2-1, something they hadn’t done all season. And Goff was a key player in the formation, resting as a defensive central midfielder, just in front of the two center backs. Her job was to slow down Stanford target forward Madison Haley, the daughter of former NFL player Charles Haley.
“With all due respect to Sophia Smith (who scored a hat trick in the semifinal against UCLA), (Stanford) revolves around Madison Haley,” said North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance. “We had to come up with an idea on how to stop her. We were spitballing because we lost a significant player (Emily Fox) before we got here. Morgan Goff sat on top of our two CBs. Every time Haley got it, she doubled back. This remarkable player in Madison Haley was controlled. I want to give Goff full credit.”
Goff’s performance was good enough to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team, along with two other Tar Heels. A senior, Goff ended her career at North Carolina as a two-time national runner-up. The Tar Heels lost to Florida State in last season’s championship.
Goff ended her career with 30 games started (14 of them in 2019). Though she was primarily a defensive and midfield player, she did bag four goals and four assists in her four seasons.