USD HOSTS ITS FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Satara Murray and the rest of the University of North Carolina (UNC) women’s soccer team returned to Chapel Hill, N.C., basking in the afterglow of their successful recent trip to San Diego. Murray had scored a goal in UNC’s’ 4–1 victory over Penn State in the championship match of last December’s NCAA Women’s College Cup, contested for the first time at USD’s Torero Stadium.
“I know I’ll always remember winning my first championship,” says Murray. “We’ll always remember winning it at USD.”
The first national championship event held on USD’s campus, the Women’s College Cup, was a resounding success. The four teams to qualify — North Carolina, Penn State, Stanford and Florida State — played over a three-day period, and the attendance total was 14,219.
The event, which was in the planning stage for more than a year and utilized more than 250 USD and community volunteers, was successful because of strong coordination between athletics and several campus departments.
“Across campus, we had tremendous support from everyone to make this event succeed,” says Ky Snyder, USD’s executive director of athletics.
Torero Stadium isn’t new to hosting big soccer events. It’s been the site for multiple U.S. women’s national teams, Major League Soccer and international exhibitions.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more special environment for soccer fans or for those who came to the university for the first time,” says USD Women’s Soccer Coach Ada Greenwood. “Everyone I spoke with during the weekend was highly complimentary of USD and how well the College Cup was run.’’
The university’s success in hosting the College Cup raises an obvious question. Will USD host future NCAA national championship events? Snyder says the university is slated to host a NCAA golf regional in 2015 and Fowler Park, USD’s renovated ballpark, is designed to host NCAA Regional and Super Regional events.
“We’ll continue to evaluate opportunities for hosting NCAA championships,” Snyder says. “Some are selected well into the future, while others come up year to year. We’ll go after those that make the most sense.” — Ryan T. Blystone