SAN DIEGO -- The Stanford women's soccer team just can't get past North Carolina.
The top-ranked Cardinal lost again to the Tar Heels, falling 1-0 on Friday night in the College Cup semifinals on a drizzly night at Torero Stadium in San Diego in front of an announced crowd of 7,289.
Stanford (21-2-1) fell in the 105th minute on a golden goal by Kealia Ohai that hit the far left post and bounced into the net behind goalkeeper Emily Oliver.
"Big-time players make big-time plays," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said after a grueling battle of wills by the country's two premier programs.
The Cardinal is 0-9-3 against Carolina, losing in the 2009 NCAA championship in another tense match.
The Tar Heels (14-5-3) will play Penn State on Sunday for the championship.
North Carolina has won 20 of 30 titles but had missed the previous two College Cups.
"Both teams showed a lot of heart," said striker Courtney Verloo, who kept the pressure on offense. "We battled back just as strong."
But Ohai and under-20 World Cup teammate Crystal Dunn had too much energy in the second overtime as the Cardinal found itself on its heels.
The game winner came on a build up from Katie Bowen, who found Dunn moving forward.
Although stopped by two defenders, the crafty midfielder kept the ball and served to Ohai on the right.
"That was the best chance of the game," North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance said. "It was an engineered attacked with a composed finish."
It took a perfect play to beat Oliver, who had 10 saves in brilliant effort that kept Stanford's chances alive of reaching its fourth consecutive title game.
"I was proud of how everybody battled," she said. "Our whole back line was great."
But it seemed as if Stanford was under siege as North Carolina had 20 shots, 11 on goal. Ohai and Dunn combined for seven of them.
"These two make a huge difference for our program," Dorrance said.
Neither team could convert a goal over 90 minutes but it took Oliver's huge save with 5:40 left in the first overtime on an open shot by Amber Brooks to keep the game going. Oliver again had to block a shot on frame in the second overtime when Ohai broke through the defense.
Stanford expected a rough outing against Carolina. About 1 ½ hours before the start Ratcliffe talked about the Tar Heels would go after his team from the start.
"Player for player they have incredible talent," he said.
So did Stanford, whose 10 seniors had reached the College Cup in every year they played. The seniors have gone 94-4-4, including 52-0-1 at home and 40-0-0 in Pac-12 play.
Penn State 2 Florida State 1: Christine Nairn scored in the second minute of overtime as the Nittany Lions advanced to their first NCAA title game in history. Penn State (21-3-2) reached the final after losing in three previous semifinal games with the golden goal after the Seminoles stunned it with an equalizer with 44 seconds left.
Maya Hayes started the game-winning play with a pass to Maddy Evans. The midfielder fired a 25-yard ball into the penalty box where it bounced twice to the foot of Nairn with no one marking her.