This month marks the fourth anniversary of the quickest goal in women's college soccer history, a record that is likely never to be broken. Yael Averbuch's goal has almost 3 million views on YouTube, and since we have Yael right here in U.S. WNT training camp, we thought we'd delve deeper into how the goal came about.
Yael was a sophomore at UNC when she shot right off the kickoff against Yale (amazingly an anagram of her first name), and blasted the ball over the goalkeeper, who was caught off her line. The goal was scored four seconds from the opening whistle, but from the time she kicked it until it crossed the goal line was about 2.94 seconds. We timed it.
What was Yael thinking? We asked her:
"My coaches had screamed at me before the previous game to shoot from the kickoff, but I misunderstood them and played a two-foot pass to start the game. So, before the Yale game they talked to me about being aware of the goalkeeper's positioning and maybe taking a shot to catch her off guard. I was never expecting to score, but as I hit it, I thought, 'whoa, that has actually has a chance.' I didn't take a long run up to the ball at all. I really thought the goalkeeper was going to catch it, but then it kept sailing. I don't know if the air in New Haven is thinner (Editor's Note: We checked, it's 42 feet above sea level), but I am not sure I could ever replicate that shot again. After it went in, I couldn't even see because all my teammates we're jumping on me and freaking out.
At the time, I had no idea that it was a record or anything, it was just a fun moment for me and my team. It was even more fun to be on SportsCenter (the goal made #3 on Top 10 Plays), but truthfully, everyone seemed more excited about it than me. It took me a long time to come to the realization that this is something I would be remembered for, but when I did, that's a really fun thing as well. Over the years, sometimes I'll meet people and they'll say, 'Hey...I know you! You're the girl that scored from midfield!' I've had to recount the story for people before, but most of the time I just tell them to check YouTube. Every goal is fun to score, but this was special and one I'll always remember fondly. One of the reasons I don't think I'll ever come close to doing it again is that I don't think a coach will ever let me try!"
Check out Yael's goal below...