The scoreboard flashed the result: Santa Clara 1, UNC 0.
Reddick's body shook with sobs as the Broncos exploded off the bench to jubilantly celebrate their first national title. The sophomore sweeper tried to stand up, but her tears brought her back to her knees on the grass of Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Eventually, a teammate helped Reddick to her feet as the awards ceremony started.
"It hurts really badly," forward Anne Remy said of the Tar Heels' first loss this season.
For so much of top-ranked UNC's undefeated season, the players have been in the right place at the right time. Set plays came together, corner kicks found Maggie Tomecka's 5-foot-11 frame in the middle and Alyssa Ramsey even knocked a game-winner into the goal with her rear end.
But in the Tar Heels' loss to Santa Clara, Remy found herself in the wrong place at the worst possible time. UNC foward Anne Morrell launched one of her signature corner-kick-like throw-ins to Sara Randolph at the top of the goal box in the 32nd minute. Randolph sliced a shot through the Broncos' defense and into the left side of the net.
After the Tar Heels (24-1) celebrated at midfield and reset the ball for kickoff, the referee blew her whistle and reneged the goal. Remy was offsides.
"I just tried not to touch (the ball)," Remy said. "But it didn't matter."
That was North Carolina's last good look at Santa Clara's goal. UNC has averaged more than 20 shots on goal this season, but managed only two against the Broncos (23-2).
"We were under withering pressure from beginning to end," UNC coach Anson Dorrance said. "They played a very well-organized back four."