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Sam Leshnak ends a stellar career at UNC!

By Ohio Elite Staff, 12/07/18, 9:00AM EST


Ask a young female soccer player to tell you her future dreams in the sport and it is quite likely you will hear a response that includes playing at the University of North Carolina.  Under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach, Anson Dorrance, the powder blue and white Tar Heels have set the standard for what it means to be successful in collegiate athletics.  

Sam Leshnak was no different than many other aspiring young female soccer players.  But unlike many others, Sam was able to turn her wildest dream into a successful reality.   On December 3rd, Sam concluded her career (as a Tar Heel) by helping to lead her team to the National Championship game before falling just short at the hands of ACC rival, Florida State.  Although the result was not a story book ending, Sam Leshnak leaves behind quite a legacy and Ohio Elite would like to highlight her career (see below).  We are forever proud of you, Sam!! 

 Senior Year:

  • UNC’s starting goalkeeper
  • Did not allow a goal in 1,119 minutes and 23 seconds from Texas game on August 22 before conceding in first half of ACC final against Florida State on November 4 (The longest individual scoreless streak by a single Tar Heel goalkeeper in history)
  •  A save percentage of .829, making 34 saves and allowing only seven goals (12th best save percentage in Tar Heel history)
  • The third Tar Heel goalkeeper in history to win a penalty kick shootout, joining U.S. National Team goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris against Virginia in 2007 ACC Tournament and Bryane Heaberlin against Baylor in 2012 NCAA Tournament.

Junior Year: 

  • Started all 22 games and played all 2046:02 minutes in goal
  • Had a goals against average of 0.53 and a save percentage of .797 (ranked 12th nationally and second in ACC)
  • Ranked 15th nationally in shutouts per game at .591 
  • Recorded 13 solo shutouts. 

Sophomore Year:  

  • Earned her first career start against Villanova and made two saves in 2-0 win, playing the opening 45 minutes.

Freshman Year: 

  • Played in one game, totaling 14:32 in net.

High School: 

  • Graduated in 2015 from Mount Notre Dame High School
  • In 2014, she led the Cougars to their first-ever victory over rival St. Ursula Academy, posting a shutout 1-0 win and making a game-saving stop on a shot from the six-yard line.
  • Allowed only 24 goals in 68 career games, including just three in 15 games as a senior
  • Posted 27 career shutouts including 11 in 15 games as a senior
  • As a senior, she was an All-American, First-Team GGCL and the GGCL player of the year, was OHSAA All-City and OHSAA Division I second-team All-Ohio
  • As a junior she was first-team All-GGCL (Girls Greater Catholic League), she was OHSAA All-City and was OHSAA Division I second-team All-Ohio 

National Team: 

  • Earned her first cap with the U17 WNT, starting against U18 German WNT
  • Had been in the national team cycle since age 13
  • Attended national team camps in 2011 in Portland (U14), in 2012 in Cary, N.C. and Chula Vista, Calif. (U15), in 2013 and 2014 in Carson, Calif., Chula Vista, Calif., Columbus and San Diego (U17)
  •  Began training with U.S. U20s in November 2014 attending two camps in Chula Vista and a week-long camp in Orlando in January 2015.


  • Ohio Elite Soccer Academy
  • Attended Nike/id2 National Training camps in Portland in 2013 & 2014 and in Frisco, Texas in 2010
  • Named to All-Tournament Team at PDA ECNL National Showcase in N.J. in May 2012
  • U.S. Soccer Market Training Center participant in 2010 & 2011 

*Stats courtesy of