Stanford Edged by Utah in Season-Opener
Aug. 25, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - The Stanford Cardinal fought to the final horn, but was edged by the Utah Utes, 2-1, in the opening round of the Santa Clara/adidas Classic. The loss marked just the second time in the last 20 seasons that the Cardinal was defeated in its season-opener. Stanford is now 0-1 on the season, while the Utes are 1-0.
The Cardinal began the match with aggressive offensive pressure, as freshman Alicia Jenkins put the Utes on their heels with two scoring opportunities in the first 12 minutes. The Diamond Springs, Calif. native's first collegiate shot was a hard drive from the left side that was saved by Utah goalkeeper Ashley Mason.
In the final third of the first period, Utah took the offensive momentum, testing the experienced Stanford back line. The Cardinal remained collected, denying two consecutive corner kick attempts by the Utes. At the 34:13 mark, however, a Stanford clear was intercepted by Utah's Emily Campbell and rocketed into the top left corner of the net. Stanford went into the break, trailing 1-0.
The teams battled evenly to start the second half, denying each other clear looks at the goal. With 22 minutes remaining, however, Stanford took the momentum and hounded the Utes for the equalizer. Jenkins made two hard breaks to the goal, before a cross attempt from April Wall was broken up by the Utes defense. The Cardinal continued to push, however, earning an indirect free kick attempt that sailed just high. Jenkins made two more aggressive moves to the goal before the Utes won possession.
The Utes scored their second goal at the 77:10 mark, when Kelly Isleib slipped through the Stanford defense and found teammate Adele Letro open for the score.
The setback did not faze the Cardinal offense, however, as the team quickly regrouped and moved back into Utah territory. After a close shot by sophomore Hillary Heath, Lea MacKinnon launched a pass to junior Mimi Yuhas in the left corner of the goal. Yuhas collected the cross and sent a hard drive past Mason for her first career goal. Energized, the Cardinal looked to tie with just under two minutes to play.
Stanford took back possession immediately after the restart, pushing for the equalizer. The Cardinal maintained possession, and challenged the Utes defense to the finish. MacKinnon's blast from the right side went just high at the buzzer, and the Utes held on for the win.
Stanford returns to the field on Sunday, when the squad will take on the No. 23 Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara.
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