No. 1 Stanford Wins Thriller Against Missouri 3-2
Sept. 15, 2007
No. 1 Stanford was pushed to the brink on Friday night at Maloney Field, but came away with a 3-2 victory after junior Allison Falk's header in the 88th minute found the net and sealed the victory. The Cardinal (5-0-0) never trailed the entire game, but never were comfortable as the Missouri Tigers (4-1-0) kept the pressure on the nation's number one ranked team.
In the first half, the defenses for each team shined as Stanford was only able to get off four shots and Missouri only three. Allison McCann's shot in the 7th minute gave the Cardinal early pressure, but Missouri had the best scoring chance early when Katya Hessel's shot went over the head of Cardinal goalkeeper Erica Holland, but hit off the right crossbar.
Christen Press, who had a very strong overall game, had the next Stanford shot in the 28th minute, but was unable to convert. Press for most of the night was delivering very strong crossing pass and took three shots on net. It was a very encouraging sign for the Cardinal, who are still playing without Ali Riley, who is in China for the Women's World Cup. In the 44th minute, Press received a crossing pass but was taken down by a Tiger defender inside the goalkeeper box. This gave Shari Summers the opportunity to convert her second penalty shot in as many tries and give Stanford a 1-0 lead going into the halftime break.
In the second half, both teams turned on the intensity and had nine shots each after the slow first half. Four minutes into the second half action, Tiger forward Kristin Andrighetto tied the when she got a shot past Holland from 10 yards out. Throughout the night both teams were very resilient, and Stanford responded with a goal of their own just three minutes later. Freshman Morgan Redman finished off a beautiful crossing pass from Christen Press and Stanford once again regained the lead at 2-1.
Missouri was able to respond once again when Michelle Collins scored on a pass from Andrighetto from 10 yards out, and Missouri once again tied the score at two.
In the most dramatic action of the evening, in the 88th minute, Allison received a crossing ball and initially headed a ball that bounced off the top cross bar. The ball deflected perfectly off of the bar, and Falk was able to head in the rebound and give Stanford a 3-2 lead. The lead held up and Stanford had a 3-2 victory in the first game of the Stanford Invitational.
Stanford returns to the field again on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. to face the No. 12 Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who lost the first game of the Stanford Invitational to Santa Clara 2-1 in overtime.