No. 2 Stanford Defeats No. 18 California 4-2
Oct. 14, 2007
Stanford began Pac-10 play with a strong performance against rival California in a 4-2 victory at Laird Q. Cagan stadium Sunday afternoon. The Cardinal (10-1-1, 1-0-0 Pac-10) scored the first four goals of the afternoon to give Stanford a comfortable lead for most of the game. The victory was the 10th of the season for Stanford and marked the 20th consecutive season in which the Cardinal has reached that win total.
The Cardinal got things going very quickly in the first half with a goal from Ali Riley from point blank range in front of the net. Kelley O'Hara took the ball down the right side of the field and fired a shot that California goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini had to make a full dive for to her left. While Pellegrini was able get her hands on the ball and deflect it away, Riley was right there for a rebound shot in front of a wide open net. This goal came in the second minute and was the earliest in the game that the Cardinal has scored this season.
Stanford continued the pressure with four of the next five shots in the game, but was unable to add to their 1-0 lead. The Cardinal defense helped keep the ball on the Golden Bear side of the field for most of the first half and helped the offense keep the heavy pressure. In the 34th minute, freshman Christen Press led O'Hara on a pass that Pellegrini thought she would corral. O'Hara quickly closed on the ball and when Pellegrini dove unsuccessfully O'Hara shot into the open net for the second Stanford goal. This was O'Hara's fourth goal of the season to give her a team-leading 11 points on the season.
After the goal, Stanford substituted senior Lizzy George into the game and that moved quickly paid dividends. George scored a goal just thirteen seconds after she entered the game when senior defender April Wall led her with a pass from the Cardinal end. George quickly controlled the pass and took a shot from 35 feet away that was able to elude Pellegrini. The goal was George's third of the season and was the first assist on the year for Wall. This led the Cardinal into the half with a 3-0 lead.
Kristin Stannard started the second with her first goal of the season in the 59th minute on a penalty kick that was drawn by O'Hara. California was able to apply more pressure on the Cardinal after this point and was able to score two goals. Valerie Barnes and Katie Oakes scored for the Golden Bears in the 72nd and 84th minutes respectively. The game ended with the 4-2 final score and gave Stanford a win in their first Pac-10 match of the season.
Kira Maker notched her fifth victory as the starting goalkeeper for the Cardinal after only allowing the two late goals. She made six saves on the day, including one very impressive one when the game was only 1-0. California freshman Alex Morgan had a shot right in front of the goal and Maker was able to dive right and knock the ball away from the goal.
The Cardinal returns to the field next Friday, and begins a big weekend against the Southern California schools. Top-ranked UCLA comes to Cagan stadium on Friday, Oct. 19 for a 7:30 p.m. match and USC comes in on Sunday, Oct. 21 for a 1:00 p.m. match.
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