No. 6 Stanford Comes From Behind To Defeat Yale 4-1

Sept. 19, 2008

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The sixth-ranked Stanford women's soccer team continued its winning ways, dispatching Yale 4-1 this evening in the first game of the Santa Clara/adidas Classic at Santa Clara University. Junior Kelley O'Hara earned an assist and scored the game-winner to boost the Cardinal over the Bulldogs for the team's first come-from-behind victory of the year.

Yale struck first in the match to take the lead in the 18th minute, capitalizing on a free kick just outside the 18-yard box and to the right of sophomore goalkeeper Kira Maker. The Bulldogs' Megan Ashforth tapped the ball to Maggie Westfal, who fired a ball at the net that hit the end of the Cardinal wall and redirected just out of Maker's reach into the left corner of the net.

The Cardinal answered back with a goal 11 minutes later to even things up, as O'Hara crossed a ball right to Allison McCann, who headed the ball to the far post past Yale keeper Ayana Sumiyasu.

O'Hara earned a goal of her own with 30 seconds left in the half to give the Cardinal a one-goal lead heading into the midpoint. Junior Ali Riley fed a long bouncing ball to O'Hara, who found herself all alone in the box with the Bulldog goalie. O'Hara sent a half-volley at the net that beat Sumiyasu high and to the center for her fourth goal of the season.

'Yale started out very strong,' said head coach Paul Ratcliffe. 'But I think we showed great character to come back to score two high-quality goals.'

O'Hara's goal proved to be a deflating event for Yale, who struggled to put together an attack in the beginning of the second half as Stanford continued to put heavy pressure on the Bulldogs. Freshman Teresa Noyola furthered the damage to Yale in the 64th minute, when she curled a beautiful corner kick from the keeper's left into the opposite side-netting to make it 3-1. Off the following kickoff, the Bulldogs managed to put together an attempt on goal, but Maker easily snatched the ball to kill the play.

Less than a minute after Noyola's tally, Press added a fourth goal for the Cardinal as she banged in a rebound off Sumiyasu for her sixth goal of the year. The goal gave Press sole recognition as the team's scoring leader and also marked the fifth time in eight games this year that Stanford has knocked in back-to-back goals within five minutes.

Yale made major changes to its lineup following the fourth Cardinal goal and earned a few dead ball opportunities towards the end of the game, but was unable to find the net. When the final whistle blew, the score remained 4-1 in favor of Stanford.

In the second half things opened up and our possession really started to show through,' added Ratcliffe. 'It allowed us to get a couple more good goals, but I think it was critical that we got that goal late in the first half to gain the momentum.'

The Cardinal remains undefeated with the win and improves to 7-0-1, while Yale falls to 4-3-0. Stanford will finish play in the Santa Clara/adidas Classic on Sunday, taking on Cal Poly at 11 a.m. at the Broncos' Buck Shaw Stadium.

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