Press And Falk Lift Stanford Over UC Santa Barbara In NCAA First Round
Nov. 14, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - Sophomore Christen Press scored the game-winner and earned an assist, as the top-seeded Cardinal passed its first test of the 2008 NCAA DI Women's Soccer Championship, defeating UC Santa Barbara 2-0 in first-round action Friday night at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
'Christen had a great game,' said Cardinal head coach Paul Ratcliffe. 'Our team created several quality chances on a solid Santa Barbara team. We're happy with the 2-0 result, but now we have to move on and focus on Sunday's game.'
After playing to a scoreless tie in the first half, Press got Stanford on the board just six minutes into the second half, capitalizing on a Gaucho turnover in the penalty box. Press collected the ball and calmly fired it into the lower-left corner of the net for her 14th goal of the season, giving Stanford the 1-0 lead.
The Cardinal continued its relentless attack, doubling its lead at 78:20. Press' corner kick found senior Allison Falk, who rose above the crowd and headed the ball off the crossbar and just over the goal line for Stanford's second and final goal of the game.
'Scoring that goal was great, but I'm just glad we got that first win under our belt and gained the momentum we need to keep going,' said Falk.
The Cardinal fired 30 shots and forced UCSB keeper Ali Cutler to make 11 saves. The Gauchos only managed five shots as Stanford's sophomore goalie Kira Maker posted her 11th shutout of the year without having to make a save.
Stanford will take on Kansas, which defeated Denver 2-1 in the night's earlier first-round match, in a second-round matchup Sunday at 1 p.m. at Cagan Stadium.
'We will have to play to the best of our ability on Sunday,' said Ratcliffe. 'It's not going to be an easy match by any means, and we're going to have to play well the entire 90 minutes to get the result we want.'
Falk seconded her coach's thoughts. 'Kansas is tough, and we'll have to leave everything on that field if we want to beat them. That's how it is when you get to the NCAAs; you have to step on the field and battle intensely.'
Tickets for Sunday's match are still available and can be purchased at Stanford's ticketing office and at the soccer box office on Sunday.