Cardinal Edges Cougars for Third-Straight Conference Win

Oct. 20, 2006

Pullman, Wash. - The Stanford Cardinal picked up its third consecutive Pac-10 win this afternoon, topping the Cougars of Washington State at Lower Soccer Field in Pullman, 1-0. Allison Falk netted the game-winner in the 61st minute to lead the No. 19 Cardinal to victory. Stanford improves to 10-5-1 overall and 3-1-1 in Pac-10 play with the win, while the Cougars were handed their first conference loss and drop to 7-5-3, 2-1-1.

The Cardinal tested the Washington State defense early, with four shots on frame in the first 12 minutes of action. Freshman Kelley O'Hara fired three of the early shots at Cougar goalkeeper Brynn Bemis, but the junior denied all three attempts. Sophomore Marisa Abegg also had an early look at the goal off of a Lea MacKinnon corner kick, but her shot also went into the hands of Bemis.

In the 17th minute, junior Anna Miller took the first shot for the Cougars, but Cardinal goalkeeper Erica Holland was there to make her first of three saves on the afternoon. Washington State took three more shots before halftime, including one on target by freshman Kierten Dallstream, but the Stanford defense successfully kept the Cougars off the board. Stanford had two more first half shots, one each by Kristin Stannard and Alicia Jenkins, but could not break the 0-0 tie before intermission.

Early in the second half, the Cougars earned their only corner kick of the match, but junior Kim Bonnes' shot went wide. Stanford went back on the attack in the 55th minute, when Marisa Abegg took a crack at the goal that was knocked out by Bemis. The Cardinal earned a pair of corner kicks, and on the second try, MacKinnon served a perfect ball to Falk in front of the goal. The sophomore knocked it into the back of the net for the second goal of her career, and the second in the last three games. Stanford has now capitalized on a corner kick opportunity in three-straight matches. MacKinnon's assist was her team-leading sixth of the year.

Stanford continued to attack the Cougar defense, with seven more shots before the final horn. The Cougars were limited to just three second-half shots, and only one shot on goal. O'Hara led the Cardinal with six shots, five of which were on frame while Stannard had three shots. Bemis, who boasts the top save percentage in the Pac-10, registered nine saves for the Cougars. Stanford out-shot its 14th opponent in the last 15 games, taking 15 shots to the Washington State's seven.

'It was a very gutsy effort by our team today,' said head coach Paul Ratcliffe. 'We all did very well and we're very happy with our performance. Washington State is always a tough place to play. They're always very organized and tough to break down so we're very happy we got the result.'

The Cardinal returns to action on Sunday against the Washington Huskies, looking to pick up a fourth-straight Pac-10 win. Kickoff is set for noon at Husky Soccer Field in Seattle.

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