Sixth-Ranked Stanford Gets Eighth Win, Defeats Cal Poly 3-0
Sept. 21, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The sixth-ranked Stanford women's soccer team earned its eighth victory in nine games today at Santa Clara's Buck Shaw Stadium in the first game of the final day of the Santa Clara/adidas Classic, defeating Cal Poly 3-0. Freshman Teresa Noyola netted a penalty kick at the beginning of the first half for the game-winner, while junior Kelley O'Hara scored her second goal of the weekend to ensure the Cardinal remained undefeated at 8-0-1.
Stanford wasted no time in getting its offense firing. In the seventh minute, sophomore Morgan Redman switched the ball from the left side to freshman Lindsay Taylor on the right. Taylor then fed the ball to fellow freshman Camille Levin, who beat her defender with a move to the side and began to break towards the net. Before Levin could entirely get away, a Mustang defender slid Levin's legs out from underneath, forcing the center ref to award a penalty kick to the Cardinal. Noyola lined up at the 12-yard spot for Stanford, swiftly netting the ball on the ground into the side netting to the keeper's right to give the Cardinal the 1-0 lead.
Play exchanged back and forth fairly evenly for the next 30 minutes, with both teams earning solid scoring chances but being unable to find the back of the net, until the final five minutes of the half. With 2:50 left to go in the first half, Cal Poly brought the ball into Stanford's box but was unable to cleanly hold on to the ball. Both teams collapsed on the loose ball and a scrum broke out in which sophomore goalkeeper Kira Maker and a few Cardinal defenders made saves amongst several bodies from both sides. Eventually the Stanford defense able to clear the ball out of harms way after a valiant effort.
The excitement didn't end there though, as the Cardinal immediately transitioned the ball to redshirt junior Hillary Heath. Heath sent the ball over to O'Hara who brought it down the right side of the field and fired a low, hard shot to the near post while under pressure. Mustang goalkeeper Coral Hoover got her right hand on the ball but couldn't keep it out of the goal, putting Stanford up 2-0 heading into halftime.
The Cardinal offense kicked it into high gear in the second half, pelting 11 shots the Cal Poly goal, but narrowly missing each time, until the 76th minute. Maker came out of her box to intercept a Mustang through-ball, and promptly sent a long ball to Levin in the midfield. Levin then carried the ball forward, finding junior Kristin Stannard in stride. Stannard then beat the Cal Poly keeper with a touch to the side, and blasted the ball into the net for her second goal of the year before any of the Mustang defenders could catch up. Maker was awarded an assist on the play, a rare occurrence for a goalkeeper.
The Stanford defense did its part as well, diffusing much of the Cal Poly attack and limiting it to a few shots from 30-40 yards out, making things relatively easy for Maker and helping her to her sixth shutout of the year.
'The defense is playing very strong,' commented head coach Paul Ratcliffe. 'We have great leadership back there with Abegg and Falk. Alicia Jenkins and Ali Riley are also playing well, and Kira has been there for us if and when they get through.'
The Cardinal captured the Santa Clara/adidas Classic title, having been the only team to win both games on the weekend. Levin was named to the tournament's most valuable player and was also selected to the all-tournament team. O'Hara, Taylor, and senior Allison Falk joined Levin in being selected to the all-tournament team.
'Cami had a fantastic tournament,' praised Ratcliffe. 'I'm really proud of her and she's improving with every game. She scored one on Friday and created our first goal with a fantastic little dribbling move into the box. She got behind the defender and the defender had to take her down.'
Stanford will host its final home non-conference match at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium this coming Friday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m., taking on the Saint Mary's Gaels for the first of two consecutive one-match weekends. The following weekend, the Cardinal will head back to Santa Clara to face the Broncos on Oct. 3, before beginning the Pac-10 table at home against the Oregon schools on Oct. 10.