Sixth-Ranked Stanford Dominates Saint Mary's 3-0
Sept. 26, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The sixth-ranked Stanford women's soccer team earned yet another victory tonight at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium to remain undefeated, as the Cardinal offense dismantled the Saint Mary's defense, scoring three goals, while the defense held steady to earn its seventh shutout of the season. Each of Stanford's three starting forwards found the net to boost the Cardinal over the Gaels.
Once again, Stanford proved to be dangerous right from the starting whistle. Junior Kelley O'Hara got the attack started just 54 seconds into the match, launching a shot and forcing Saint Mary's goalkeeper Tara Larson to make her first of 10 saves in the game. The Cardinal then rained nine shots on Larson before the Gaels could even muster up an attack, finally registering a try that went well high and wide in the 25th minute.
In the 26th minute, freshman Lindsay Taylor found the back of the net for her sixth goal of the season to put Stanford up 1-0. The Cardinal built its attack from the back, as senior Marisa Abegg worked the ball over to O'Hara on the left side. O'Hara then advanced the ball towards the box, smacking a low, hard, and accurate cross right to Taylor, who then slotted the ball on a one-timer under a charging Larson and across the goal line.
O'Hara made it 2-0 in favor of Stanford with her third goal in three straight games, scoring yet again with mere moments left in the first half. O'Hara collected a loose ball in the box with 44 seconds left to play after Saint Mary's was able to stifle a few Cardinal players' advances towards the net, and with much composure took advantage of the screened Larson and finished with a low, hard shot to the corner. The goal was also good for O'Hara's sixth of the season.
It was all Stanford again in the second half, as the Cardinal poured the pressure on the Gael defense. Freshman Camille Levin almost scored her second career goal, as her shot in the 69th minute hit the crossbar and appeared to direct down just over the goal line, but no signal came from the linesman, keeping the score at 2-0.
Sophomore Christen Press was the one to put a cap on the game, scoring her seventh of the season in the 81st minute to once again reclaim the title of team scoring leader. Press advanced into the box, but she pushed the ball slightly too far ahead, giving Larson a chance to snuff the attack. Press' speed gave her the advantage though, as she was able to force Larson to try to redirect the ball instead of cleanly receiving it. Press picked up her own rebound after Larson was unable to push the ball far enough away, and calmly booted the ball into the cage.
The final numbers confirmed Stanford's dominance over Saint Mary's, as the Cardinal fired a total of 30 shots at the Gaels' net, while Saint Mary's was able to only manage the one in the first half. Stanford also held the edge in corner kicks, 9-0. Sophomore goalkeeper Kira Maker picked up her seventh shutout without having to make a save, and only had to play the ball a total of three times.
'I thought we played very good attacking soccer and scored three great goals,' said head coach Paul Ratcliffe. 'The defense as a whole was superb and Marisa [Abegg] in particular had a fantastic game. She was a standout with her playmaking ability out of the back.'
The Cardinal improves to 9-0-1 with the win and will have the rest of the weekend off. Stanford will return to the field on Friday, Oct. 3, when it travels south to take on Santa Clara at the Broncos' Buck Shaw Stadium. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start time.