No. 6 Stanford Routs Santa Clara 5-0

Oct. 3, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - The sixth-ranked Stanford women's soccer team picked up its tenth win this evening after it overtook Bay Area rival Santa Clara 5-0 at the Broncos' Buck Shaw Stadium. Freshman Lindsay Taylor earned her first career hat trick, while fellow rookie Teresa Noyola and junior Kelley O'Hara each earned two assists and sophomore Christen Press and junior Kristin Stannard each added a goal to help boost the Cardinal to victory.

Despite the end result, Santa Clara provided a scare as they came out hard and undaunted in the first five minutes. The Broncos almost forced a Stanford own goal off a flip throw-in by Kiki Bosio just 30 seconds after the start. Fourteen seconds later, Lindsey Johnson had a quality chance to put Santa Clara on the board with a shot off of a clearance but was denied by sophomore goalkeeper Kira Maker, who has been relatively untested this year so far, as she lunged to her left to stop the low, hard shot to keep the score even. Maker again had to stoned the Bronco attack two minutes later, picking off Katherine Reynolds' bullet that was headed towards the upper-90.

'The first five minutes we started a little nervous and Kira had to come up with two fantastic saves, commented head coach Paul Ratcliffe. 'She's been having a great year, and when she does have to be tested she's coming up big for us.'

Following the excitement of the opening minutes, the Cardinal defense settled into the game, and the Stanford began to build its attack, and it would be all Cardinal from then on. In the 17th minute, Christen Press floated the ball across the width of the field to Noyola, who was all alone in front of the goal and Santa Clara keeper Megan McCray. It looked as if Noyola would shoot the ball, but she chose to hold on to it, baiting the Bronco defense and finding a streaking Taylor running into the box, who then buried the ball into the side netting to break the draw.

In the 35th minute, Stanford again sent the ball into the Santa Clara penalty area to a wide open O'Hara. O'Hara's shot was blocked by McCray and went out over the goal line. On the ensuing corner kick, Noyola again found Taylor for the second Cardinal tally, floating the ball right in the path of the Los Altos, Calif. native, who ushered the ball into the net for her eighth goal of the season.

Heading into halftime, Stanford held a 10-3 advantage in shots, with all three of the Broncos' shots coming in the first three minutes of the game.

Just under five minutes into the second half, the Cardinal struck again, making it 3-0 in favor of Stanford. O'Hara, who possessed the ball in the corner to the right of the cage, slotted a hard ball on the ground back to Press, who one-timed the ball in the upper-left corner for her eighth goal of the year.

Four minutes after Press' goal, Taylor completed the hat trick. O'Hara made a sliding effort to evade a Santa Clara defender and finish the through ball attempt to Taylor. Taylor gathered the ball, dribbled a few yards, and perfectly slotted the ball into the right side-netting past Bronco reserve goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, who entered the game at half time.

'All year Taylor's been superb and today she put on a show and had some great finishes,' praised Ratcliffe.

Following the fourth goal, the large crowd of 2,352 became hushed as the Cardinal continued to exert its control over the game. But in the 64th minute, redshirt junior Lea MacKinnon gave the fans a pick-up as she fired a shot on target, forcing Henninger to make a brilliant tip-over-the-bar save to prevent a fifth goal.

Stanford would eventually get the fifth goal in the 83rd minute, as senior Kate Mannino passed the ball out of the center over to classmate Kelley Birch. Birch then crossed the ball back into the box to Stannard, who finished high and to the center for her third goal of the year to cap off the victory.

The Cardinal went on to out-shoot Santa Clara, who never mustered up a threatening attack the rest of the game, 17 - 3 in its final non-conference match of the year.

'I thought we played very good soccer after the first ten minutes and all five goals were first class,' added Ratcliffe.

With the win over Santa Clara, Stanford remains undefeated at 10-0-1 and will return to the pitch next Friday at The Farm, as it begins its Pac-10 campaign with Oregon at 7 p.m.

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