Stanford on the Offensive in Opening Win

Aug. 23, 2009

HONOLULU - Christen Press and Kelly O'Hara each scored two goals to lead the No. 2 Stanford women's soccer team to a 6-2 season-opening victory over Hawaii on Sunday night.

Stanford (1-0-0) also got a goal and two assists from freshman reserve Courtney Verloo in her first collegiate match. Press, who also had an assist, led all scorers with five points.

The goals were the most for Stanford since a 7-0 victory over Sacramento State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 16, 2007. But the two goals allowed were the most since a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the third round of the same NCAA Tournament (Nov. 23, 2007). Stanford allowed only eight goals in the 2008 season.

'We were just happy to get six goals,' said Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe, whose team outshot Hawaii, 29-4. 'But we need to keep working on a lot of things. In the back, we still have work to do. The midfield has work to do. But, offensively, we looked strong.'

Stanford opened the scoring in the fifth minute, when Press sent in a through ball that O'Hara converted on a breakaway. Goals by Verloo and Teresa Noyola sent the Cardinal into halftime with a 3-0 lead.

Her two goals allowed Kelley O'Hara to move up to No. 6 on Stanford's all-time scoring list (85 points) and to No. 7 in career goals (33), leapfrogging Jennifer Rowland (82) and Carmel Murphy (32), respectively.

Ratcliffe started two true freshmen, Alina Garciamendez in central defense and Rachel Quon at right outside back. Five freshmen made their collegiate debut for the Cardinal, including Mariah Nogueira, who assisted on Verloo's goal in the 39th minute for a 2-0 lead.

After Hawaii (0-1-1) closed to within 3-1 early in the second half, Press beat two defenders and shot inside the far post in the 69th minute to spark a flurry of three goals within five minutes. Press had two of the goals and Verloo had both her assists.

The Cardinal next plays at Cal Poly on Friday at 7 p.m. before opening its home season against San Diego State on Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. in other nonconference contests.

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