Victory in The Palouse
PULLMAN, Wash. – Senior Naomi Girma headed home her third goal of the season and the Stanford defense recorded its seventh shutout of the year as No. 14 Stanford (9-3-0, 3-1-0 Pac-12) recorded a 1-0 victory over Washington State (9-2-1, 3-1-0 Pac-12) on Thursday night from Lower Soccer Field.
"It was a hard-fought game and the team showed great character to grind out a result," The Knowles Family Director of Women's Soccer Paul Ratcliffe said following the victory.
Washington State, which had recorded six straight shutouts, entered the match as the top defensive team in the conference, having allowed just .27 goals per match.
Girma, who has now scored in consecutive matches, provided the game-winner in the 29th minute after Washington State goalkeeper Nadia Cooper punched away a corner kick from Julia Leontini. The attempted clearance floated out to Girma who lunged a header toward the upper right corner of the net and off the glove of Cooper for the goal.
The score came on the second of seven corner kick opportunities for the Cardinal on Thursday night.
Girma's goal snapped a string of 578:45 minutes without a goal allowed by the Cougars – a program record. It also ended a span of 523:56 scoreless minutes in goal to start Cooper's career. The freshman goalkeeper recorded four saves while facing 11 total shots from the Cardinal.
The Cardinal defense held strong throughout the contest, limiting the second-best scoring offense in the Pac-12 to just 10 total shots – including just four on goal.
Stanford keeper Katie Meyer made the four saves to record her 18th career shutout.
Returning to the pitch for the first time since September 9, Abby Greubel delivered a team-best three shots, including two on goal.
Stanford will return to action on Sunday when it travels to Washington for a 12 p.m. match.