No. 15 Trojans Taken Down in OT
STANFORD, Calif. - The Cardinal earned a 15-14 rivalry victory against No. 15 USC in overtime. Stanford stays perfect in Pac-12 games and has rattled off four straight wins since starting the season 1-4.
The Cardinal improve to 5-4 on the season and 3-0 in Pac-12 play while USC falls to 6-2 and 3-1 in conference games.
The contest was destined to be a tight match, with two high powered offenses dueling in Cagan Stadium. However it was the defense for Stanford that stole the show.
Kara Rahaim came up with save after save throughout the game to keep the Cardinal in the game. The stopper recorded 19 saves on the day, compared to allowing 14 goals. She recorded an impressive .576 save percentage against the Trojans.
Rahaim faced a total of 40 shots, 33 of which were on goal, but the junior keeper held strong and anchored the Stanford defense to the upset victory.
It was an even affair throughout the game, with the two teams within one goal of each other at each quarter break. USC jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but goals from Ailish Kelly and Ali Baiocco less than a minute apart brought Stanford right back into the game heading into the second quarter.
Baiocco was one of many beneficiaries of the balanced Cardinal attack as six players tied for the lead in goals with two. Three other players recorded a goal against the Trojans to make it nine different scorers for the Cardinal.
The second quarter was a momentum battle like the first, with USC dealing the initial blow. The visitors tallied two in a row to extend their lead back to three, but goals from Galen Lew and Katy Gilbert brought it back to a one goal game.
Annabel Frist fired in the final goal of the first half with 14 seconds on the clock after USC had added a goal two minutes earlier to make it a 6-5 game heading into the break.
The two teams were evenly matched in a number of categories, tying in draw controls and ground balls while only one apart in caused turnovers, clears, and fouls. Annabel Frist and Mackenzie Chapman combined for 12 draw controls and Liana McDonnell led the way with four ground balls and two caused turnovers.
The third period featured the most offense as both teams tallied five strikes, however this time, Stanford was on the front foot first. The Cardinal rattled off four goals in a row to take its first lead of the day at 7-9. Sarah Jaques added another following a USC goal to make it 10-8.
But the Trojans answered with a run of their own, scoring three to end the quarter including a buzzer-beater to regain a one goal lead.
During the fourth period Stanford regained a two-goal advantage at a score of 14-12, but USC answered again, notching a game-tying goal with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
In overtime, Kara Rahaim stepped up to halt the Trojans and give Stanford a chance to win it.
The Cardinal keeper made two important saves in the overtime period after USC earned the draw control to have possession heading into the sudden death period. The Ridgewood, New Jersey native stopped two shots following a Trojan timeout to give Stanford the possession that led to the game-winning goal.
On the other end of the field, Ashley Humphrey weaved her way to the Trojan goal and found the back of the net to give Stanford the victory over its Pac-12 rival.
Stanford will be back in action next weekend at Colorado on Friday, March 25 and at Oregon March 27.