Ahead of this weekend’s football game, Stanford beat out Notre Dame in another sporting competition. With a 4-1 win over the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday, the Stanford women’s soccer team moved into third place on the NCAA Division I list for consecutive conference victories, breaking a tie with the Fighting Irish. The Cardinal has now won its past 37 games within the Pac-12, a streak dating back to Oct. 31, 2008.
Sophomore forward Chioma Ubogagu started off the scoring with a perfectly placed shot from 20 yards out in the 19th minute. After a turnover in Arizona’s defense, Ubogagu turned her defender nicely and created just enough space to squeeze off a shot that bent into the upper right-hand corner of the net.
The score would stay the same through halftime despite fast-paced action from both teams. Despite the Cardinal dominating possession as the Wildcats dropped back to defend–often keeping nine or 10 players behind the ball until Stanford’s defenders pressed 15 yards over the half line–the shot total was a rather respectable 10-6 in favor of the Cardinal.
The second half started off at the same speed but with almost immediately better results for the Cardinal. Three minutes into the half, sophomore Lo’eau LaBonta, starting at forward for the first time, received a pass from freshman defender Laura Liedle at the top of the penalty box and rocketed a shot past Arizona goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman. In the 55th minute, sophomore forward Alex Doll beat an Arizona defender with a quick move and placed the ball perfectly to extend the lead to 3-0–Ubogagu assisted on the play.
Stanford scored its fourth and final goal in the game in the 65th minute. Senior captain Alina Garciamendez got on the end of a LaBonta corner kick and headed it into the upper left corner for an easy score, the defender’s fifth goal of the season.
After the fourth goal, coach Paul Ratcliffe began substituting almost his entire starting lineup. At that point, Stanford’s passing became sloppier and Arizona began to seize more of the possession. Eight players came off the bench and played more than 19 minutes.
In the 74th minute, Arizona forward Candi Osei-Agyemang picked off a poorly-timed pass by the Stanford defense and finished the ensuing breakaway past goalkeeper Aly Gleason, who replaced starter Emily Oliver in the 66th minute. Arizona put the ball in the net one more time with just over three minutes to play, but the goal was disallowed because of a close offside call.
Potentially concerning was the absence of senior captain and outside back Rachel Quon in the second half. After playing all 45 minutes before the halftime whistle, Quon did not factor in the second period despite not appearing to labor in her time playing earlier in the night.
Quon and the Cardinal have a week off before their next games, the final regular-season home matches of the season, which will be next Thursday and Sunday against Washington State and Washington at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.