In what is sure to be a heated finale to an up-and-down regular season, No. 10 Stanford (13-4-1, 6-4-0 Pac-12) will face unranked rival Cal (10-4-5, 3-4-3 Pac-12) at home tonight. The game will be Senior Night for the Cardinal in honor of the seven women in their senior seasons on the team. It will also be a critical match in determining the Cardinal’s confidence and placement going into the postseason.
For most teams, an overtime loss in the NCAA semifinals to the eventual champions would make for a successful end to the season. Most teams, however, aren’t like Stanford women’s soccer. The Cardinal has appeared in five straight NCAA College Cups dating back to 2008, and after winning the national championship in 2011, falling short in 2012 was a tough pill to swallow.
On a cold Friday night at Cagan Stadium, the No. 1 women’s soccer team heated up quickly. Seven minutes into the game, sophomore midfielder Alex Doll opened the scoring and from that point on, the Cardinal (18-1-1) never looked back on its way to a 3-0 win over Idaho State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
A late Mariah Nogueira header pushed the No. 1 Stanford women’s soccer team past No. 6 Penn State on Friday night, further asserting the defending national champion Cardinal’s spot atop the rankings with the 3-2 victory in University Park, Penn.
It was this time nearly a year ago. A battle-tested Stanford women’s soccer team had set out to capture the school’s first national championship, having faltered in the Final Four in each of the past three seasons and in the title match in each of the past two.
Halfway through its season, the Stanford women’s soccer team is looking primed for a championship run, as they dominated a hapless Arizona team at home in a 7-0 victory Saturday night to improve to 9-0-1 in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.