By Fiona Noonan
The skid is over and order has been restored for No. 8 Stanford women’s soccer after two convincing victories against Oregon and Oregon State this weekend.
The Cardinal (12-3-1, 5-3-0 Pac-12) beat the Ducks (3-9-3, 1-5-1 Pac-12) 2-1 in Eugene on Friday, followed up by a rout of the Beavers (5-10-2, 3-4-1 Pac-12) 4-1 in Corvallis Sunday, extending its winning streak to three matches after a three-match home losing streak.
“The team is feeling really good,” said junior forward Chioma Ubogagu after Sunday’s match. “We knew coming in that this weekend was really big for us, and we wanted to keep getting wins for the Pac-12 and restoring our confidence for playoffs.”
Ubogagu was one of five players to score for the Card this weekend as the team showed better depth and diversity of attack in its two games.
Friday’s victory against a struggling Oregon squad came on two goals by senior co-captain forward Courtney Verloo, who converted on a penalty kick in the 36th minute and then netted the game winner in the 82nd minute on a sequence that began with freshman defender Maddie Bauer and ended with an assist off of a header by Ubogagu.
Verloo, an Oregon native, now has nine goals on the season and is one short of tying her career high.
“Against Oregon it was definitely Courtney Verloo who was the hero, scoring two goals,” head coach Paul Ratcliffe said. “She’s a senior leader for us — she’s had an amazing year.”
Stanford continued the high intensity play against OSU, scoring three goals in the first 23 minutes and possessing the ball as dominantly as the team has all season.
Ubogagu then capped the win with a goal in the 90th minute, burying a shot off an assist from freshman forward Ryan Walker-Hartshorn. While Ubogagu has been a fury up top recently, Sunday’s goal was only her second of the season.
“It felt really, really nice,” Ubogagu said about scoring. “It was a great pass from [Walker-Hartshorn], so I’m glad I could get the ball to go in.”
The Beavers came into the match with momentum from a stunning upset victory against No. 12 Cal on Friday, but their lone goal by freshman forward Helene Haavik in the 61st minute wasn’t enough to overcome the Cardinal.
The two wins are the 24th and 25th consecutive conference road victories for the Cardinal, which will look to continue the streak when it returns to the Northwest for matches against Washington (7-6-4, 3-1-3 Pac-12) and Washington State (10-3-3, 3-3-1 Pac-12) later this week.
The team’s focus for the upcoming Washington slate will be to continue building on the confidence and urgency displayed in the past few games.
“I think we’ve got to do the same things we did here against the Oregon schools,” Ratcliffe said. “We’ve got to start fast, play good, connected soccer and create goals and score goals.”
Stanford kicks off against the Huskies on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Seattle.
Contact Fiona Noonan at fnoonan ‘at’ stanford.edu.