By Jack Seaton
The Stanford women’s soccer team is heating up at the right time, as they extended their win streak to four following a perfect away trip. The No. 4 Cardinal took down No. 25 Arizona State (9-4-4, 2-3-3 Pac-12) in a comfortable 2-0 victory on Sunday, with a goal coming on either side of halftime.
— Stanford Soccer (@StanfordWSoccer) October 26, 2014
With the victory, the Cardinal improved their record to an impressive 14-1-2 (6-1-1 Pac-12) in notching an important conference win. Their defense remained seemingly impenetrable, as sophomore goalkeeper Jane Campbell and the back line held the Sun Devils offense — which had scored 33 goals this season — to zero goals. It was the squad’s 13th clean sheet in 17 total games this season. Arizona State mustered only four shots the entire match; it was only the third time all season that ASU was unable to score.
Stanford had a much easier time asserting its offensive dominance in the game. The squad fired an impressive 16 shots throughout the game, but it was ultimately the individual brilliance of senior forward Chioma Ubogagu that proved decisive.
Ubogagu opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. A corner from Stanford’s freshman midfielder Andi Sullivan bounced around before falling in front of Ubogagu, who sent a left-footed volley into the right corner, a shot ASU keeper Chandler Morris could not deal with.
Ubogagu struck again shortly after the break in the 50th minute. She received the ball on the right side of the penalty area before gathering herself and sending a left-footed strike past the keeper. It was the first multi-goal game for Ubogagu since her freshman year, bringing her tally for the season up to six goals, making her the points leader for the Cardinal.
“It was great to see Chi get those goals,” Stanford head coach Paul Ratcliffe told GoStanford. “We trained a lot this week with finishing and Chi did extraordinarily well in the game.”
Freshman forward Mariah Lee came close to making it 3-0 near the end of the match with a 1-on-1 opportunity, but Morris’ effort in net kept the score at 2-0. Arizona State had scattered efforts on goal throughout the game; Stanford needed a great save from Campbell to stop a header from Aly Moon, who seemed like the most threatening outlet for Arizona State.
Recent games have shown how important the forwards could be to this Stanford offense for the remainder of the season. With senior forward Taylor Uhl’s incredible performance on Friday, preceding Sunday’s performance from Chioma, Ratcliffe should be pleased with his unit’s offensive output.
All in all, it was a successful weekend for Stanford, which heads home with six vital points to keep the pressure on No. 1-ranked UCLA. Although it is UCLA’s title to lose, Stanford is doing all that it can with three important Pac-12 matches to end the season before the postseason.
Next up for the Cardinal is a home tilt against Oregon on Thursday, followed by their last home game of the season against Oregon State on Sunday.
Contact Jack Seaton at jrseaton ‘at’ stanford.edu.