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Women’s soccer dominates Wildcats in desert

Sophomore forward Averie Collins makes a move past a defender, allowing her to get the ball to a fellow Cardinal player. The Stanford attacking end has been paramount in an almost undefeated season. (LYNDSAY RADNEDGE/isiphotos.com)

Two goals from junior midfielder Andi Sullivan led No. 3 Stanford women’s soccer (15-1-1, 8-1-0 Pac-12) to a 4-0 win at Arizona (7-9-1, 2-7-0) on Thursday night.

This game marks the Cardinal’s fifth consecutive win and keeps the squad at the top of the Pac-12 rankings. Stanford has now beaten Arizona in 12 straight matchups. 

The first shot was taken by Stanford within the first 10 minutes of play. The team was pressing hard and dominating play right away, looking for scoring opportunities early into the match. Within the next 12 minutes of play, Stanford had several other unsuccessful scoring opportunities — most originating from Sullivan and junior forward Kyra Carusa, who currently leads the team in assists.

After an attempt from Arizona was saved by senior goalkeeper Jane Campbell, Stanford came back strong, barely missing on a header by sophomore midfielder Jordan DiBiasi. 

Finally, Sullivan, who missed last weekend’s games while practicing with the U.S. Women’s National Team, kicked the ball into the right lower corner with a left-foot finish, putting the Cardinal up 1-0. Arizona rebutted with several shots, all of which Campbell was able to keep out of the net.

At the end of the half, both teams had eight shot attempts and three shots on goal.

Early into the second half, the Wildcats put major pressure on the Stanford defense, trying to advance the score to a tie, but the Cardinal defensive and midfield combination were able to keep shot attempts to a minimum, with Campbell there to save anything that got close.

Sophomore Michelle Xiao scored the team’s second goal of the night in the 65th minute. Xiao’s goal came off of a precise rebound ball that sophomore defender/forward Tegan McGrady was able to place in front of the Wildcat net.

In the 71st minute, Xiao came out strong once again and drew a foul in the penalty box. The penalty kick, shot by Sullivan, went straight past the goalie into the left bottom of the mesh. This marked Sullivan’s career-high eighth goal of the season.

The momentum of the team did not stop here, as senior forward Ryan Walker-Hartshorn scored her first goal of the season off of a team action that set her up for an easy tip into the goal.

Stanford dominated play for the rest of the night, keeping its passes clean and its defensive pressure to a maximum.

***

Stanford will continue its road swing on Sunday as it takes on Arizona State (6-8-2, 1-6-1 Pac-12) at 3 p.m.

The Sun Devils are riding a four-game losing streak entering Sunday’s game, having lost to Oregon State and Oregon last weekend. Stanford currently leads the all-time record series with the Sun Devils 12-4-3 and has won both of its past two matches against ASU.

The Cardinal’s main advantage during this game will be the utilization of their strong offensive end against a weaker Arizona State defense.

The Sun Devils have allowed 23 goals by opponents, whereas Stanford has allowed just 14 goals in this season.

Stanford has also managed to put 37 balls into the back of the net.  These efforts have been led by leading goal-scorer Sullivan with eight, DiBiasi with seven and Carusa with three goals and nine assists.

After proving themselves against the first of two desert teams, the Cardinal will look to continue their Pac-12 streak and stay on top of the rankings when they takes on the Sun Devils on Sunday at 3 p.m. The match will be broadcast by Pac-12 Networks.

 

Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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