By Sydney Shaw
No. 3 Stanford women’s soccer (17-1-1, 10-1-0 Pac-12) won its 11th Pac-12 title this Friday in a 4-1 victory against conference rival No. 21 California (13-5-2, 6-3-2).
The win marks the Cardinal’s sixth conference championship in the past eight years, proving the program’s consistent strength and skill. Stanford is now tied with UCLA for the most Pac-12 titles in conference history.
The game saw strong efforts from the team’s stat leaders, with leading scorer Andi Sullivan notching her 11th goal of the season.
Other familiar names, including sophomore Michelle Xiao and junior Kyra Carusa, led Stanford’s dominant offense, each kicking a game-high four shots and netting one goal each. Meanwhile, freshman standout Beattie Goad put in her first career goal.
From the first whistle marking the start of the match, Stanford took to the net, resulting in an unsuccessful shot on goal by Sullivan in the first four minutes of play.
Unable to put that one away, Sullivan continued to attack. She capitalized on a second opportunity in the 13th minute of play, sending a long ball from the right side of the field across the net and to the back post where her teammate, Xiao, was running in for the finish.
Xiao headed the ball off the bottom of the crossbar and into the goal to give Stanford the early lead.
This Cardinal advantage quickly ended when Cal responded with a goal only two minutes after Xiao’s header. Senior forward Arielle Ship slipped one past Cardinal goalkeeper Jane Campbell to put the Bears on the board.
The score remained even the rest of the half, despite Stanford outshooting Cal 4-1.
Determined to claim another conference championship, Stanford came into the second half with offensive fire. Despite the Cardinal being a man down due to an injury that delayed their substitution rotations, Sullivan took to the net again in the first six minutes of action, this time successfully.
Sullivan beat her defender up the left side of the field and put in a left-footed shot to the far post. This was the midfielder’s seventh goal in five consecutive games.
In the 75th minute, Carusa put in the Cardinal’s third goal, giving them a comfortable lead. Carusa has contributed at least one point in Stanford’s last four games.
Up two goals, Stanford solidified its victory in the last second of play with an exciting first career goal by Goad.
A total team effort notched another win for the Cardinal, allowing them to celebrate their victory as back-to-back Pac-12 champions.
Stanford clinched an automatic bid into next week’s NCAA tournament play and has the potential to be the No. 1 seed. The Cardinal will learn their postseason destiny on Monday at 1:30 p.m. in a selection show streamed on NCAA.com.
Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.