By Sydney Shaw
No. 1-seeded Stanford women’s soccer will face Santa Clara on Friday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. As the top seed, the Cardinal will host the second-round matchup in Cagan Stadium, their home field.
This past weekend, the Cardinal took down Houston Baptist 4-0 in the first-round game. The victory was a full team effort, with each goal being scored by a different Stanford player.
Junior Andi Sullivan, Pac-12 Player of the Year and one of the keys to Stanford’s success, will return to the field on Friday. Sullivan missed last week’s first-round matchup to play with the U.S. Women’s National Team in two weekend games against Romania.
Sullivan, the only current collegiate player to play with the National Team, was named to the starting roster for both games. For Stanford, Sullivan leads the team with single-season career highs in goals (11) and points (29) and leads the Pac-12 in points per game (1.71) and points (29). As a defensive midfielder, she is one of the team’s best distributors.
Stanford will also look to some of its younger players who have been putting up significant numbers for the team in past games.
Sophomores Michelle Xiao and Jordan DiBiasi each have seven goals on the season, tied for second most on the team.
Xiao was a key player in last week’s first-round game, assisting the Cardinal’s first goal of the game and scoring the third. Meanwhile, freshman San Tran saw her second collegiate goal in last week’s victory and has established herself as one of the team’s offensive threats.
To secure a second-round victory, Stanford will also look to its strong defense, led by goalkeeper Jane Campbell. With the Cardinal’s 4-0 victory over HBU, Campbell earned her fifth shutout of the season and 35th of her career, tying Nicole Barnhart (’04) for the most career shutouts in program history.
Alongside Campbell is Pac-12 First Team center-defenseman Maddie Bauer and last year’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Alana Cook, both of whom help to anchor the Stanford defense that limited opponents to 16 goals in 19 games this season.
The Cardinal last saw Santa Clara earlier this season in a nonconference matchup in which Stanford won 2-1 and outshot the Broncos 20-9. DiBiasi and Tran were the goalscorers of that game.
Since Friday’s game will be a win-or-go-home scenario, this matchup will have much higher stakes for both teams. Stanford will look to increase its all-time NCAA Tournament record, which is currently 49-20-6 (.693), in pursuit of a national championship. The Cardinal are unbeaten in their past 30 home NCAA Tournament matches, and have advanced past the first round in each of the past 11 seasons.
Friday’s game will be played against Santa Clara at 7 p.m. in Cagan Stadium.
Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu