With three first-half goals, No. 3 Stanford women’s soccer (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) clinched a second win over a ranked opponent on its season-opening road trip. The Cardinal took advantage of defensive miscues to put away No. 11 West Virginia (1-1, 0-0 Big12) 3-1 on a neutral site at State College, PA.
Stanford controlled possession early, and went up 1-0 on an early goal from senior forward Carly Malatskey in the 11th minute. Pressing the young Mountaineers defense, Malatskey dispossessed West Virginia’s defender/midfielder Gabby Robinson.
Malatskey had done the same five minutes earlier, but was unable to connect with redshirt junior forward Sam Tran, and the opportunity was squandered.
Making her first start in just her second game with the team, freshman midfielder Maya Doms hovered over a free kick from outside the area. Although her effort was saved by the post, West Virginia midfielder Juliana Lynch could not clear the ball. On the carom, redshirt freshman midfielder Sierra Enge doubled the Stanford lead, tallying the first goal of her Cardinal career, and giving Doms her first assist.
Making it 3-0 before halftime, junior forward Madison Haley received a pass from senior midfielder Beattie Goad and beat goalkeeper Rylee Foster from distance. This time, it was a mistake from West Virginia forward Nicole Payne that led to the goal.
All three first half mistakes were committed by Mountaineers freshman.
It was smooth sailing for redshirt freshman goalkeeper Katie Meyer in the first half of her college debut. Though the Cardinal conceded three first half corners to the Mountaineers, Meyer was untested by the Mountaineers as the Cardinal led in shots seven to zero.
A total of 11 halftime substitutions were made, including four made by head coach Paul Ratcliffe for Stanford. The Mountaineers, like bottled lightning, stormed out of the gate with a furious intensity, and were on the board just 25 seconds into the half. Forward Alina Stahl played a give-and-go with Jessica Lisi to spur herself to her first goal of the season.
In the 60th minute, Meyer secured her first career save on a shot by Jordan Brewster.
Gaining control of the game, Stanford took the next four shots, culminating in a volley attempt from freshman defender Kattalin Stahl — making her debut as a substitute — on a cross by Macario. The effort was saved by Foster to rob Stahl of a dream premiere.
Sophomore forward Abby Greubel conceded a penalty kick to West Virginia with five minutes remaining, tripping up Julianne Vallerand. In goal, Meyer was untested as Lauren Segalla missed wide, and a deflated Mountaineers side forfeited a final opportunity to get back in the game.
The Cardinal took six more shots in the second half, but were unable to add to their tally.
Mountaineers head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown used 19 of the 26 players on the roster, searching for the lineup from the youthful squad.
Sophomore forward Sophia Smith, whose freshman campaign was cut short by a leg injury, has yet to return to action with the Cardinal. Recently, she was announced as one of just two college athletes called up to the US U-23 team that will compete in the Nordic Tournament.
Stanford will host Pennsylvania for its home opener on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. PT.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.