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Women’s soccer takes on Santa Clara on the road

Junior Catarina Macario (above) ranks second in the nation in both points (23) and goals (9). (ERIN CHANG/isiphotos.com)

No. 3 Stanford women’s soccer (6-1, 0-0 Pac-12) continues its road trip with a stop at Santa Clara (4-4, 0-0 WCC) on Sunday, the final match before conference play begins. 

The last time these two sides met, the game ended in a 1-1, double-overtime draw on Sept. 16, 2018. Two of the most storied programs in West Coast women’s collegiate soccer, Stanford and Santa Clara have met on 44 occasions, with the Broncos claiming a 20-18-6 advantage.

The Cardinal are coming off a trying visit to Southern California. Stanford suffered its first regular-season loss since Aug. 25, 2017 to Pepperdine and then narrowly escaped UC Santa Barbara 1-0. Before sophomore forward Sophia Smith’s 79th minute game-winning goal, the Cardinal had been shutout for the past 174:18 of game play, dating to a 9-0 decimation of USF.

On the other side of the ball, Stanford has conceded just one goal in its last 364:33 of play. In their past two games, however, the Broncos snapped the streaks of the final two teams in the country that were yet to concede. Santa Clara defeated Arizona 4-0 and then put a goal away in a 2-1 loss to Cal.

The prior week, the Broncos took down then-No. 2 UCLA. It was the third time in the past four years Santa Clara defeated a second-ranked team, first occurring in a 2016 NCAA Tournament double-overtime win over Stanford in the second round.

Midfielder Izzy D’Aquila scored the lone goal for the Broncos in the loss to the Bears on an assist from forward Kelsey Turnbow. D’Aquila leads the team in goals (8) and points (18), with the goal count ranking seventh in the country, and second among fellow freshman. Turnbow, meanwhile, leads the team in assists (6) and ranks second in points (16). 

Courtney Ogren has started all nine games in goal for Santa Clara with a 1.45 goals-against average and 0.725 save percentage in 683:33 minutes. Her task will be stopping junior forward Catarina Macario, who ranks second in the sport in both points (23) and goals (9).

Macario’s blistering pace to start the season propelled Stanford to the national lead in points per game (12.14), shots per game (23.86) and shots on goal per game (11.29). The 3.86 goals per game rank third.

And Macario is not doing it alone, as 11 Cardinal have scored at least once. Senior forward Carly Malatskey has had a break-out year with five goals and a pair of assists already, and junior forward Madison Haley’s five assists tie Macario.

In addition to Macario and sophomore forward/midfielder Abby Greubel, almost the entire starting backline, junior outside back Kiki Pickett, senior center back Sam Hiatt and sophomore center back Naomi Girma, have started all seven games. 

Behind the defense, head coach Paul Ratcliffe has rotated starts in goal between senior Lauren Rood and sophomore Katie Meyer. Rood has started four games, allowed two goals and made seven saves, while Meyer has started three times, conceding once with a couple of saves.

Kickoff from Buck Shaw Stadium is Sunday at 7 p.m. PT.

Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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