By James Hemker
No. 2 women’s soccer (13-1, 6-0 Pac-12) will head to the Rockies to battle with Colorado (10-4-1, 2-3-1 Pac-12) on Thursday and Utah (6-5-4, 1-2-3 Pac-12) on Sunday. Stanford sits atop the conference rankings as the only undefeated team left in the Pac-12. The team’s unbeaten streak extends more than three years and 36 matches, and during that period, the Cardinal have outscored opponents 99-14.
Both Colorado and Utah sit in the bottom half of the conference standings, with the Buffaloes coming in at seventh and the Utes at ninth.
Behind junior forward Catarina Macario, Stanford leads the conference and nation in virtually every scoring statistic. The team’s 3.64 goals-per-game, 3.71 assists-per-game and 10.79 shots-on-goal-per-game are all national bests. Despite having played two or three games less than most other schools, the Cardinal overwhelm opponents in sheer production, leading in total goals (51), assists (52) and points (154).
After a legendary season last year, which earned her the MAC Hermann Trophy, Macario has already put away a career-best 18 goals in her 2019 campaign. That figure leads the NCAA, as well as her goals-per-game (1.29), game-winning goals (seven), points (46), points-per-game (3.29) and shots-per-game (5.86).
With 49 career goals to her name, she sits tied for sixth-most by a Cardinal woman. Five more goals will propel her into fourth, surpassing Julie Foudy (52; 1989-92) and Lindsay Taylor (53; 2008-11)
While the Stanford offense basks in the limelight, the defense is playing as tough as ever. The team has not conceded a point in the last 518:42 minutes of playing time, spanning four shutouts.
Much of this success can be attributed to the woman in the net, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Katie Meyer. This year, goalie duties have been split almost 50-50 between Meyer and senior Lauren Rood. Both have started seven games, with Meyer clocking just seven minutes (one percent) more playing time.
In that time, however, Meyer has allowed just a single goal, posting six clean sheets, which include the last three games. Rood has allowed six goals in seven matches, shutting out opponents just twice.
Regardless of whoever starts the game this weekend, the Cardinal backline will have favorable matchups. Colorado’s offense sits in the middle of the conference (1.80 goals-per-game) and Utah dwells in the basement, scoring an abysmal 0.93 goals-per-game.
This will be the final regular season road trip this year, as Stanford will close with home games against the Arizona schools before hosting California for Senior Night.
Catch Stanford in Boulder, CO at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon and in Salt Lake City, UT, on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Contact James Hemker at jahemker ‘at’ stanford.edu.