Protecting its perfect conference record and picking up a share of their fifth-straight Pac-12 championship, No. 2 Stanford women’s soccer (17-1-0, 9-0-0 Pac-12) breezed by the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-9-3, 0-7-2 Pac-12) in a 3-0 decision Wednesday night. The win was also the Cardinal’s 36th consecutive home victory at Cagan Stadium.
With the shutout win, Stanford also capitalized on a defensively-perfect October; the last time an opponent scored against the Cardinal was during a Sept. 28 battle against then-No. 3 USC, which ended in a 3-2 Stanford victory.
“I’m so proud of this team for coming out and achieving one of our goals of winning the Pac-12 championship,” said head coach Paul Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe is Stanford’s most successful soccer coach in 16 seasons on the Farm, with an impressive 296-51-29 record.
Against the Sun Devils, Ratcliffe’s direction helped Stanford take control early. Junior forward Madison Haley was the first to get Stanford on the board after picking off a shaky back pass before picking up the unassisted goal in the 10th minute. The goal also happened to be Haley’s 10th of the season.
A nearly 30-minute scoring lull was snapped when Stanford added another to its side of the scoreboard thanks to a header from junior defender/forward Jojo Harber off a left corner kick from fellow junior forward Catarina Macario. The assist was Macario’s 14th of the season, making her tied for third-most in program history, a rank she shares with Teresa Noyola (2011) and Marcie Ward (2000).
The goal sent the Cardinal into the break with a 2-0 advantage, though fans did not have to wait long for the lead to be stretched even further. Sophomore Sophia Smith found Macario through the legs of a Sun Devil defender, and Macario acquired her 21st goal of the season with a bullet inside the left post. The junior is now tied for third-most goals in a season in program history with former tree and current USA team member, Christen Press.
Throughout the evening, Stanford did not allow a single shot on target, and outshot the Sun Devils an astonishing 36-1.
To secure its fifth-straight outright Pac-12 conference title, the Cardinal needs one point from the next two games, the first of which will feature the Arizona Wildcats. Stanford soccer action kicks off at 12 p.m. PT on Sunday at Cagan Stadium.
Contact Savanna Stewart at savnstew ‘at’ stanford.edu