Bianca Caetano-Ferrara slipped a ball through to Catarina Macario, who calmly took care of the finish. To the outcome of the game, it was simply another tally. To Macario, her teammates and the record book, it meant a whole lot more.
“I was super stoked when that happened,” Caetano-Ferrara said. “We always loved playing with each other but, we never thought we were going to be together in college. Then we did.”
Macario is now in her third season, but before her Stanford success, she braced a move from São Luís to San Diego, where she met and became friends with now-Stanford sophomore Caetano-Ferrara. The connection between the two San Diego Surf teammates will go down in the record books as the goal that broke Stanford’s all-time single season goals record previously held by Kelley O’Hara ’10 and Christen Press ’11.
Macario’s goal was the 14th of No. 1 Stanford’s (19-1, 11-0 Pac-12) 15 in a shutout of the overmatched Prairie View A&M (13-8, 9-1 SWAC) in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Stanford’s goal total is a program and NCAA postseason single-game record by four and five goals, respectively.
“Cat is electric on the field,” Ratcliffe said. “It’s truly amazing how gifted a player she is and how unselfish she is. She’s creating so many goals for others and not just scoring for herself.”
Macario finished with a program-record 13 points on four goals and five assists to raise her season total for goals to a nation-leading 27 goals, 23 assists and 77 points. The point total is a single-season program record, 12 more than the senior-season total of O’Hara.
In her first two seasons, Macario twice won the Pac-12 Forward of the Year award, then added a Hermann trophy last year. This year, for a change of pace, she was awarded Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year.
“We also broke the record today for goals scored within a single match,” Macario said. “To have a couple of records broken and Bianca’s scoring her first hat-trick and Sophie too, I think that’s really special.”
Sophomore forward Sophia Smith also scored a hat trick with two assists. Caetano-Ferrara made her first career Stanford goal count, going on to complete Stanford’s third hat trick of the game off of the bench. Sam Tran, coming of a stellar performance against Cal in the season finale, recorded two goals for her second career brace.
“Cat actually told me that if I scored my first goal, I’d have to go to the sidelines and celebrate with the team,” Caetano-Ferrara said. “I was a little bit skeptical just because of the score and I wanted to be respectful of the other team, but it was my first goal.”
Stanford’s outside defenders, juniors Jojo Harber and Kiki Pickett each scored once, as did sophomore forward Abby Greubel.
After starting the season 1-6, the Panthers went on a tear in conference play to set program records for wins in a season and in conference, claiming the first soccer tournament championship in program history.
Over their ten-game win streak coming into the contest, the Panthers had conceded just one goal, and limited opponents to just 18 on the season. In Prairie View’s only other tournament appearance, in 2014, Texas Tech won 8-0.
Panthers keeper Quinn Josiah made as many saves, 13, as goals she allowed, but fell short of her career-high 20 in the category. Alexis Espino played the final fifteen minutes in the net and was charged with two goals. Stanford totaled 41 shots, putting 28 on frame.
“It felt pretty amazing going up against the top striker in the nation,” Josiah said. “In our conference, I didn’t get that many shots.”
In goal for Stanford was senior Lauren Rood, making her first start since Oct. 31, and she recorded the shutout without the need to make a save, as Prairie View did not get off a shot. Stanford’s defense, led by captain center backs senior Sam Hiatt and sophomore Naomi Girma, have secured ten shutouts in the past 11 games.
Girma was named Pac-12 Defender of the Year this week. Together with Macario’s midfielder award, it is the third straight season that Stanford picked up both of the honors. Junior Madison Haley and Pickett were also named to the first team, Smith to the second team, and both Doms and Hiatt to the third team. Defender Kennedy Wesley joined Doms on the All-Freshman team.
Stanford was without its third and fourth top goal scorers, senior Carly Malatskey and Haley, who had combined for 19 goals heading into the game.
“In training, we’re going to get back to work,” Ratcliffe said. “The next round game will be a difficult game… they’re going to ramp up and incrementally get stronger and stronger.”
“Take it one game at a time and show the world what we got,” Macario said.
The world has been put on notice. Stanford will play the winner of Loyola Chicago and Hofstra on Friday, Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. PT.