Widgets Magazine

Women’s soccer continues conference success with dominant win

In a physical game on Thursday night, No. 6 Stanford (10-2-0, 4-0-0) won 3-0 over a struggling Oregon State team (5-4-3, 1-3-0) that couldn’t seem to fend off the consistent high pressure following the kickoff.

STANFORD, CA - SEPTEMBER 7, 2014:  Stephanie Amack  during Stanford's game against Notre Dame. The Cardinal and Irish played to a 0-0 draw after two 10-minute overtime periods.

Junior defender Stephanie Amack (left) scored her second goal of the season on Thursday, a beautiful left-footed strike that was the Cardinal’s 12th goal in the last four games. (JIM SHORIN/stanfordphoto.com)

Stanford didn’t hesitate to establish dominance and control early in the game. Less than two minutes into the game, Michelle Xiao calmly headed Tegan McGrady’s cross into the goal. The rest of the first half remained in Stanford’s control, with sophomore forward Kyra Carusa finishing the first half by slotting home a shot in the top corner after receiving a clever pass from junior forward Ryan Walker-Hartshorn.

The Cardinal continued to perform at a high level through the second half, remaining dominant and putting consistent pressure on Oregon State goalkeeper Bella Geist, who ended with an astounding 10 saves on the day. The game was capped when Stanford’s Stephanie Amack stroked the ball into the corner off a free kick that was deflected to her at the top of the box.

Oregon State repeatedly failed to establish any string of possession or play that favored the Beavers. Stanford’s high-pressure style of defense led to many missed clearances and bad passes, adding to Stanford’s momentum and playing into the hands of the Cardinal offense. Even when the Stanford defense was tested, it remained stout and solid, forcing the Oregon State offense away from the goal, disarrayed.

Stanford goalkeeper Jane Campbell, who has had a remarkable season so far, was never tested throughout the game — literally. Stanford’s back line didn’t allow a single shot on goal all game.

The Stanford offense looked equally strong, totaling 19 shots against an Oregon State defense that didn’t seem equipped to play with the fast-paced passing that came with seemingly every possession by the Stanford offense.

“It really starts from the forwards and the midfielders putting the high press on,” said freshman defender Alana Cook. “If they work hard, we don’t have to do as much. It’s about staying organized and staying focused throughout the whole game.”

As the team moves on from the win, Stanford will continue its Pac-12 homestand against the Oregon Ducks (4-7-0, 1-2-0) who will be coming off a one-day rest after facing Cal.

Stanford’s dominance throughout the past few games is based on the importance the team puts on controlling the entirety of the game, as shown through Stanford’s immense gap in shots on goal (100-18).

Sophomore midfielder Andi Sullivan, leading the team with four goals, commands a high-powered Stanford offense that has more than tripled the shot tally of its opponents (232-71), keeping possession of the ball and putting consistent pressure on enemy keepers. Campbell will also look to continue leading a dominant Stanford defense, which is allowing only 0.82 goals per game on average this season.

Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe, looking towards the next fixture against the University of Oregon, says he wants the team to keep “our speed of play and possession going, a little faster speed of play, and then creating more chances and executing, scoring more goals.”

Oregon looks to avenge its loss from last season after a Stanford victory just five minutes into the golden goal overtime. This season, the Ducks have started off slowly, coming into Northern California after having dropped a critical game to Utah in Eugene in which the Ducks looked formidable for the first half of the game then faltered immediately in the second half to give the Utes the only goal of the fixture.

Overall, Oregon struggles on the road and has not earned a victory away from Eugene, something that Stanford will look to continue.

The game will be played at Cagan Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.

Contact Lorenzo Rosas at enzor9 ‘at’ stanford.edu.