Women’s soccer excels against Cal in final regular season game

Nov. 7, 2014, 1:48 p.m.

No. 3 Stanford (17-1-2, 9-1-1 Pac-12) defeated Pac-12 foe No. 20 Cal (13-5-2, 9-0-1) by a score of 3-2 in their final regular season game before NCAA tournament begins, earning them a top four seed and role as host in the first four rounds.


(KAREN AMBROSE HICKEY/stanfordphoto.com)
Sophomore goalkeeper Jane Campbell (top) had four saves in the Card’s 3-2 win over Cal. (KAREN AMBROSE HICKEY/stanfordphoto.com)

The Stanford women’s soccer team had only trailed for five minutes and eleven seconds all year long heading into Thursday’s Derby against Cal. Cal was ecstatic to extend that time, striking early on a defensive breakdown by the Cardinal in the 4th minute which allowed Cal forward Kory Lammet to slip the ball to a streaking Celeste Bourielle, who ran uncovered down the left side and found the corner of the net. Unfortunately for the Blue and Gold, they added just one minute and fifty-eight seconds to that total.

In the 6th minute a penalty drawn by senior forward Taylor Uhl was taken by senor midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta. LaBonta, uncharacteristically, hit the ball a bit low and it struck the wall of Cal defenders. However, completely characteristically, it was hit with such force that it deflected high into the air and about 15 yards to the right side of the box where it found Uhl in space. Uhl smartly headed the ball across the face of goal and senior midfielder Alex Doll, with a clever backheel, nestled it into the corner.

If it had not been for sophomore goalkeeper Jane Campbell the score would have been 2-1. She made two spectacular saves two minutes apart that kept the game knotted. In the 29th minute Cal forward Grace Lee broke free from the right side as she bent her run to earn a one on one opportunity against Campbell. Campbell, whose momentum carried her right, made a diving jump to the left side to make the save. Two minutes later, Bourielle was in the clear after another defensive miscommunication on a lightening quick counter attack. Bearing down on Campbell from five yards from the top of the box, Campbell decisively moved forward towards Bourielle and made an even better save as the Cal forward hammered a right footed shot; Campbell reflexively got low and dove across to save a ball headed for the goal.

If Campbell’s saves demoralized the Bears, they certainly didn’t show it. They seemed to even frustrate the Cardinal a bit offensively for the first half and continued to some chances of their own.

Whatever adjustments Stanford head coach Paul Ratcliffe made at halftime, showed themselves immediately. The Cardinal came out aggressive and that aggression was captured perfectly at the end of the 59th when LoBonta moved with purpose to snatch the ball of the feet of a Cal defender after a bad touch. As she closed toward goal alone, instead of firing it and perhaps to reward Uhl’s selflessness on senior night against OSU, she found Uhl at the back post for a tap in, making the score 2-1.

Uhl would return the favor a minute later, earning a penalty in the box after junior defender Laura Lidelle sent a beautiful ball from the back to find a streaking Uhl between two defenders and was pulled down in the penalty area. LoBonta would take the penalty and convert it in textbook style making the score 3-1. That would prove all the Cardinal needed. They would concede a goal in the 88th minute and had Campbell not made another fantastic save, punching the ball over the bar, the score may have ended in a draw.

However, it was not to be and though it was far from perfect, the Cal-Stanford match certainly entertained. There were some defensive breakdowns that the Cardinal will be sure to take a long look at before the start of the post-season, but it was a great way to end the season.

“It’s always an emotional game against our rival Cal, especially at their place.” Ratcliffe told GoStanford. “Now, we’ll move on to the playoffs.”

The Cardinal have ensured themselves a top seed in the tournament with the win. They also have a shot at a share of the Pac-12 title should UCLA lose their own rivalry game to USC on Friday. Regardless, the Cardinal finished their historic season in style and are primed to go deep in tournament play in their pursuit of an NCAA title.

Contact Nic Radoff at nradoff ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Nic Radoff '15 is now officially from Oakland and is a proud to be a history major and a Latin-American studies minor. Nic was a staff writer for women's soccer and follows football extensively, whether his editors let him write about it or not. He is a proud member of the men's club lacrosse team and invites you all to come watch most Saturdays, even though you might not see him on the field much. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking with his husky Artoo, lamenting his A's and maintaining that things get better with age.

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