With two seconds left in regulation, junior forward Averie Collins scored the game-winning goal to propel No. 1 Stanford women’s soccer (12-1-1, 5-1 Pac-12) to a 3-2 victory over Oregon State (5-8-2, 0-6) on Friday night at home.
This is a landmark win for head coach Paul Ratcliffe, who has now won 300 games during his career, 245 of which were as Stanford’s coach.
The Cardinal came into this game riding the momentum of a double-overtime win against No. 10 UCLA last weekend. Coming into the match, the Stanford team was looking for a relatively easy game and a conference win against an unranked team. Instead, the Cardinal found themselves fighting until the very end in order to secure a win over Oregon State.
The match began in the Beavers’ favor with a goal by junior forward Nikki Farris in the 11th minute of play. Farris, one-on-one with Stanford goalie Jane Campbell, was able to fake Campbell out, making her come out of the box and giving Farris the opportunity to chip the ball into the net.
In response to this early goal, Stanford continuously pressured the Oregon State defense, shooting eight times in just the first half.
Stanford tied it up just before the end of the first half, when Collins slid the ball into the net after receiving a cross from freshman forward Sam Tran.
As the players returned to the field after halftime, both teams looked ready to take home the win. Rain poured, but no one seemed to care as the tension rose and the whistle was blown.
Oregon State once again showed initiative as freshman forward Taylor Lemmond scored her first career goal by placing a pass from sophomore forward Toni Malone into the top corner of the goal. The Cardinal then trailed 2-1, despite dominating ball control and taking many more shots than the Beavers.
For the next 20 minutes of play, Stanford continued to take shots and secure opportunities. Its lucky break came when a foul against the Beavers was called in the box. Junior forward and MAC Herman trophy candidate Andi Sullivan took the shot, placing it perfectly in the bottom left corner, just out of reach for Beavers goalie Bella Geist.
As the rain continued to fall, the two teams battled it out and the stalemate looked as if it were destined to go into overtime. The Beavers were pressuring hard, earning themselves 16 fouls and four yellow cards in the second period alone.
Stanford too was trying its hardest to end the game in regulation time, as it took myriad shots against Geist. Ultimately, the Cardinal took 20 shots, seven of which were on-goal, while the Beavers recorded only three shots, two of which were on-goal.
The clock ticked down to the final minute, final 30 seconds, final five seconds, winding down toward zero as if in slow motion, but neither team was ready to give in. As two seconds showed on the scoreboard, Collins amazed the audience with a ball that bounced in the lower corner and lodged itself into the back of the net.
Cheers erupted from the stands, and the Stanford players displayed awestruck faces as they realized that they had achieved victory. The drenched players hugged each other tightly as the game came to a close.
The Cardinal will finish out their regular season as they host Colorado on Thursday and Utah on Sunday. Thursday’s match will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network at 6 p.m.
Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu.