No. 2 Stanford women’s soccer fell to Santa Clara in a 1-0 loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night.
From the first whistle, the Cardinal dominated the field, outshooting the Broncos 31-7 in a relentless pursuit to get ahead. However, both teams were unable to put the ball in the net, forcing two overtime periods. In the second overtime period, the Broncos got in a lucky shot that went past Stanford goalkeeper senior Jane Campbell.
This is the earliest that Stanford has been eliminated in NCAA play since 2005. The game broke a three-game winning streak that the Cardinals had going against the Broncos in NCAA Tournament play and broke the Cardinal’s 30-game unbeaten streak in postseason home matchups.
The Cardinal’s leading scorer and Pac-12 Player of the Year, junior Andi Sullivan led her team with seven shots and six shots on goal. Sullivan, a midfielder, kept peppering the goal, hoping to put her team on the board, but was unable to get the ball into the net.
Alongside Sullivan, sophomores Michelle Xiao and Jordan DiBiasi — Stanford’s second-highest goal scorers — each put up seven shots.
Stanford outshot Santa Clara in the first half 13-1 and again in the second half 14-5.
“They had a really strong performance, but at the end of the day, you need to score,” said Stanford’s head coach Paul Radcliffe. “And we weren’t able to do that.”
Despite an eventful two halves of play, a 0-0 score in regulation brought the teams into overtime. In the first overtime period, the Cardinal offense was quick to go to goal but again was unsuccessful in putting it away.
At the start of second overtime, Sullivan exited the field after getting injured from a hard fall. She did not return to the game. Without Sullivan, Stanford was unable to recover in the midfield, and at the 108th minute of play, Santa Clara capitalized on a fast break opportunity and put in the game-winning goal.
Although it was upsetting loss for the team, the Cardinal have had a successful season.
Stanford’s senior class, represented by Jane Campbell, Maddie Bauer, Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, Siobhan Cox and Megan Turner finished their careers with a 72-12-7 record. The seniors also finished with their second Pac-12 Championship this season and a 2014 College Cup appearance.
The team has a strong underclassman representation, and it will surely be working hard to come out even better next season. In the meantime, Stanford women’s soccer fans will be eagerly waiting to see what the team can accomplish next year.
Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.