Stanford women’s soccer (17-1-0, 10-0-0 Pac-12) clinched its third-straight conference title this weekend during a successful campaign in Southern California. Starting with a 1-0 win on Thursday at No. 6 UCLA (14-2-2, 7-2-1), the top-ranked Cardinal grabbed three more points at No. 5 USC (14-2-1, 8-1-1) thanks to a 3-1 victory. Stanford now holds a five-point lead over Pac-12 runner-up USC, one game before the end of the regular season.
With the two weekend wins, Stanford still leads the Pac-12 in goals scored (30) while having conceded the fewest goals (two). The Cardinal have yet to lose a conference game this year and are riding a streak of 16 consecutive Pac-12 wins. Their last loss dates back to Oct. 6, 2016.
This weekend marked the return of senior midfielder Andi Sullivan, who played with the U.S. National team for a pair of games while away from the farm.
Heading into Sunday’s faceoff with a win against UCLA under their belt, the Cardinal knew the stakes of the game. Sitting at 27 points, ahead of USC by a mere two points, Stanford was playing for the Pac-12 title.
The Cardinal were the first to open fire, scoring just before the 15-minute mark. Freshman defender Kiki Pickett scored her first goal of the season of a cross from junior midfielder Jaye Boissiere.
The Trojans’ answer was almost instant, as USC pierced through the Cardinal defense only 30 seconds later to put an end to the Cardinal’s 787:28 without conceding a goal. Despite allowing a goal in the first half, Stanford limited USC to three shots, while taking eight attempts to score themselves.
Ten minutes later, freshman forward Catarina Macario passed the ball to junior midfielder Michelle Xiao on the left side of the USC box. After beating her defender, the junior lobbed the ball just above USC’s Kaylie Collins for a stunning score.
The Trojans had a chance to tie it in the second half, but the Cardinal defense blocked back-to-back shot attempts to preserve their 2-1 lead. Macario put another one into the net, scoring an a free kick. The freshman lodged the ball in the right corner after going over the wall to claim her team-high 13th goal of the season.
On Thursday against the Bruins, the Cardinal broke through with the game’s lone goal during the 28th minute. Junior midfielder Jordan DiBiasi scored her sixth season goal after a corner shot by Boissiere was deflected by junior defender Alana Cook in the box.
After the Stanford score, the Cardinal defense was able to preserve the lead thanks to another great effort. In the cage, senior goalkeeper Alison Jahansouz posted three saves, while defender pair Tierna Davidson and Cook also saved the day.
Three minutes after DiBiasi scored, Davidson stopped a Bruins play with a daring sliding tackle inside the box, while Jahansouz had a game-saving tip during the 70th minute on a UCLA corner kick.
Stanford was able to absorb all of the Bruins’ attempts to tie the game and walked away with their eighth shutout in a row.
Stanford women’s soccer will come back home for its final regular-season game against Cal this Friday.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.