Top-ranked Stanford women’s soccer (19-1-0) made a storming debut in the NCAA tournament this Saturday, crushing Utah Valley (10-12-1) 9-1 at Cagan Stadium. With this rout, the Cardinal set a new record for single-game goals in the postseason, improving their 7-0 win against Sacramento State in 2007.
Despite senior Andi Sullivan’s absence during the game, the Cardinal were able to bring their number of season scores to 79, one short of the record they set in 2009. Sullivan played for the US National team on Sunday as the team took on Canada.
Junior Michelle Xiao led the team in assists, becoming the ninth player in school history to record three assist in a game. Freshman Catarina Macario also made history, as her fifteenth season goal puts her at ninth-place all-time and sets the record for a freshman. Scoring-wise, freshman Madison Haley and sophomore Samantha Tran led the team with two goals apiece.
The Cardinal dominated throughout the game, earning their first of nine corner kicks after only 30 seconds of play. The team finished the game with 33 shots to Utah Valley’s 11.
Stanford started the game with an aggressiveness that didn’t stop and scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the contest. In both instances, freshman Civana Kuhlmann was able to steal the ball near the Wolverines’ box. During the sixth minute, she passed the ball to fellow freshman Haley who buried it past Utah Valley’s goalkeeper. Three minutes later, Kuhlmann once again was rewarded for her defensive pressure, but this time, she was the one who scored.
The Wolverines were able to score once during this game, taking advantage of an unmarked player on a corner to put a header in during the 17th minute.
“Disappointing that we conceded a goal,” said head coach Paul Ratcliffe. “But I give Utah Valley full credit – they were a tough, courageous team and they really put pressure on us.”
Despite being the clear underdogs, Utah Valley came out with a full-field press and attempted to play a fast-paced game to score against the Cardinal, who managed to settle later in the game and get a solid hold of the victory.
Junior Jaye Boissiere put the Cardinal up 3-1 with a long ball into the top left corner, and sophomore Tierna Davidson added one two minutes later of a corner kick increase the lead to three scores. Macario closed out a four-minute stretch with three Cardinal goals as she converted for her first post-season score of a cross from Xiao.
Thanks to another goal of a corner kick scored at the 42nd minute by freshman Belle Briede, the Cardinal finished the first half with a commanding 6-1 lead.
“On the field, you can see [the chemistry],” said junior captain Alana Cook. “Maddie [Haley] gets the ball up top and immediately she knows that Jordan [DiBiasi] is coming to her right and Cat [Macario] is coming to her left.”
After the break, Kuhlmann once again assisted classmate Haley, who scored her second goal of the night in the 49th minute. Tran closed out the game with two back-to-back goals in the 83rd and 85th minutes. Assisted both times by Macario, the sophomore first scored with a laser shot from 18 yards in the bottom right corner of the net, and added one more tipping a cross from Macario in.
Stanford returns to action next Friday to take on Auburn at home. Last year, the Cardinal had fallen to Santa Clara in the second round of the tournament, and the team has not forgotten that bitter loss.
“The returners know that was probably one of the most bitter feelings we’ve had in our soccer career,” said Cook. “At the end of the day, any team can come out and beat a top-ranked team.”
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.