Against unranked Pepperdine, No. 2 women’s soccer flounders for first regular-season loss in over 2 years

Sept. 13, 2019, 6:15 p.m.

No. 2 Stanford women’s soccer (5-1, 0-0 Pac-12) fell to Pepperdine (2-3-1, 0-0 WCC) on the road Friday in the first regular-season loss for the Cardinal since Aug. 25, 2017.

When Pepperdine scored in the 20th minute, it was the first time Stanford had trailed in 2019. The Waves capitalized on their only corner kick of the game to head in the go-ahead goal, a connection between forward Hailey Stenberg and defender Isabel Nelson. The goal was just the fourth scored against the Cardinal all season, and the second allowed by senior keeper Lauren Rood.

About 600 fans were on hand at Tari Frahm Rokus Field to watch the biggest upset in Waves program history. The Waves have now bested the Cardinal 1-0 in both all-time meetings, with the first coming on Sept. 7, 2003 in Stanford head coach Paul Ratcliffe’s third game with the program.

Not only did Stanford outnumber Pepperdine in corner kicks 9-1, but the Cardinal also led 22-3 in shots and 9-1 in shots on goal. The game, however, could best be described by Stanford’s seven offsides to Pepperdine’s one, as the Cardinal lacked execution in the final third.

Stanford’s first look on goal came in the ninth minute, when senior defender Sam Hiatt played a ball over the top toward junior forward Catarina Macario. Pepperdine goalkeeper Kinsey Ehmann was there for a diving save, the first of a career-high six for the redshirt freshman in just her third game with the Waves.

Four minutes after the Waves’ goal, the Cardinal looked to answer, but Pepperdine defender Trinity Watson cleared an attempt from junior forward Catarina Macario off the line. The Cardinal almost knotted the game in the 31st minute, but sophomore center back Naomi Girma’s header caromed off the crossbar.

At halftime, Stanford led 8-2 in shots and 3-1 in shots on goal.

The Cardinal continued to apply pressure in the second half, first with an attempt by Macario in the 54th minute off a through pass from junior forward Madison Haley. Nevertheless, the shot was parried for a corner kick. 

A golden opportunity seemed to appear in the 77th minute, with Macario on the right flank putting a ball across the goal for sophomore forward Sophia Smith, but in her second game back from injury, Smith was unable to knock the ball in on the back post.

Ehmann stepped up once again for Pepperdine in the 82nd minute, when senior midfielder Beattie Goad’s volley was denied by a diving save. Stanford’s last hope took the form of a foul against Haley in the 88th minute, but the ensuing free kick from Macario was squandered.

After scoring nine times in the last match, Stanford was shut out for the first time since 

The humbled Cardinal will head to UC Santa Barbara for a match on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.

Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’

Daniel Martinez-Krams '22 is a staff writer in the sports section. He is a Biology major from Berkeley, California. Please contact him with tips or feedback at dmartinezkrams ‘at’

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