Women’s soccer (2-2, 1-1 Pac-12) is back to dominating the field after a 5-0 win over Utah (1-3-2, 0-1-1 Pac-12) this Friday. Fans who watched could feel the energy coming from the field, and saw a glimpse into Stanford’s future.
The game started out with a quick goal from junior forward Civana Kuhlman in the third minute after an incredible assist from freshman midfielder/forward Catherine Paulson. Paulson nutmegged her defender on the touchline, clearing up a serve into Kuhlman. Kuhlman, who spent last season recovering from an injury, has started the new season strong, with Friday’s goal being her second of the season.
It was immediately recognized that Stanford did not plan to pick up another loss after their two away matches last week. The team quickly put on the pressure with an aggressive and high pressing style.
In the 31st minute, sophomore midfielder Maya Doms slotted in another goal, her first of the season, off a fumbled shot from freshman forward Samantha Williams to put the Cardinal up 2-0 before half-time. Right before the half, Paulson made a beautiful run up the middle but was called offside after finding the back of the net to keep the lead at two.
The first half was dominated by Stanford at both ends as sophomore keeper Katie Meyer claimed multiple Utah corner kicks out of the air.
Coming into the second half, Meyer made three more saves, holding Utah without a goal. With just over 25 minutes left to play, junior keeper SJ Edwards of Utah was caught off her line, as Williams was fouled just outside the right side of the eighteen. Freshman midfielder/forward Sarah Paulson then rocketed in the free kick, making the score 3-0.
33 minutes into the second half, freshman midfielder Amy Sayer sent another rocket towards the goal, unfortunately bouncing off the crossbar. However, two minutes later, Williams got her second goal of the season after weaving through the box.
Williams finished off the game with another goal in the last minute of the match making the final score 5-0.
A notable debut was freshman keeper Michayla Gussler, who was subbed into her first Stanford match for the final 10 minutes.
Could this be the future of Stanford women’s soccer? Fans got a glimpse of what the season, and the next few years, could potentially look like with the talent of Doms, Williams, Sayer, Kuhlman and the Paulson twins. Altogether the team looked in better form and well prepared for the match.
Next up for the Cardinal is a game against Colorado this Sunday, starting at 12 p.m. PT. Stanford has a history of beating Colorado in every match they’ve played, holding an all-time record of 11-0.
Last season, the Cardinal showed their force, winning the match 4-0. Like other games of last season, most goals and assists came from players who have since moved on to play pro. However, with the showing of Stanford this Friday, a new squad of talent seems to be taking over.
Fans can watch the fixture live on the Pac-12 network, here.