On Friday, Stanford women’s soccer (4-3, 3-1 Pac-12) will face Oregon State (2-7, 0-5 Pac-12) in what will be the teams’ second match-up this season. The first meeting of the Pac-12 pair ended in a tough 1-2 loss for Stanford and snapped a 16-game winning streak against Oregon State.
Favored to win the previous game, the Cardinal had trouble finishing its opportunities, a recurring theme that has emerged this season. The Cardinal took a total of 15 shots, seven of which were on target, with one going in during the first half. On the other side, the Beavers took a total of just six shots, three of which were on goal with two going in.
Although Stanford appears to be creating an abundance of offensive opportunities, its ability to put the ball in the back of the net under pressure is its failing. A look back at the meeting against Cal last Saturday, Stanford took a total of 21 shots, only nine of which were on target with none going in. Cal was held to four shots, with a single shot on target and going in.
Defensively, Stanford has looked great, typically holding its opponents to fewer shots overall, pressing high and forcing play back into the midfield where they can push for turnovers. However, even when the Cardinal is able to dominate offensively, its has struggled to lock in actual points.
Going into the weekend, Stanford fans will hope to see the likes of freshmen midfielders/forwards Amy Sayer, Sarah Paulson, Catherine Paulson and Samantha Williams put more shots on target and into the back of the net, as they look to define the future of Stanford women’s soccer.
Other players to keep an eye out for include junior forward Civanna Kuhlmann and senior forward Madison Haley — both have been dominating up front, taking shots at every opportunity. Although Haley has yet to record a goal this season, she has played major minutes in all seven games and consistently creates opportunities for her teammates, even as opposing sides attempt to silence her efforts. Her ability to draw in defenders is creating space for her teammates.
Kuhlmann has had a great start to her season with three goals in seven games, tying Williams for most so far this season. Coming off an injury last season, Kuhlmann has been a dominant force offensively and as a playmaker on the field.
As the Cardinal gets ready to face the Beavers once more this season, it will need to be more clinical with its shots and continue to excel defensively. Kick-off is this Friday at 7 p.m. PT, and the action can be watched here.