Valiant defensive effort from women’s soccer holds USC to draw

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Stanford women’s soccer (5-5-2, 4-3-1 Pac-12) fought for 110 minutes to a 0-0 draw against USC (6-3-2, 5-3-1 Pac-12) after an incredible defensive effort on both ends. 

The Cardinal began strong with seven shots in the first half. Senior defender Kiki Pickett started off the shooting early, driving a ball wide in the third minute. Sophomore midfielder Maya Doms followed soon after with a shot in the sixth minute. 

Overall, Stanford seemed to dominate the first half, winning corner kicks and creating offensive opportunities. Freshman defender Julia Leontini was able to fire off another attempt in the 17th minute, forcing USC senior goalkeeper Kaylie Collins into a save. 

Doms would shoot once more, along with shots from redshirt junior forward Civana Kuhlmann and freshman forward Samantha Williams, to end the half with seven shots for Stanford, four for USC and the score at 0-0. 

Coming into the second half, the Trojans took control of the play, dominating the midfield and pressuring the Stanford defense. Stanford’s back line had a fantastic night, only allowing three shots despite the dominant USC second half. 

In the 67th minute, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Katie Meyer made a flying save, preventing an opening goal. As the end of the half approached, the Cardinal was able to squeeze out a few more shots. 

In the 77th minute, redshirt sophomore midfielder Sierra Enge sent in a rocket from the top of the box, but unfortunately hit the post, leaving the score 0-0 with less than 15 minutes left in regular time. 

The second half ended with no goals, leading to two overtime periods. 

In the first overtime period, the Cardinal were unable to take any shots, mostly pushed back into its own defensive end. In the 100th minute, the Trojans fired off a shot, but it was saved once again by Meyer. 

In the second overtime period, the Cardinal would still be unable to take any more shots as USC continued to press on every play. Kulhmann tried tirelessly to regain control of the play, spanning box to box and challenging Collins, but was ultimately unable to regain possession long enough to set up a strong offensive play for the Cardinal. 

USC would take a total of four shots in the final 10 minutes of the match, forcing Meyer into two more saves. Sophomore defender Kennedy Wesley saved the game herself in the 106th minute, kicking a shot out of the box. 
The game ended in a 0-0 draw with both teams unable to find the back of net. Kuhlmann and Pickett were the powerhouses behind the draw, holding off USC and making plays in both boxes.

Up next, the Cardinal will face UCLA, Sunday, April 11 at 2 p.m. PT. The game can be watched on the Pac-12 Network.

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Jenna Ruzekowicz is a staff writer in the sports section. She is a sophomore from Syracuse, New York majoring in Computer Science. Her teams include: Portland Thorns, Arsenal and Man City. Contact her at jruzekowicz 'at' stanforddaily.com.