Sunday night soccer did not disappoint as the Stanford women (6-2-0, 0-0-0 Pac-12) defeated Santa Clara (3-3-2, 0-0-0) 3-1 in front of an overflowing Cagan Stadium. Even students who arrived well before the game were ushered to overflow seating, with the final students standing and watching through the fence behind the goal.
Nevertheless, fans persisted, showing their support for the Cardinal during their first game since students arrived back on campus. A sea of red was visible throughout the stadium, erupting at every Stanford opportunity.
Despite the win, Santa Clara was first to get the scoring going with a third minute goal from junior midfielder Izzy D’Aquila. The goal marked D’Aquila’s second of the season.
However, being down a goal did not seem to phase the Cardinal on the field. In the 36th minute, after many fans had finally taken their places, junior midfielder Katie Duong scored her first of the season, making the score level. The crowd exploded, knowing this meant the Cardinal were back in the game with momentum on Stanford’s side. The match went into halftime 1-1.
Coming out of the half, Stanford seemed more motivated than ever, creating opportunities immediately. In the 75th minute, sophomore midfielder Amy Sayer headed a beautiful ball in off a corner kick. The stadium cheered in joy for Sayer’s second of the season, a much-needed lead for the Cardinal.
To close out the game, in the 84th minute, junior midfielder Maya Doms scored her fifth of the season. The match would end 3-1 with a crucial home victory for the Cardinal as they head into Pac-12 competition.
Another notable performance came from redshirt junior goalkeeper Katie Meyer. Meyer made seven saves on the night as she hyped up the crowd. The match overall was highly physical with both teams becoming frustrated during the 1-1 period.
Next up for the Cardinal is their first conference game as they face Utah at Cagan on Friday. The action gets underway at 6 p.m. PT.