Women’s soccer gets off to strong start in Pac-12 play

Sept. 26, 2021, 8:44 p.m.

Stanford women’s soccer (7-2-0, 1-0-0 Pac-12) kicked off its Pac-12 slate this Friday with a 3-0 win over Utah (5-4-1, 0-1-0 Pac-12). The Cardinal dominated the field, allowing only four shots — two on goal — throughout the entire game. Offensively, Stanford put together 22 shots, 15 of which were on target with three ending up in the back of the net. The home game drew lots of fans, nearly filling Cagan and making plenty of noise.

The match began with an early sixth-minute goal from sophomore forward Samantha Williams. With the early momentum in Stanford’s hands, it was nearly impossible for Utah to generate plays. Stanford’s ability to play full-field defense — striving to win the ball back immediately — allowed them to keep the ball within their offensive half for much of the game.

In the 33rd minute, graduate student forward Jojo Harber, who came on as a substitute, nailed in a header for the Cardinal, her second of the season. Stanford went into the half up 2-0.

To close out the scoring, junior midfielder Maya Doms put the ball in the back of the net in the 70th minute. Stanford’s ability to put balls not only on target but in the back of the net appears to be promising this season.

Other notable standouts include freshman forward Andrea Kitahata and senior defender Naomi Girma. Kitahata dominated the far side of the field, catching even Utah’s most senior defenders on their heels. Girma, who played all 90 minutes of Friday’s fixture, led the backline to a clean sheet.

Stanford’s ratio of goals to conceded goals now stands at 27 to 5, demonstrating a solid backline and few problems in front of the net. Fans will be looking to see how Stanford performs against some bigger Pac-12 competition.

Up next for the Cardinal is Oregon State on Thursday at 6 p.m. PT at Cagan Stadium.

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.

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