Another Pac-12 match is on its way this week as No. 7 Stanford women’s soccer (7-2-0, 1-0-0 Pac-12) takes on Oregon State (8-1-0, 0-1-0 Pac-12) on Thursday at Cagan Stadium. The Cardinal will kickoff against the Beavers at 6 p.m. PT in an attempt to keep their Pac-12 undefeated status alive early in the season.
Last time the Cardinal saw the Beavers was in March of the spring 2021 season, originally the 2020 season, where they pulled away with a 3-1 victory. Stanford dominated the first half, putting three goals in before the whistle, then held Oregon State to a single goal in the second half. However, Cardinal history against Oregon State was not all wins last season.
In late February of the spring 2021 season, Stanford traveled north to face both Oregon State and Oregon, coming home with two losses. These early season defeats got the Cardinal off to a rocky Pac-12 start, ending the season with a 5-4-1 record within the conference.
Despite the early season losses, the Cardinal were able to bounce back in their second meeting. Fans will hope to see a more positive start against a team of which they have only lost twice, and early success from the team gives hope to another run at the Pac-12 title.
Keys to stepping out on the front foot may come from some of the younger players. Stanford freshman forward Andrea Kitahata has begun already making her mark with three goals and five assists so far this season. Kitahata has also put a total of 15 shots on target out of 26 total, demonstrating her play-making ability.
Other young stars include freshman defender Avani Brandt and sophomore midfielder Amy Sayer. Stanford’s strong sophomore and freshman classes, under leadership from upperclassmen like graduate student defender Jojo Harber and senior defender Naomi Girma, are integrating seamlessly into the team, creating a dominant core of players to build upon throughout the season.
Heading into Thursday, Stanford is the favorite to pull out a victory, however a 8-1 start from Oregon State will make the matchup one to watch.