Sunday at Cagan did not disappoint for No. 7 Stanford women’s soccer (8-3-0, 2-1-0 Pac-12) as it defeated Oregon (6-1-4, 1-1-1 Pac-12) 2-1. The Cardinal looked calm and confident as they re-established their dominance over the Ducks, but above all else, the stadium erupted as fans saw the return of graduate student forward Madison Haley to the field for the first time this season.
The first half was full of Stanford chances in front of the goal, but the Oregon defense held steady. Stanford took nine shots in the first half and held Oregon to a mere two. The scoreline was 0-0 going into the second half.
Senior defender Naomi Girma changed the momentum of the game right away in the second half with a 50th-minute unassisted goal. The crowd went wild as the defender buried the ball into the back of the net to start the scoring.
In the 66th minute, junior midfielder Maya Doms drained another goal off of an assist from junior midfielder Paige Rubinstein. Rubinstein tallied her second assist of the season and stopped a second half opportunity from Oregon to keep the scoreline 2-0.
Oregon got one back in the 75th minute as junior Ally Cook broke away and popped a shot through redshirt junior keeper Katie Meyer. The through ball was beautifully placed by teammate junior midfielder Maya Hahn and left little opportunity for Meyer to make the save.
Regardless, the final whistle blew, giving Stanford the 2-1 victory over the team that provided them a loss and a tie last season. Stanford racked up a total of 29 shots throughout the game, keeping a firm grasp on the offensive advantage.
A new fan favorite has emerged in freshman forward Andrea Kitahata. Kitahata tore up the field Sunday afternoon, pulling defenders in all directions and creating opportunities for her teammates. The Cardinal could have their next big play-maker in the young star.
Another notable standout was freshman Avani Brandt, who played the full 90 minutes alongside Girma, holding down the backline and making stops throughout the match. The duo, along with junior defender Kennedy Wesley, appear to be meshing well in front of Meyer.
Sophomore forward Samantha Williams picked up a small knock later into the second half and was walked off the field.
Up next, the Cardinal will travel north to face Washington State on Thursday and Washington on Sunday. The games are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. PT and 12 p.m. PT, respectively.