In a well-fought, end-to-end game, No. 9 Stanford women’s soccer (7-1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) drew to Santa Clara University (2-5-1, 0-0 WCC), finishing with a scoreline of 2-2. The Cardinal narrowly avoided what would have been a disaster loss with a tying goal in the 89th minute. This was the first meeting for the two teams since the Broncos defeated Stanford 1-0 in the 2021 NCAA championship tournament.
From kickoff, Santa Clara did not miss a beat. With crisp passing, even amid rainy conditions, the Broncos were able to score within the first two minutes. With a pinpoint cross from defender Alyssa Bourgious, midfielder Izzy D’Aquila skillfully headed the ball to secure both the first shot and goal of the match.
With work to do, the Cardinal got physical. As conditions worsened, with the drizzle turning to a downpour, there was an onslaught of six fouls within just over 10 minutes. In the 20th minute, Cardinal junior midfielder Julia Leontini was booked, earning herself a yellow card.
Just minutes later, the Broncos earned their 2nd goal of the match as D’Aquila earned her brace with a beautiful volley to the far post.
Drawing on fresh legs, the Cardinal entered a slew of subs in the 33rd minute, including junior forward Samantha Williams. Not even a minute later, the attacker from Laguna Beach found the back of the net in a masterfully placed left-footed shot to the near post. Williams – known for her quick pace – did not waste a second, skipping the celebration and hustling the ball back to midfield in hopes of keeping momentum and finding another. Ultimately, the scoreline stayed steady for the remainder of the half.
The second half proved to be just as physical – if not more – than the first. Cardinal junior forward Amy Sayer was booked with a yellow card in the 53rd minute as well as D’Aquila in the 68th. With a total of 19 fouls from Stanford and 14 from Santa Clara, the game was chippy yet dangerous, with both teams getting their share of attacking and defensive play.
While the Broncos had maintained a high press throughout the match, they fell back by the 78th minute, aiming to protect their lead. With five set pieces within five minutes, Stanford was crashing the net. In a free kick earned by Cardinal freshman midfielder Jasmine Aikey, Aikey herself secured the goal with a beautiful shot from 25 yards out. Aikey, the 6th ranked recruit in the class of 2022, sealed the first goal of her Cardinal career. With only a minute left of play, the show-stopping goal marked the end of what was a match to remember.
For their first match of conference play, the Cardinal will take the road to face off against the USC (4-1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) on Friday, Sept. 23. Kickoff will begin at 2 p.m. PT.