This Week in Sports: Women’s soccer falls in the College Cup final, women’s volleyball reaches Sweet 16

Dec. 7, 2023, 1:29 a.m.

Welcome to “This Week in Sports.” We are Kenneth King and Charis Charitsis from The Daily’s sports section, and we will be walking you through the major games, events and stories from the past week.

Women’s soccer

On Friday, No. 3 Stanford (20-1-4, 8-0-3 Pac-12) beat 2-0 No. 6 BYU (20-3-3, 7-0-3 Big 12) in the second College Cup semifinal. 

Two quick strikes by Stanford decided the outcome of the match. The Cardinal scored two goals in the first four minutes. Sophomore forward Allie Montoya scored just 1:19 into the game, chipping a shot into the far post. Fifth year midfielder Maya Doms added to the lead at the 3:59 mark, when her shot from 25 yards out went into the top corner. 

The 2-0 lead put the Cardinal in a commanding position, as the team had not allowed two goals in a game all season. The Cougars applied offensive pressure but had a goal called back for offsides just before halftime and hit the top of the crossbar midway through the second half. 

BYU outshot the Cardinal 20-3 (each team had three shots on goal) but could not get the ball past senior goalkeeper Ryan Campbell, who made three saves for her 11th shutout. Once again, the Stanford defensive line, led by graduate student Kennedy Wesley who broke a Stanford record by appearing in her 103rd career match, was impregnable.

In Monday’s College Cup final, Stanford was defeated 5-1 by No. 1 Florida State (22-0-1). It was the first time the championship game matched two undefeated teams.

The Cardinal had an early opportunity when, at 4:24, sophomore midfielder Jasmine Aikey rocketed a shot off the crossbar. But the Seminoles dominated the ball thereafter.

The game’s turning point occurred at 28:27 when, amid intense FSU pressure, freshman Mia Bhuta fouled Seminole midfielder Jordynn Dudley inside the box. On the ensuing penalty kick, Dudley placed the shot into the roof of the net for the game’s first score. Less than 30 seconds later, Seminole forward Jody Brown — for whom the Cardinal had few answers the entire game — took a long pass, broke in alone and scored. Stanford went into halftime down 2-0. 

After the intermission, the Cardinal had to take on a more offensive posture. That strategy paid off at 51:01 when Doms scored from inside the box. The goal was her fifth of the 2023 NCAA tournament and a team-leading 12th of the year. 

With the deficit narrowed to one, the Cardinal tried to maintain pressure on the Seminoles, but the team’s hopes were dashed by three unanswered FSU goals, including a second by Brown. The final statistics told the game’s story. The Seminoles outshot the Cardinal 16 to five with eight shots on goal to Stanford’s one. The loss ended the Cardinal’s 36 match undefeated streak. 

In the postgame press conference, Campbell said that FSU’s speed caused the Cardinal to “get caught in transition.”

Stanford coach Paul Radcliffe said the early deficit forced the team to change its tactics and open up the game, which yielded the Cardinal goal but, unfortunately, resulted in FSU scores too. It was “a tough end to a fantastic season” he said.

Women’s volleyball

On Friday at Maples Pavilion, No. 2 Stanford (28-3, 19-1 Pac-12) swept Fresno State (19-14, 10-8 MW), 25-21, 25-12, 25-15, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Redshirt senior outside hitter Caitie Baird led the team with a match-best 15 kills and nine digs.

Fifth year opposite Kendall Kipp added nine kills, five blocks and five digs, while sophomore outside hitter Elia Rubin had nine kills and three digs. Junior setter Kami Miner dished out 39 assists and had six digs. Senior libero Elena Oglivie posted a match-high 18 digs.

The next day, the Cardinal battled against No. 24 Houston (19-10, 11-7 Big 12) in the NCAA Tournament’s second round. 

The Cardinal won the first two sets 25-15, 25-20 before the Cougars fought back, winning the next two 22-25, 22-25. In the tiebreaker, with the score at 5-5, Stanford won six consecutive points and closed out the set 15-7 for the 3-2 victory. 

Rubin registered a career-high 23 kills and 12 digs for her 12th double-double of the season. Kipp and Baird tallied 16 kills each, while junior middle blocker Sami Francis had 12 kills and four blocks. 

Redshirt senior middle blocker McKenna Vicini had a match-high eight blocks to go with eight kills. Setter Kami Miner matched her career-high with 60 assists and added 12 digs, for her 12th double-double on the season. Oglivie collected a match-best 19 digs and finished with five assists.

The win gave Stanford a spot in Thursday’s Sweet 16 at Maples against No. 18 Arizona State (28-6, 14-6 Pac-12).

Men’s soccer

No. 16 Stanford’s (11-4-5, 3-2-5 Pac-12) season came to a close in South Carolina after falling 0-2 to No. 9 Clemson (13-3-5, 4-2-2 ACC) in the NCAA quarterfinals. 

The Tigers started aggressively and opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Stanford began to find its footing, but Clemson scored again in the 37th minute, leading 2-0 at halftime. 

In the second half, the Cardinal had good opportunities but failed to capitalize. In the 54th minute, senior defender Ryan Dunn narrowly missed, wide of the net. In the 82th minute, sophomore midfielder Zach Bohane launched a free kick on target but Clemson’s goalkeeper saved it. Four minutes later, senior defender Noah Adnan’s header forced Andema to make another save.

Track and field

On Saturday, Stanford opened its indoor track season competing in the 5k men’s and women’s races in Boston. 

Senior Ky Robinson and Harvard’s Graham Blanks broke multiple records. Blanks finished first in 13:03.78 and Robinson took second in 13:06.42, the two fastest indoor times in collegiate history. Robinson shattered his Stanford record (13:11.53). 

In the second section of the women’s 5k, senior Lucy Jenks ran an indoor personal best of 15:38.53, the third fastest time in Stanford indoor history.

Men’s basketball

On Sunday, Stanford (4-4, 0-0 Pac-12) cruised to a 88-64 victory over San Diego (6-2, 0-0 WCC) at Maples. 

Stanford led from the opening tip-off and led at the half, 43-27.  In the second half, the Toreros narrowed the deficit to nine points with 15 minutes left. However, the Cardinal extended the lead to 20 points with 3:30 remaining. 

Senior forward Brandon Angel led the team with a career-high 25 points on 9-for-13 (69%) shooting from the field goal. Graduate student Michael Jones tallied 19 points, while fifth-year forward Spencer Jones had 16 points. Junior power forward Maxime Raynaud grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

Women’s basketball

On Friday, No. 3 Stanford (8-1, 0-0 Pac-12) coasted to a 85-44 away victory over San Diego State (4-4, 0-0 MW). 

The Cardinal dominated from the start and raced to an 18-2 lead. 

Senior power forward Cameron Brink finished the game with 25 points, 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Graduate student shooting guard Hannah Jump scored 13 (3-for-5 from behind the three point arc) and freshman forward Nunu Agara tallied 11 points. Junior forward Kiki Iriafen grabbed 11 rebounds.

On Sunday, in Spokane, Wash., the team suffered its first loss, 78-96, to Gonzaga (8-2, 0-0 WCC). 

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-12 first quarter lead, but the Cardinal narrowed the deficit to only four at halftime (41-45). 

The second half told a different story. In the third period, Gonzaga outscored Stanford 32-16 and led by 20 going into the fourth quarter (57-77), a lead which proved insurmountable. 

Although the two teams posted similar stats, Stanford committed 16 turnovers, nine more than Gonzaga’s seven. Freshman small forward Courtney Ogden, Jump and Agara led the Cardinal scoring with 13 points each. Brink, who was ill, and Iriafen finished with 10 points each. 

Wrestling

On Friday and Saturday, No. 24 Stanford wrestled at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. 

On the opening day, sophomore Nico Provo (125 pounds), freshman Tyler Knox (133 pounds) and sophomore Daniel Cardenas (157 pounds) went 3-0 and advanced to the semifinals. 

The following day, Provo picked up where he left off, winning his two remaining matches and the 125-pound title. 

Knox, the only unseeded wrestler in the semifinals, was edged by No. 8 Evan Frost of Iowa State, 2-1 and placed fifth for the tournament in the 133-pound division. 

Cardenas lost in the semifinals to No. 4 Jacori Teemer of Arizona State and took fifth in the 157-pound division. The team finished seventh with 85.5 points. Iowa State took first place with 130.5 points.

Men’s diving

On Saturday, junior diver Jack Ryan took silver to Ohio State’s Lyle Yost in the men’s 1-meter springboard at the USA Diving Winter National Championships. 

Both earned a berth to represent the United States in February’s World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Charis is a recent alum (Ph.D.’23). If CS is his hobby, sports is his passion. Firm believer that the coach is the most important position in every team sport. A member of the sports section but not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination.

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