Oct. 23, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - No. 1 Stanford remained perfect the hard way, requiring an 87th minute goal from Christen Press and a golden goal from Kelley O'Hara to beat No. 23 Washington State, 2-1, in a rainy Pac-10 women's soccer overtime thriller Friday afternoon.
Stanford (16-0, 5-0) fell behind in the 54th minute on a goal by Elysse Van Lear that deflected in off goalkeeper Kira Maker, the first goal given up in the run of play by the Cardinal in 13 matches.
But O'Hara set up the equalizer by playing a ball from the left that Press settled and slotted in past prone goalkeeper Meghan Berlingo.
In the 95th minute, Lindsay Taylor sent a cross to the back post that found O'Hara, who jumped above a defender to head the ball in from point-blank range.
"I'm proud of the team," Ratcliffe said after the Cardinal's first overtime match this season. "They showed great character."
Stanford had 22 shots to seven for the Cougars (10-4-1, 2-1-1) while extending its school-record winning streak to 16.
"It wasn't that we were flat, but we were away from home, playing in wet conditions and we were out of our comfort zone," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "But give them credit. They're a good team."
It was the 18th goal of the season for O'Hara, who moved into a second-place tie on Stanford's single-season scoring list, with 44 points, and closes to within two goals of Sarah Rafanelli's 1993 goal-scoring record of 20.
Press scored her 15th goal, moving her into sixth on the single-season list.
"We didn't put away our chances early and break the ice," Ratcliffe said. "They were tactically a hard team to break down, and they grew in confidence as the game went along."
Stanford has trailed in the second half three times this season, and could have fallen behind by more if not for a point-blank save by Maker.
"These games are invaluable," Ratcliffe said. "If we want to win a Pac-10 and national title, we'll need to draw from this experience."