Oct. 30, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. - In some respects, No. 1 Stanford played like a team coming off the high of clinching a conference championship.
The Cardinal's third consecutive Pac-12 women's soccer title was won on Friday in a comeback victory over Oregon State, but the team still had another match to finish the road weekend.
Senior captain Teresa Noyola ensured that Stanford's regular-season road finale was not a Cardinal letdown, scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory over Oregon on Sunday.
Noyola came through on a day when the Cardinal appeared to be stuck in the doldrums between the emotional rally and the team's Senior Night home finale next Saturday against rival Cal.
"We played pretty well considering their energy level wasn't as high as usual, maybe because we had already clinched the Pac-12," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "The energy was a little quiet for me."
Stanford had only eight shots, its fewest since Oct. 19, 2007, when the Cardinal had only eight in a 2-0 loss to visiting UCLA. However, the Cardinal still outshot the Ducks (8-9-2, 3-6-1), who had only four.
Stanford can complete its third consecutive unbeaten regular season if it beats California on Saturday in a 7 p.m. match that already has sold out 1,900-seat Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
Stanford has a regular-season unbeaten streak of 61, and extended several other impressive streaks. Stanford extended its Pac-12 winning streak to 30, its road (non-neutral) unbeaten streak to 28, its unbeaten streak to 19, and its Pac-12 road winning streak to 16.
Noyola had her first multi-goal performance in two years and third of her collegiate career. The senior midfielder opened the scoring in the 14th minute when a long ball from central defender Alina Garciamendez set Noyola up one on one against Oregon goalkeeper Lindsay Parlee. Noyola got a low cross-goal shot off at close range only for it to be cleared by an Oregon defender an instant after the ball crossed the goal line.
In the 47th minute, Mariah Nogueira played a ball back to Noyola after a corner kick and Noyola's shot from above the penalty area scored inside the left post. The goals were the seventh and eighth of the season for a player who continued to show her versatility.
"Noyola is a talented player," Ratcliffe said. "She can be a great playmaker, but she also can step forward and score goals if the situation calls for it, like it did today."
Stanford sophomore goalkeeper Emily Oliver earned her seventh shutout and moves alone into sixth on the school's career shutout list, with 17.
And Stanford got a lift from junior central defender Madeleine Thompson, who made her second and third career starts over the weekend in her home state. She helped the Cardinal defense to its 12th shutout of the season.
Central defender Kendall Romine, who had been out of action because of injuries the past two years and missed three early-season matches, sat out the weekend for rest and will be ready for Cal. In her place, Thompson, a junior and Corvallis native, was allowed to shine in central defense, making her second and third starts of the season - and her career.
"Maddie had a fantastic weekend. I was happy to see her come here to her home and play so well," Ratcliffe said. "She's very intelligent, she's a great distributer, good defender, and brings a lot of composure and positive influence."
Next is the Senior Night match, which will honor Noyola, Camille Levin, Lindsay Taylor, and Kristy Zurmuhlen. These players have combined on a 74-1-4 regular-season record over the course of their collegiate careers, and an 88-4-4 mark overall, making them the winningest senior class in the country (thanks to research from collegesoccer360.com).