The No. 2 Stanford women’s soccer team plays its home opener Saturday at 7 p.m. against No. 16 Portland at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. They resume a series in which they have met five times in the NCAA tournament and are annually regarded among the strongest teams on the West Coast.
Stanford has won its past 24 home openers, going back to a 1988 loss to UC Santa Barbara in the Cardinal’s fifth season of existence. Stanford also will attempt to extend its 67-match home unbeaten streak.
Stanford (2-0) opened its season with a pair of narrow victories in the Northeast against teams that are unranked, but highly respected. On Friday, Alex Doll knocked in a rebound in the 108th minute to make the difference in a 2-1 double-overtime victory at Boston College. On Sunday, transfer Taylor Uhl scored her first Stanford goal on a first-half header in a 1-0 victory over Connecticut.
Goalkeeper Emily Oliver was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for her role in each victory. She made nine saves, including several of the spectacular variety, to set Stanford up for the B.C. victory. She later recorded her 27th career shutout to help the Cardinal beat UConn and is fifth on the school career list in that category.
Portland (2-0) opened with a 1-0 home victory over Marquette, thanks to a 22nd-minute goal by Ellen Parker, and followed with a 2-1 overtime victory at Oregon with the winner scored by freshman Ellie Boon in the 93rd minute.
With nine newcomers, coach Paul Ratcliffe has used different lineup combinations over the first two matches. Four have earned starting assignments: Uhl at forward, and Maddie Bauer, Siobhan Cox, and Ryan Walker-Hartshorn in defense.
Stanford and Portland will be meeting for the 12th time. Stanford holds a 7-3-1 series edge and last played in 2011 when the Cardinal won 2-0 on the road. Their most recent meeting at Cagan Stadium was in the 2008 NCAA quarterfinals when Christen Press scored a late goal to send the Cardinal to the first of its five consecutive College Cups.The match will be webcast live on gostanford.com with Kevin Danna and Tim Swartz calling the play-by-play. For ticket information, call 1-800-STANFORD, or visit the ticket page on gostanford.com.