SEATTLE – Lo’eau LaBonta scored in the 44th minute to lift No. 7 Stanford to a 1-0 Pac-12 Conference women’s soccer victory at Washington on Thursday night.
Stanford (13-3-1) won its fourth straight to counter a recent three-match losing streak. The four-time defending champion Cardinal keeps its Pac-12 title hopes alive. Second-place Stanford (6-3, 18 points) trails UCLA (6-0-2, 20 points) and would need to win its final two matches and require at least a UCLA loss and a draw in its final three to earn a share of the crown.
LaBonta’s goal was her fourth of the season. The sequence began when a Washington backpass down the line was intercepted in stride by Taylor Uhl, who crossed the ball from the right corner.
A defender got a touch on it, but freshman sub Ryan Walker-Hartshorn muscled her way between two defenders to play the ball back to LaBonta, who crushed a straightaway first-timer with her left foot from 12 yards.
“It was a fantastic goal,” Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said.
"I'm always trying to get there to pick up the scraps," LaBonta said.
Freshman goalkeeper Jane Campbell earned her fourth shutout as Stanford won its ninth straight in the series and 26 straight on the road in conference play.
Outside back Natalie Griffen made a crucial defensive play early in the second half when she tracked down open Washington forward Jaclyn Softli in the penalty area. Griffen got in front of Softli to force a weak shot that Campbell collected, but it could have been a lot more dangerous for the Cardinal.
Stanford resumes play Sunday at Washington State at 11 a.m. before completing the regular season Wednesday against visiting California. Both matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.