Aug. 26, 2012
UNIVERSITY Park, Pa. -
No. 1 Stanford's 25-match women's soccer winning streak was snapped by unranked West Virginia, 1-0, at the Penn State Invitational on Sunday.
West Virginia (2-2) scored in the 83rd minute on a shot by Frances Silva from the top of the penalty area to upset Stanford (2-1) and end the Cardinal's unbeaten streaks of 28 matches overall and 64 in the regular season.
"My reaction is that soccer can be a cruel sport at times," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "West Virginia had a good game plan, and we lacked energy and creativity."
Stanford's last non-victory was a 0-0 draw at Maryland on Aug. 26, 2011. Its' last loss was 1-0 on Dec. 5, 2010, to Notre Dame in the NCAA final. And its' last regular-season loss was 1-0 at UCLA on Oct. 31, 2008.
Ratcliffe said the loss may relieve a little bit of pressure, but streaks have never been emphasized at Stanford.
"It's a new team, it's a new year," he said. "To me, any streak we have is over at the end of each season. This is a new squad and they've got to create their own legacy."
Stanford outshot West Virginia, 17-7, but forced only one save from Mountaineers' goalkeeper Sara Keane, while Stanford's Aly Gleason had four.
The Cardinal had much of the play, but misfired on a pair of prime scoring opportunities early in the match and West Virginia was able to threaten on the counterattack. Stanford was pushing forward for a goal when West Virginia countered and created a corner kick.
The set piece led to a shot that was headed away, but Silva scored on a follow.
"It was a good goal," Ratcliffe said.
Friday's emotional 3-2 victory over No. 6 Penn State before a TV audience and a record crowd of more than 5,000 may have led to a letdown, Ratcliffe said, but he refused to make excuses.
"Our legs were definitely a little heavy, but we played a lot of people (18) and someone has to create that spark," he said.
Stanford was without forward Courtney Verloo
, who had "a little knock," from Friday's match, Ratcliffe said, and was held out.
"That hurt us," he said. "But, on the day, we just couldn't create the chances.
"It's humbling, but we can learn from this. We need to realize that we've got to earn every victory."