Sept. 7, 2007
No. 5 Stanford controlled the game early on, but was forced to withstand heavy Cavalier pressure in the end of the game to hold on for a 2-1 victory at Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Field. The Cardinal, now 3-0 on the season, were able to win with their strong defense and timely offense, which has been the formula so far this season.
The Cardinal started their offensive attack early when Kelley O'Hara led Kelley Birch on a beautiful crossing pass at the 41:34 mark that Birch powered through the net in the top right corner. It was Birch's first goal off the season and O'Hara's second assist on the year. Stanford continued to apply offensive pressure and when O'Hara looked to receive a pass at the 35:29 mark, she was taken down near the net, which set up a penalty shot for senior Lizzy George. George found the top left portion of the net on the penalty shot and the Cardinal had a 2-0 lead after 10 minutes of action. This was George's first goal of the season after scoring three last season.
After George's goal the Cavaliers got a couple good looks at the net by freshman Katie Carr, who took a shot that sailed over Stanford goalkeeper Erica Holland's head and over the crossbar. The Cardinal countered with Allison Falk, who had a strong shot from 15 yards away that glanced off a Virginia defender. Later in the first half Stanford senior defender April Wall led Kelley O'Hara on another crossing pass that was unable to find the net.
The Cardinal defense started to falter in the second half as Virginia applied a lot more pressure than in the first half. Stanford had a great sequence of its own in the second half when O'Hara provided George with a pass that left her in front of the net. Cavalier goalkeeper Chantel Jones was able to make a strong save and knock the ball out of bounds keeping the score at 2-0. On the ensuing corner kick, Falk controlled the corner from George and it took another athletic save by Jones to prevent the Cardinal from adding their third goal of the afternoon.
Cavalier freshman forward Meghan Lenczyk was able to put the Cavaliers on the board when she found the net in the 80th minute to cut the Cardinal lead in half to 2-1. Lenczyk also almost tied the score with 3:16 left in the second half when she got the ball over a streaking Holland, but missed the goal by about a foot to left, leaving the score at 2-1. With the game just about complete, O'Hara went on another breakaway at the 1:00 mark and collided with Cavalier defender Alex Singer. The collision earned Singer the only yellow card of the match.
Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe was pleased with his team but insisted that they still need to keep working hard and improving. "I am very happy with the result, but I am not pleased with how we played in the second half" said Ratcliffe. "I know we can play better as a team and I hope we can improve against Notre Dame."
The Cardinal return to action on Sunday, Sept. 9, against No. 2 Notre Dame, at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. It will be the second and final day of the Santa Clara University/adidas Classic.
#5 Stanford 2, #11 Virginia 1
#11 Virginia (2-1-0) 0 1 1
#5 Stanford (3-0-0) 2 0 2
1. SU. Birch, 1 (O'Hara, 2) 3'
2. SU. George, 1 (penalty kick) 10'
3. UVa. Lenczyk,1 (unassisted) 81'
Shots: 8 6
Corners: 4 4
Saves: 2 0
Fouls: 9 12
Cautions: UVa: Singer (YC-89')
Weather: 75 degrees, clear