Sept. 30, 2011
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Lindsay Taylor scored on a diving header in the 86th minute to lift No. 1 Stanford to a 1-0 victory over Washington State in Pac-12 women's soccer action Friday afternoon.
The sequence began when Camille Levin, after shifting to right wing from outside back in a second-half tactical move, got behind the defense at the edge of the penalty area and supplied a cross that Taylor met at six yards out with power. It was the team-leading eighth goal of the season for Taylor.
"This was a big win," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "This is a tough place to win. It's always been a hard place to play."
Indeed. On Stanford's last trip to Pullman, in 2009, an 87th minute goal by Christen Press tied the match and Kelley O'Hara won it in overtime.
The goal enabled Stanford (10-0-1 overall) to improve to 2-0 in Pac-12 play and extend its conference winning streak to 22.
Washington State (7-4-1, 1-1) had largely contained the Cardinal attack, though Stanford finished with a 22-6 advantage in shots. Washington State had only one shot in the second half, before being held without a shot for the final 44 minutes. Stanford earned its fifth consecutive shutout, extending its defensive scoreless streak to 473 minutes, 55 seconds.
"It took us a while to create very good chances," Ratcliffe said. "But we were patient, we kept possession and they were playing for the counterattack, sitting in on defense with numbers behind the ball."
Ratcliffe moved Levin to forward for the specific purpose of getting behind the defense. With her ball skills, Levin is adept at precisely that and the Cardinal threatened in earnest. Moments before the goal, Chioma Ubogagu headed just high.
"We just kept playing our game and it paid dividends," Ratcliffe said.
Stanford next plays at 2010 NCAA quarterfinalist Washington on Sunday at noon.