Oct. 11, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Lo'eau LaBonta, starting for the first time at forward, had a goal and an assist to lead No. 2 Stanford to a 4-1 victory over Arizona on Thursday, enabling the Cardinal to extend its Pac-12 women's soccer winning streak to 37.
LaBonta had been starting in the midfield, but coach Paul Ratcliffe liked her goal-scoring abilities enough to move her up, and place Nina Watkins in the midfield. The result was the most goals Stanford has scored on an opponent's field all season.
"It helped a lot up front," Ratcliffe said. "Lo is a great goal-scorer, we saw that tonight. She's good on the ball and good at holding the ball for her teammates."
The Cardinal (12-1-1 overall, 6-0 Pac-12) had four different goal-scorers in earning a milestone victory. Stanford moved alone into third on the NCAA Division I all-time list of consecutive conference victories. Only North Carolina (1994-2000) with 55, and Florida (1997-2001) with 49, have more.
After Chioma Ubogagu opened the scoring with a 22-yard left-footed shot in the first half, Stanford got three - from LaBonta, Alex Doll, and Alina Garciamendez -- within a 20-minute span of the second half, from the 48th to 67th minutes, to break it open and take a 4-0 lead.
"It was a strong team performance," Ratcliffe said. "We scored four great goals. All the goals were high-level."
Ubogagu also had a goal - her second of the season -- and an assist. It was her goal that opened the scoring. Taking the ball just above the penalty area on the right side, Ubogagu executed a spin-o-rama to set up a left-footed shot from 22 yards that snuck inside the right post in the 19th minute.
The second-half surge began with LaBonta, who took a pass from Laura Liedle
and cut to her right across the top of the box. Arizona gave her room to strike a right-footed shot from 24 yards that also found room inside the right post.
After that, Doll received an Ubogagu cross on the right and took a pair of touches to the left before scoring on a left-footed cross-goal shot . A few minutes later, Garciamendez headed in a LaBonta corner kick, off the crossbar and into the goal. Arizona (5-7-3, 1-3-2) scored in the 74th minute after Candi Osei-Agyemang stole a pass deep in the Stanford end for the final margin.
Stanford resumes play with its final regular-season home matches, against Washington State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.) and Washington (Sunday, 5:30 p.m.). Without a match this weekend, Stanford has the luxury of resting up a bit, but Ratcliffe scoffed at the notion.
"We've got to keep working hard," Ratcliffe said. "We'll keep trying to improve and get better."