Cardinal overwhelms Pioneers
The University of Denver’s first trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament ended at the hands of the defending champions on Sunday.
Stanford University (20-1-1) got goals from three players and played stifling defense in handing the Pioneers a 3-0 loss.
“They are a good team,” DU head coach Jeff Hooker said. “Having that athleticism and the experience that they have speaks to the quality team they put on the field. Paul (Ratcliffe) is a really good coach. When you watch them play, you can see a really good coach coaching really good players from a soccer standpoint and an athletic standpoint.”
The Cardinal got on the board in the ninth minute on sophomore midfielder Alex Doll’s sixth goal of the season. Courtney Verloo and Chioma Ubogagu connected passes on top of the box, setting up Doll’s turn-around left-footed strike from 12-yards out.
DU would go into the half down a goal and without one of the team’s mainstays. Senior forward Kaitlin Bast left in the 31st minute after colliding with a defender and did not return.
“When it was 1-0 at halftime, we just needed to generate something and create a goal to get back into the game,” Hooker said. “We had to press a little bit when it got to 2-0, but I’m really proud of our team. We didn’t pack it in, we didn’t go for a tie; we went out to try to win the game. I thought the girls did a really good job of sticking to the game plan.”
All Cardinal: Stanford doubled the advantage in the 57th minute on a goal from Nina Watkins into the upper-right corner. In the 78th minute, Ubogagu capped off the Cardinal’s scoring, hooking a breakaway strike around Denver goalkeeper Lara Campbell.
Stanford, which held a 22-5 shot advantage in the match, emerged with its 11th shutout victory of the season. The Cardinal, the defending national champions, advanced to face Pac-12 rival UCLA (17-2-2) in the Elite Eight. The two sides meet Friday night at Stanford.
Recordsetting: The win stretches the Cardinal’s home unbeaten streak to 66 and its home NCAA tournament winning streak to 19.
Stanford advanced to the quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive season and is one victory away from completing an undefeated home career across four seasons. The class of 2013 is 51-0-1 at Cagan Stadium and 93-3-4 overall.
Final Game: Kalie Vaughn, Katy Van Lieshout, Maria Khan, Bast and Campbell played their final match for DU. The five seniors were part of the most successful side in DU women’s soccer history.