Courtney Verloo scored two second-half goals and No. 1 Stanford withstood a late rally to beat No. 17 Santa Clara, 2-1, in the second round of the NCAA women's soccer tournament on Friday night.
Stanford (19-1-1) advances to a third-round match against unranked Denver (17-2-4), which rallied from a two-goal second-half deficit to beat No. 9 Maryland, 3-2, in overtime in the doubleheader opener at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The Sweet 16 match will be Sunday at 1 p.m. at Stanford.
Verloo scored in the 51st and 60th minutes, first after Chioma Ubogagu cut the ball back from the end line into Verloo's path, and next on a solo run and blast into the upper corner. The goals were her team-leading ninth and 10th of the season.
Santa Clara (12-4-6) cut the deficit when Dani Weatherholt took a cross from Lauren Matheson and headed the ball inside the near post in the 77th minute. But it wasn't enough to prevent Stanford from winning the ninth NCAA tournament meeting between the South Bay rivals.
The victory was the eighth consecutive in the series for Stanford and extended the Cardinal's home unbeaten streak to 65 (63-0-2). The result also extended Stanford's home unbeaten streak when scoring a goal to 100 (96-0-4).
Senior central defender and team captain Alina Garciamendez broke a Stanford record for career starts, with her 99th, breaking a tie with Lindsay Taylor (2008-11). She has started every match since her freshman season.
Tickets for Sunday's match are on sale on gostanford.com. The Cagan Stadium ticket office will open at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday and the gates open at noon.
Top-ranked Stanford clinched the Pac-12 title with a 25-22, 25-18, 15-25, 27-25 win over No. 5 UCLA on Friday at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood. The Cardinal improves to 25-3 overall and 17-1 in the Pac-12, while the Bruins drop to 21-6 overall and 13-5 in the conference.
The Cardinal has now won the conference six of the past seven years.
Junior outside hitter Rachel Williams led the team with 16 kills, three blocks and three digs, while freshman Jordan Burgess added 15 kills and 11 digs for her 10th double-double of the year. Junior middle blocker Carly Wopat finished with 11 kills and three blocks, while freshman Inky Ajanaku recorded 10 kills and six blocks. Freshman Brittany Howard chipped in with nine kills and 10 digs.
Freshman setter Madi Bugg controlled the offense with 51 assists and 13 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. Sophomore libero Kyle Gilbert racked up 29 digs and a career high eight assists. Stanford hit .285 while holding UCLA to a .224 attack percentage, and is now 22-0 when outhitting its opponents.
Men's water polo
Third-ranked Stanford men's water polo sent its senior quartet, Alex Avery, Ryan Brown, Andrew LaForge and Travis Noll, out on top Friday night at Avery Aquatic Center with a 12-9 victory over No. 5 Pacific.
LaForge and Noll each scored a first-half goal as the Cardinal (15-5, 5-3 MPSF) netted four goals in the second period to open up a 6-4 lead after a 2-2 first frame. Freshman BJ Churnside led the Cardinal with four goals in the game, while Alex Bowen scored three times, Bret Bonanni twice and Forrest Watkins added a goal.
In the cage, Scott Platshon made seven saves to anchor the Cardinal defense.
Friday's game came down to a high-scoring fourth period in which the teams combined for nine goals. Each team had scored once in the third period, so the Cardinal held a 7-5 advantage going into the final eight minutes. Goals from Bowen and Churnside within the first 59 seconds of the frame doubled the lead to 9-5 but Pacific would fight back.
Kevin Oliveira scored twice for the Tigers and Balazs Erdelyi scored his first of the game with 4:37 remaining to bring Pacific to within one at 9-8. Churnside would get one back for the Cardinal 26 seconds later but Pacific's Alex Obert scored on the 6-on-5 33 seconds after that to get it back to a one-goal game.
Not to be outdone, Churnside scored 24 seconds later, followed by Bonanni's 6-on-5 goal at the 2:30 mark to cap a wild stretch of five goals in 2:07. The Cardinal defense held the Tigers off the board the rest of the way to preserve the 12-9 score.
Pacific had taken leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period, but each time the Cardinal would equalize, first on Noll's opening goal then on Bonanni's first of the game. Churnside and Bowen scored the first two goals of the second frame before Pacific pulled even on goals from Obert and Oliveira. However, LaForge and Watkins would score 19 seconds apart to give Stanford its 6-4 halftime lead.
Stanford's 5-3 MPSF mark clinches at least the fourth seed at next weekend's MPSF Tournament in Los Angeles. The Cardinal will learn its final seed after Sunday's Pacific-California contest in Berkeley. If the Tigers win, the Cardinal will be the third seed at the tournament, while a Golden Bears win keeps the Cardinal fourth.
The Cardinal will open the MPSF Tournament next Friday at either 1:30 p.m. (if the third seed) or 3 p.m. (if the fourth seed).
Senior Becky Dru and sophomore Kelsey Harbin have been named 2012 Longstreth/NFHCA All-West Region First Team selections, as announced by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA).
Junior Hope Burke was also tabbed a Second Team choice, giving Stanford three selections overall.
The three players become candidates for All-America accolades, with that prestigious team scheduled to be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Dru was honored for the third time in her career while Harbin and Burke are first-time recipients of the award.
A 2011 NFHCA First Team All-American, Dru will likely receive strong consideration for the nation's highest award again this year. Dru was honored as the 2011 NorPac Player of the Year, earning the distinction for the second straight season and collecting her fifth conference award overall. A native of Buckinghamshire, England, Dru led the Cardinal in goals (12), assists (12), points (36), shots (65) and game-winning goals (3) in 2012. Arguably one of the most decorated players in school history, Dru totaled 54 goals, 36 assists, 144 points, 311 shots and 15 game-winning goals in 87 career games.
Harbin continued to emerge as one of the nation's elite young players, tabbed an All-NorPac selection while earning the conference's Defensive Player of the Year award. A native of Escondido, Calif., Harbin totaled 15 points (five goals, five assists) this year while attempting 34 shots and sharing the team lead with Dru in game-winning goals (3). In addition to racking up two defensive saves, Harbin scored Stanford's first goal in NCAA Tournament play since 2010 during a 4-1 loss to North Carolina last weekend. Harbin started all but three games this year, missing time in mid-September while representing the U.S. team at the Junior Pan American Championships.
Burke proved to be a reliable offensive weapon for the Cardinal, ranking second to Dru in goals (9), assists (9) and points (27). An All-NorPac selection for the first time in her career, Burke also attempted 35 shots while recording a pair of hat tricks during the year. A native of Selinsgrove, Ohio, native, started all 23 games for the Cardinal and will return as the team's leading scorer in 2013.