Sports

A successful opening road trip for Stanford women's soccer

The Stanford women's soccer team emerged from a season-opening road trip against two national powers with two shutout victories following a 2-0 triumph over Duke in the Carolina Nike Classic on Sunday.

Lo'eau LaBonta broke a scoreless tie with a 57th-minute header and Haley Rosen finished it off in the 85th minute to lift the No. 6 Cardinal (2-0) over No. 18 Duke (0-2) in their first matchup since the 2011 NCAA final.

The victory came two days after Stanford opened with a 1-0 overtime victory at No. 4 North Carolina, for its first victory in 13 tries against the Tar Heels.

"I was most impressed with the character of the team to come back after Friday night with high energy," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "There are a lot of positives we can take from the weekend."

LaBonta struck the post in a first half in which Stanford outshot the Blue Devils, 7-2, and then put the Cardinal ahead when the 5-foot-2 senior rose above a defender to strike a firm header. Hannah Farr, a senior playing a new position of outside back, curled in a perfect cross from the right side.

Farr, a lacrosse All-American and conference player of the year, suffered facial injuries during a collision with a teammate during training about 10 days earlier. She returned to practice the next day and was a key player off the bench in both victories.

"I have a lot respect for Hannah," Ratcliffe said. "She's a competitor like no other. She played a pivotal role for us all weekend. "

Stanford closed the scoring when Chioma Ubogagu, who scored the 99th minute winner against North Carolina, beat the defense and squared the ball to Rosen alone in front of the goal. The fifth-year senior stayed composed and slotted it into the net.

Stanford continues its season-opening road swing at No. 11 Portland (1-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Cardinal then opens a six-match homestand on Sept. 4 against UC Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m.

— Stanford Athletics

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