Top-ranked Cardinal women advance in NCAA soccer

Ailes surpasses 2,000 career digs in Cardinal volleyball victory

Despite a complete domination, the Stanford women's soccer team needed a goal midway through the second half to help beat visiting Sacramento State, 3-0, in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday night.

Freshman Sydney Payne scored the first goal of the contest at the 65:55 mark of the game. Deft passing and a no-look punch gave the top-ranked Cardinal (19-0-2) the edge.

Rachel Quan played a ball wide to Camille Levin who crossed it to the Cardinal freshman. Payne needed just one touch for the finish with her back to the goal.

To boost the attack, Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe subbed in Payne at the 63rd minute and just three minutes later she would end the scoreless draw.

"The play, Quon got the ball and she was coming across the right flank and slotted the ball back and I hit it with my heel in," Payne said. "It felt great. It was a really great goal. I just made contact with the ball and tried to get it in the back of the net anyway I could."

Payne felt so good, she set up teammates Taylor McCann and Nina Watkins for scores over the final 10 minutes. Just call her 'Instant Offense.'

"Sydney has been training very, very well," Ratcliffe said. "I knew she could go in and score the goal. There was no doubt in my mind that she could go in and break the ice for us and she did."

Payne, McCann and Watkins have combined for a total of five goals this season. McCann played nine minutes and Watkins was in for six minutes.

Watkins, a sophomore defender, recorded her first career goal. Freshman goalkeeper Emily Oliver was credited with the shutout.

"It is incredible. It is great to have players, especially freshmen come in and make such a big impact scoring goals," Ratcliffe said. "It is great for the team spirit and it is a credit to the freshmen that they have come in and worked so hard and improved with every game and every practice."

The Cardinal outshot the Hornets by a 42-3 margin, including a 14-0 advantage in shots on goal.

Christen Press, the nation's leading scorer, managed 15 shots, including five on goal in her 81 minutes of action.

Stanford meets Santa Clara on Sunday at 1 p.m. with a berth in the Sweet Sixteen on the line.

"Santa Clara is traditionally a fantastic team," Ratcliffe said. "It is going to be a battle. We have to prepare for them and play our best to get a result against them. They are a good team."

In other matches involving Pac-10 teams, Oregon State routed Memphis, 5-0, Washington topped Oklahoma, 3-0, UCLA edged BYU, 1-0, on penalty kicks, USC got by Illinois, 3-1, Arizona State lost to UC Irvine, 2-1, and California was edged by Duke, 2-1.

Women's volleyball

Alix Klineman had 18 kills and Stanford beat host Washington State, 25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-13, in a Pac-10 contest Friday night.

Cassidy Lichtman had 13 kills and Hayley Spelman added 12 kills as the second-ranked Cardinal (12-2, 21-2) won its fifth straight. Jessica Walker recorded 10 kills.

Stanford heads to Seattle for a match with host Washington at 7 p.m. Saturday.

All four players who reached double figures in kills also had a hitting percentage over .400, a rare occurrence in the sport. Walker led the way with her .529, while Spelman hit .435, Lichtman hit .407 and Klineman was at .406.

Carly Wopat had seven kills on 10 attacks for a .700 hitting percentage. She also had three of Stanford's four aces and recorded three blocks.

Gabi Ailes had 16 digs to become the seventh player in Pac-10 Conference history to surpass 2,000 for her career. She currently has 2,008.

Men's water polo

Jacob Smith recorded a hat trick with three goals and Peter Sefton added a pair of goals as Stanford downed host UC Davis, 12-4, in a nonconference match Friday night.

The third-ranked Cardinal (13-5) hosts Pacific in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation contest on Sunday at noon.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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