Zeroes a good thing for Stanford women's soccer


There were a lot of zeroes going around Friday night and the top-ranked Stanford women's soccer team was on the right end of every one.

The Cardinal beat visiting USC, 3-0, in a Pac-12 Conference contest, matching the school record with its seventh consecutive shutout. It was also the 200th career victory for Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe, who made stops at UCLA and St. Mary's before arriving at Stanford.

Stanford (12-0-1 overall, 4-0 Pac-12) got first-half goals from Sydney Payne and Rachel Quon nine minutes apart, and Natalie Griffen scored in the final minute to finish off USC.

This is the fourth time Stanford has accumulated seven consecutive shutouts, most recently in 2004. The team's defensive scoreless streak now stands at 657 minutes, 26 seconds.

Stanford next faces No. 3 UCLA (10-0-2, 3-0-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a match that could decide the conference title. The two have earned at least a share of the past 10 conference championships.

Men's water polo

Top-ranked Stanford followed its four seniors to victory Friday night, beating visiting No. 8 Pepperdine, 9-5, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation game.

Ryan Kent netted a hat trick to pace the Cardinal (9-2, 1-0 MPSF), while Jacob Smith and Peter Sefton each added goals. Senior goalie Brian Pingree made six saves and coordinated a strong defensive effort that limited the Waves to just one first-half goal.

Paul Rudolph added a pair of goals while Forrest Watkins and Alex Bowen also scored.

Stanford hosts UC Santa Barbara at noon Sunday.

Women's volleyball

No. 7 Stanford topped host Oregon State, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-16, Friday at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. The Cardinal improves to 11-3 overall and 5-3 in the Pac-12, while the Beavers drop to 11-6 and 3-4 in the conference.

Sophomore Rachel Williams produced her fifth 20-plus kill match of her career, finishing with 22 kills and 18 digs for her ninth double-double of the season.

Sophomore middle blocker Carly Wopat added 11 kills and four blocks, while junior setter Karissa Cook registered her ninth double-double of the year with 47 assists and 14 digs. Williams and Cook lead the Pac-12 in double-doubles this season.

Sophomore defensive specialist Mary Ellen Luck put down a career high four service aces and tied her career best with 11 digs. Junior defensive specialist Hannah Benjamin also tied her career high with 19 digs, which led the team. Freshman libero Kyle Gilbert finished with 18 digs.

Stanford (11-3, 5-3) meets Oregon in Eugene for a 7 p.m. start Saturday.

Women's tennis

Stanford's Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs reached the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament at the ITA All-American Championships, beating Georgia Tech's Caroline Lilley and Jillian O'Neill, 8-5, Friday at Pacific Palisades.

The Cardinal duo will play Clemson's team of Josipa Bek and Keri Wong on Saturday morning. The semifinals will be contested in the afternoon.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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