By Dave Kiefer
Stanford Sports Information
Quite simply, Castilleja grad Lindsay Taylor is "one of the best finishers in the college game," her coach Paul Ratcliffe said.
The senior forward showed why on Sunday, scoring twice in No. 1 Stanford's 4-1 victory over visiting Colorado in Pac-12 women's soccer action before 1,592 fans.
This followed her two-goal performance on Friday against Utah and gives Taylor six goals in her past four matches, and 14 goals this season.
"Lindsay's always had a nose for the goal," said Cardinal midfielder Teresa Noyola, a teammate of Taylor's since childhood with the Mountain View-Los Altos Mercury.
Taylor has the ability to create something out of nothing, striking the ball from long range or short, from a dead stop or on the run, and can place it into the tightest of spots.
Against Colorado (4-10-2, 1-6-1), a team struggling in its first year in the new conference, Taylor's goals gave Stanford the gap it needed to control the match for most of its 90 minutes, though the Buffaloes fought hard and were not intimidated by the Cardinal's ranking.
Marjani Hing-Glover opened the scoring in the 11th minute when she intercepted a pass from Colorado goalkeeper Kayla Millar - who received the ball from a teammate and had to play it with her feet. The junior pushed forward and cut left to set up a hard and low left-footed shot from 22 yards. It was Hing-Glover's sixth goal of the season, matching her total from the past two years combined.
Just three minutes later, Taylor took a through ball on the run from Chioma Ubogagu and shot low inside the left post from 12 yards for a 2-0 lead. Ubogagu, a true impact freshman, now has four goals and three assists in her past four matches, and has eight goals and eight assists this season.
In the 63rd minute, defender Annie Case played a long ball over the defense from the left that met the head of Taylor, rushing in at the far post, for another beautiful goal.
"We need to be getting L.T. the ball in the right spots in and around the box," Noyola said. "It's important that we get her the ball there."
After a penalty kick by Colorado's Kate Russell in the 74th minute following a foul by Alina Garciamendez on Anne Stuller at the edge of the penalty area, Sydney Payne closed out the scoring by knocking in a rebound of Taylor McCann's shot off the crossbar in the 80th minute.
With three matches left in the regular season, Stanford can clinch its third consecutive Pac-12 title with a victory or draw at second-place Oregon State (6-2 Pac-12) on Friday. A victory would clinch the championship outright and a draw would clinch at least a share of the title.
Although Stanford failed to earn a shutout, it has allowed only one goal in the run of play in its past 11 matches. The Cardinal also extended its regular-season unbeaten streak to 59, its home winning streak to 45, and its conference winning streak to 28.
In addition, Stanford is 115-0-5 when scoring a goal since 2006. And its senior class of Taylor, Noyola, Camille Levin, and Kristy Zurmuhlen are a combined 72-1-4 in regular-season play at Stanford and 86-4-4 overall.
The concern for Stanford on Sunday was keeping up its energy level when playing with a big lead, against a driven opponent, and in warm conditions that peaked at 80 degrees. Colorado, though outplayed, was inspired.
"These teams are going to come at us strong," Noyola said. "It's their biggest game of the season and they're obviously going to bring it. It's good for us because it prepares us well for the playoffs."
But Ratcliffe cautioned not to lose sight of the clearest indicator of Stanford's play.
"Any time you can score four goals," he said, "it's a good performance."
Light wind around the nation kept Stanford off the water, giving them a three-point win at the Pacific Coast Collegiate Women's Fall Championships and moving the team up to seventh place at the Hoyt Trophy.
After four and a half races on Saturday, Stanford and USC were tied with 22 points. In the only race that was able to be run, Stanford's B Division won while USC was fourth to give the Cardinal the title.
With just a handful of races at Boston College's Hoyt Trophy, Stanford finished tied for seventh place with 104 points sailing in two races in both the A and B Divisions and moving up a spot from Saturday.
The Stu Nelson Regatta's second day of competition was canceled due to little wind, placing the Cardinal in 14th place at Connecticut College.
Stanford's four took sixth in the championship four event of the 2011 Head of the Charles in Boston on Sunday.
The Cardinal boat, featuring coxswain Alex Topacio, Peter Leemputte in the bow seat, Dean Walker in the No. 2 seat, Austin Hack at No. 3 and Cam Dupre rowing stroke, negotiated the Charles River course in 16:34.92. Wisconsin won the event with a time of 16:12.69.
California, Harvard, Navy and the USRowing entry finished second through fifth, respectively.
"The men had an outstanding first race of the season," said Stanford coach Craig Amerkhanian. "After four weeks of training we went blade to blade with Harvard, Cal, US Rowing, Wisconsin and Navy."
Stanford's eight finished eighth Sunday at the Head of the Charles in Boston.
The Cardinal boat, made up of Jenna Levy (coxswain), Erin Radigan, Julianna Kapjian-Pitt, Christina Bax, Kristy Wentzel, Alix Chrumka, Claire Grover, Sarah Bolmer and Daphne Martschenko, turned in a final time of 16:44.68, just over 33 seconds back of Virginia's winning time of 16:11.52.
Radcliffe, Michigan, Yale, Wisconsin, Princeton and Cornell finished second through seventh, respectively.
Saturday, Stanford was represented in two races. Lindsay Meyer, who is taking a leave of absence from school this year as she trains for the 2012 Olympic Games, finished third in the championship singles, rowing for the Seattle Rowing Center.
Stanford shot an opening round 291 at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational in Windermere, Fla. and is tied for third with Alabama, 13 strokes behind Texas and four behind Florida.
Andrew Yun led Stanford with a 3-under 69, highlighted by a 5-under 31 on the back nine. Yun is in a three-way tie for second, four strokes behind Texas' Jordan Spieth.
Patrick Rodgers is tied for fifth after carding a 70 (-2). Rodgers has two top 10 finishes in two career tournaments.
Stanford finished 18th at the Mercedes-Benz SEC/Pac-12 Challenge in Knoxville, which was completed Sunday.
The Cardinal had rounds of 300, 308 and 301 to finish 44 strokes behind Alabama.
Freshman Mariko Tumangan led the Cardinal after shooting a three-day total of 221 (70-77-74).
Men's water polo
Third-ranked Stanford a 4-0 run at the Rodeo Tournament in Santa Clara Sunday, claiming wins of 18-5 and 16-3 over Brown and No. 18 Air Force, respectively.
Stanford (14-3) resumes Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play Saturday, traveling to USC to take on the second-ranked Trojans at 2:30 p.m.
Jacob Smith led the Cardinal with seven goals Sunday, highlighted by a five-goal effort in the afternoon win over Air Force. Alex Bowen and Forrest Watkins each scored six times with a hat trick in each game.
Goalies Brian Pingree and Hunter Ploch both spent time in the cage Sunday. Pingree made 12 saves over both games while Ploch stopped 10 shots in a strong defensive performance for the Cardinal.
Ryan Thacher and Matt Kandath meetin an all-Stanford semifinal on Monday at 2:30 p.m., assuring the Cardinal of one finalist at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northwest Regional Championships in Seattle.
Thacher is seeded No. 1 in the tournament draw, while Kandath is No. 9.
California teammates Carlos Cueto and Ben McLachlan will match up in the other semifinal.
Meanwhile, Cardinal rookie Robert Stineman will play for the consolation singles title on Monday.
Two Stanford doubles teams are into the quarterfinals, led by the duo of Walker Kehrer and Robert Stineman and the tandem of John Morrissey and Ryan Thacher.
Nicole Gibbs and Mallory Burdette booked spots in Monday's semifinal singles matches at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
Burdette will face Washington's Denise Dy at 11 a.m., followed by Gibbs taking on California's Jana Juricova at 12 p.m.
Stanford's lone doubles team of Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay is into the semifinals, and will battle California's tandem of Annie Goransson and Annett Schutting at 1:30 p.m.
Other members of Stanford Sports Information contributed, as well