Sports

Stanford women reach Elite Eight in NCAA soccer

 

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online

As much as she tries, Stanford senior Camille Levin cannot be two places at once. A change of position on Sunday, however, put her in a better spot to create a scoring opportunity and she took full advantage.

Less than four minutes after Cardinal women's soccer coach Paul Ratcliffe moved her from right back to left midfield, Levin scored the game-winning goal in Stanford's 2-0 victory over visiting Boston College on Sunday in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

"That was a tactical adjustment," Ratcliffe said. "I thought she could help us penetrate a little better. I wish I could have Camy play forward, midfield and back all at once."

The Eagles played Stanford even for nearly 59 minutes. Boston's Victoria DiMartino had all but neutralized Levin, prompting the switch. That seemed to spark the Cardinal offensive showing.

"I thought Vicky and Camille had a great battle and it was my sense that they had to make an adjustment," Eagles' coach Alison Foley said. "Camille had a great game on Friday and I think the move gave them an extra boost. It was a wise move on their part."

Castilleja grad Lindsay Taylor added a goal off a free kick seven minutes later to ice the win for the top-ranked and top-seeded Cardinal (22-0-1), which hosts No. 4 Oklahoma State on Friday at 7 p.m. with a berth in the Women's College Cup at stake.

Taylor was active the whole game, attempting nine shots, six on goal. On the free kick she found a small opening and fired the shot along the ground to the near post.

"Camy did a great job of getting the ball to where she did," Taylor said. "I saw the near post was open, so that's where I went."

Stanford outshot the Eagles, 21-8, including a 10-5 advantage on goal. Emily Oliver made five saves as the Cardinal recorded its fifth consecutive shutout.

Oklahoma State (22-1-2) advanced by beating Maryland, 1-0, on Sunday. The Cowgirls scored in the fourth minute against the Terrapins, who tied Stanford earlier in the season.

Oklahoma State has allowed seven goals all year, with its lone loss to Texas A&M in the Big 12 Conference championship game two weeks ago.

Wake Forest meets Central Florida in another quarterfinal, with that winner matched against the Stanford-Oklahoma State winner in the Final Four. In the opposite bracket its Virginia against Florida State and Duke against Long Beach State.

Stanford is looking to advance to its fourth straight Final Four.

"We do have a lot of experience," said Taylor, who scored her 19th goal of the season. "A lot of people have played in the College Cup. There are still nerves before every game because we know the importance of every game. We know how to deal with those nerves."

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