Sports


Ubogagu delivers overtime goal to lift Stanford to victory

 

Jane Campbell and Summer Green were teammates as recently as Saturday. Less than a week later, they were on opposite sides of the field working hard to spoil opening night for each other.

Campbell, Stanford's talented sophomore goalkeeper, got the better of it on Friday night. She recorded nine saves, including two in the final five minutes of regulation, to help the sixth-ranked Cardinal beat host North Carolina, 1-0, as part of the Carolina Nike Classic.

Senior forward Chioma Ubogagu scored the only goal of the game, with an assist from senior Alex Doll, in the 100th minute as Stanford downed the Tar Heels for the first time in program history.

The decisive sequence began when Maddie Bauer took a free kick from midfield that Doll pushed toward Ubogagu just outside the box.

Ubogagu spun right, beat three defenders toward the end line and squeezed in a left-footed shot from the near post.

North Carolina, winners of 22 NCAA titles, held a 9-0-3 advantage over Stanford entering the game.

"It's a significant victory," Cardinal coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "But right now, our focus is on this game. I'm really proud of the team. It was a great way to start the season. They deserved to get the victory. Hopefully, it will propel us to a really strong season."

The goal came moments after Ubogagu and Taylor Uhl each barely missed wide. But it was evident the Stanford attack was clicking.

The Cardinal meets No. 18 Duke on Sunday. It's the first time the teams have met since Stanford beat the Blue Devils, 1-0, to win the 2011 national championship. The Cardinal is 7-1 all-time against Duke.

Green, on the watch list for the Hermann Trophy, was one of Team USA's main weapons with the Under-20 national team during its recently concluded run in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada. Campbell served as the backup goalie.

Stanford freshman midfielder Andi Sullivan and sophomore defender Stephanie Amack were also teammates with Green, who took eight of the Tar Heels' 13 shots, including four on goal.

Sullivan, a U.S. U-20 co-captain, had only one full day of training at Stanford before the team left for Carolina on Wednesday.

"When you play North Carolina, they bring so much pressure, you have to whether the storm in the first half," Ratcliffe said. "We were able to calm things down in the second and keep better possession. The later it got, the better our chances were."

Sullivan's control and leadership were vital as Stanford rebounded from a sluggish first half in her collegiate debut.

"Andi was incredible," Ratcliffe said. "She's the type of player we're going to look to. She fits into the program so well, I wasn't surprised at her impact. You never really know until you see them in a big-game atmosphere, but she was so composed."

Campbell stopped Green's shot in the 88th minute, forcing her into a point-blank miss, helping to solidify her seventh career shutout.

"Jane was fantastic," said Ratcliffe, who also praised the entire defense, including Kendall Romine in the middle and freshman sub Jaye Boissiere in the midfield.

Ubogagu missed an earlier chance in overtime, missing wide at 94:27. Stanford senior Taylor Uhl also missed a shot wide at 95:19.

"I knew we were going to get another chance," Ratcliffe said. "We just had to finish. Then Chi made a great move and scored a great goal."

Ubogagu, who had three shots on the goal for the game, made sure her final attempt was good. After receiving a pass from Doll, she beat the North Carolina goalkeeper to the right side.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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