Early soccer goal helps catch victory for Stanford women

Chioma Ubogagu's first-half breakaway goal stood up for No. 5 Stanford, which beat host No. 14 Portland on Saturday, 1-0, to earn its third consecutive road victory over a ranked team to begin the women's soccer season.

Ubogagu stole a crossfield pass near midfield and bolted for the goal, scoring on a low shot with her left foot from 12 yards in the 30th minute. It was the second winning goal of the season for Ubogagu, who struck an overtime winner at then-No. 4 North Carolina to open the season.

"The team's growing with each performance," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "We're still not where we want to be, but we're getting there."

Sophomore goalkeeper Jane Campbell also earned her third consecutive shutout to open the season, while Stanford (3-0) outshot Portland (1-2), by 13-5. Stanford has not allowed a goal for 289:35 dating to last season. The shutout was the ninth of Campbell's collegiate career.

Stanford had two other good chances near the end of the first half, but Taylor Uhl had a volley and header that were just high.

Portland's best chance came midway through the first half when the Pilots took advantage of a poor Stanford back pass to deflect the ball past Campbell, but fifth-year center back Kendall Romine arrived in time to clear the ball just before in skidded inside the near post.

Two-sport standout Hannah Farr, an All-America in lacrosse, received her first collegiate start at outside back and performed well from the right side. Laura Liedle moved into the middle and teamed with Romine to create a formidable defensive interior.

Stanford opens its home season on Thursday (7:30 p.m.) against UC Santa Barbara and then plays host to No. 11 Notre Dame on Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We've got strong momentum right now," Ratcliffe said. "We got to keep it rolling."

Cross country

Stanford's top-five ranked cross country teams opened the season at the USF Invitational in low-key fashion, earning the women's team victory and finishing second among the men.

The Cardinal took a measured approach to the meet, which began and ended at Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park, concentrating on team running and achieving certain splits, rather than going all-out. In addition, many of the Cardinal's top runners rested.

The results reflected Stanford's approach. The Cardinal's top five women finished as a pack, in third through seventh, to score 25 points to runner-up Cal's 52. Vanessa Fraser was the top Cardinal finisher, running 18:02.4 over the 5K course (3.1 miles). The Stanford women are No. 4 in the USTFCCCA coaches' rankings.

The top five Stanford men finished together, in fourth through eighth, scoring 30 points to first-place Cal's 25. The Golden Bears took the first three places, with Garrett Sweatt heading the Stanford pack in fourth, running 25:26.4 over the 8K course (4.97 miles). The Cardinal men are ranked No. 5.

The meet signaled the collegiate cross country debuts for several sophomores who redshirted as freshmen -- Fraser and Emma Fisher for the women; and Jack Keelan, Sam Wharton, Tom Coyle and Patrick Gibson for the men.

Keelan and Wharton were second and third at the U.S. junior national championships earlier this year. No true freshmen competed for Stanford on Saturday.

— Stanford Athletics


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