Stanford women remain perfect with soccer win over UCSB

First-half goals by Ryan Walker-Hartshorn and Chioma Ubogagu within four minutes of each other gave the No. 4 Stanford women's soccer team a 2-0 nonconference victory over UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night, extending the Cardinal's unbeaten streak in home openers to 26.

Stanford (4-0) earned its fourth consecutive shutout, its longest such streak to open the season since 1989. UCSB is 2-2-1.

Ubogagu played a role in both goals. Her drive on goal ended in a shot that was blocked by UCSB goalkeeper Beth Ritter, but Walker-Hartshorn, a sophomore from Oakland, got her foot on the ball in a scramble to score her first goal of the season, at 15:12.

Moments later, freshman Andi Sullivan -- the nation's top recruit -- supplied a through ball that Ubogagu received and turned toward the goal, setting herself up for a left-footed cross-goal shot at 18:36. It was Ubogagu's third goal of the season. She also has an assist.

"Chi is on fire for her senior year," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "She's a force to be reckoned with and it's our job to keep her hot."

Jane Campbell and Sarah Cox played a half each in goal to combine on the shutout. Stanford hasn't allowed a goal for 379 minutes, 35 seconds, dating back to last season.

The Cardinal next faces one of its rivals, No. 25 Notre Dame. They've faced four times in the NCAA tournament, including the 2010 NCAA final, won by the Irish, 1-0.

Notre Dame is coached by Theresa (Wagner) Romagnolo, who played for the San Jose CyberRays of the WUSA and then was an assistant under Ratcliffe at Stanford from 2008-10. This is her first season at Notre Dame.

Game time is Sunday at 1 p.m. at Stanford's Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.

Field hockey

Clemence Couteau scored late in the first half and 12th-ranked Stanford let goalkeeper Dulcie Davis and the defense maintain the lead as the Cardinal beat host Maine, 1-0, in a nonconference game Thursday.

Stanford (3-0) controlled play in all areas of the game, holding advantages over the Black Bears (1-2) in shots (12-4) and penalty corners (7-2).

Couteau scored her first goal of the year at 30:09 of the first half. It was the fourth game-winner of her collegiate career.

Davies recorded her second shutout with a four-save effort in goal. Davies came up big when it mattered most, making three stops in the final 15 minutes to preserve Stanford's lead.

Alex McCawley led Stanford with four shots, while Kelsey Harbin and Jessica Chisholm registered two apiece.

Stanford resumes play Friday at 4 p.m. (PT) against host Boston University. The Cardinal concludes the East Coast trip Sunday at 9 a.m. against New Hampshire.

Stanford has limited opponents to a 0.33 goals per game average as Stanford recorded its first 1-0 win since a 1-0 overtime victory at California last Halloween. The Cardinal was 5-3 in games decided by one goal last year.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics


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