Sports


Campbell's net production helps send Cardinal to Final Four

 

When it came to do-or-die time Friday night, Stanford senior Chioma Ubogagu was only a little nervous. She'd seen sophomore goalie Jane Campbell come through before.

"I wasn't nervous about anyone in particular, it was more about the whole element," Ubogagu said. "Jane is the only one who has not missed at all."

She was referring to penalty kicks. Campbell recorded two saves during the shootout and then stepped out to fire the clinching shot past Florida goalie Taylor Burke, sending the third-ranked Cardinal women's soccer team into the NCAA College Cup semifinals for the seventh time in eight years.

Stanford and the 10th-ranked Gators played to a 2-2 draw after 110 minutes. Burke and Campbell each came up with critical saves to keep the match even.

Campbell was credited for saves on Florida's first two penalty shots, while Kendall Romine and Lo'eau LaBonta converted their shots for a quick 2-0 edge.

The Gators caught a break when Ubogagu's shot was stopped. Haley Rosen made it 3-2 for the Cardinal but Florida tied it again at 3-3.

That's when Campbell took her turn,

"I told the team before the shootout 'would do my part but I need you guys to do your part,'" Campbell said. "I think that first save gave us a boost. It hit the post but I'll take the save. The second save gave us confidence we could finish it."

Campbell followed four seniors to the penalty box. Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said the goalies usually get the most practice because they shoot at each other a lot during practices.

Campbell said, and Ubogagu backed her up on it, that she became a good penalty shooter because of Cardinal backup goalie Sarah Cox, who has not allowed a goal in just over 199 minutes this season.

"Sarah is good at penalty kicks," Campbell said. "She's good at reading people. I'm always happy to take them at the end of practice. I told Paul I wanted to take it."

Stanford beat the Gators a second time in sudden-death overtime, and each time it was a penalty kick. LaBonta converted the penalty kick in September's meeting between the teams.

"It was good soccer and it could have gone either way," Ratcliffe said. "We were very fortunate to get by them."

Stanford (20-1-3) meets Florida State (22-1-1) in the national semifinal on Friday at 4:30 p.m. The winner advances to the championship match next Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla., at 10 a.m.

The Seminoles were seeded first in their regional and beat seed No. 3 South Carolina, 5-0, on Friday. Second-seeded Virginia knocked off overall top seed UCLA on the other side of the bracket.

The Cavaliers play No. 1 seed Texas A&M, which beat Penn State, 2-1, on Saturday, in the other national semifinal.

"I'm proud of where we are but we're not done yet," Ratcliffe said. "We need to make another big rush."

Ubogagu got the Cardinal off to a fast start when she dribbled in and out of traffic and into the penalty box in the fourth minute. She delivered a pass right to Taylor Uhl, who had an open shot.

"I thought we did a great job of moving the ball," Ubogagu said. "I think we're a fun team to watch because we are creative and we like to keep the ball and open a myriad of options."

Florida tied the game six minutes later when Annie Speese bent a near-perfect free kick toward the goal that glanced off a defender's head and into the net.

"It was a great free kick," Campbell said. "I didn't know it was an own goal until later. The second goal might as well as been an own goal. That was unfortunate but I learned from it."

In the 79th minute, Speese put a corner kick to the near post, where two Florida players were positioned. Havana Solaun tipped it in before Campbell could react.

Florida's second goal tied the game at 2-2 four minutes after Stanford scored on a corner kick. Andi Sullivan gave Kendall Romine a chance to head the ball past Burke.

"We work on corner kicks all the time," Ubogagu said. "That was our second goal off a corner kick."

Ubogagu hopes it's not the last one either.

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