Stanford freshman Tegan McGrady grew up in San Jose watching the likes of former Cardinal great Kelley O'Hara. To receive a compliment from the current U.S. national women's soccer team member made her day.
O'Hara attended No. 4 Stanford's 2-1 Pac-12 victory over visiting Colorado on Friday and addressed the crowd at halftime. Following her talk, O'Hara sought McGrady out to tell her what a good job she did in scoring the tying goal.
O'Hara and Team USA and former Stanford teammate Christen Press were honored during Thursday night's football game, with each being presented with personalized jerseys.
Manuel Lee scored the go-ahead goal for the Cardinal (12-2 overall, 6-0 Pac-12), which remained unbeaten in conference play heading into an important road trip next weekend at No. 16 Washington State and No. 18 Washington, both of which were upset recently.
The Huskies lost to Arizona State in overtime on Thursday night and the Cougars were knocked off by Arizona, 1-0, on Friday.
Stanford is two games up on the Washington schools in the loss column and even that doesn't guarantee anything in the constantly evolving Pac-12. USC is alone in second place with one loss. The Trojans play at Oregon on Saturday.
"You always expect every team in the Pac-12 to be competitive," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "Colorado was a formidable opponent."
The Buffaloes (7-6-2, 1-4-1) are one of the 11 conference teams with an overall winning record and played like they belonged against Stanford.
Although Colorado's first score, in the sixth minute, was an own goal, it came about because of its offensive pressure. In fact, if Cardinal goalie Jane Campbell had not reacted quicker, the Buffaloes were certain to tie the game late in the second half.
A Colorado attacker, Campbell and the ball were the only things on Stanford's side of the field at one point. Campbell came out of the goal, racing 20 yards outside the penalty area to clear the ball away a millisecond before the Buffaloes attacker got to the ball. Any hesitation on Campbell's part would have resulted in an easy Colorado goal.
"There was a little miscommunication there and she came out and made a good play," Ratcliffe said. "Her instincts took over."
The own goal put Colorado ahead early but McGrady finished a strong run to tie it six minutes later. Michelle Xiao made a run down the side and crossed it toward the goal, where McGrady timed it just right to get the ball into the net.
"It's always harder when you go down a goal so early," McGrady said. "It was something we had to get back. Our determination went from low to high quickly. I saw her ready to cross and I wanted to get in there and finish it for her."
Stanford took the lead at the 18:30 mark as Xiao again made a terrific crossing pass that Lee nailed.
"We're getting closer," Ratcliffe said of his underclassmen-dominated team. "We're starting to finish some chances we're creating."
Jordan Morris returned from Olympic qualifying duties on Wednesday, spent all of 24 hours on Stanford's campus before traveling to Southern California with the No. 3 Cardinal on Thursday, and, Friday night, reminded everyone of the sublime skill that has placed him at the center of the soccer discussion in the United States.
It was the junior's 65th-minute strike which catapulted Stanford to a 2-1 win at UCLA the Cardinal's first win against the Bruins in five years and the first victory in Westwood in program history.
Morris started the second half on the bench and checked in for Foster Langsdorf in the 56th. Less than 10 minutes later, Slater Meehan intercepted an errant pass from UCLA's Jordan Vale and left it for a streaking Eric Verso.
Verso made a touch before getting sandwiched by a pair of defenders to set up Morris at the corner of the 18. Morris turned, took one touch and unleashed a top-shelf, rocket to the far post.
Morris, who scored three goals in five matches over the past two weeks with the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team, has converted at an even better clip in his recent collegiate appearances.
He has five goals in eight games, including one in each of his last four with the Cardinal, including back-to-back winners.
Stanford (10-1-1, 3-0-1 Pac-12) had never won against UCLA in Westwood. It had only beaten the Bruins six previous times in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2000 and 1987 and each of those matches came on The Farm. The Cardinal's last win in the series came on October 15, 2010 (2-1).
The win also extended Stanford's unbeaten streak to 11, which ties the second-longest streak in program history.
The Cardinal has won 10 and tied one since a season-opening loss at UC Santa Barbara on August 28. Stanford went unbeaten in a school-record 20 consecutive matches in 1996-97 and also had 11-match runs in 2001 and 1980-81.
Freshman Amir Bashti has seemed to find his stride since the start of Pac-12 play and has scored in each of the Cardinal's past two contests.
His first collegiate goal came last Sunday against Oregon State at the tail end of the first half (43:54). Bashti got Stanford on the board at almost the exact same time (43:52) Friday.
Adrian Alabi chipped it into the box from the right flank and Edgar Contreras tried to head it away, but Bashti followed the play and used his chest to smother the ball and push it past Juan Cervantes.
The assist from Alabi was the first career point for the Stanford senior. After not appearing in a match in his first three seasons on The Farm, Alabi has come on as a substitute seven times in 2015, including each of the past six matches.
Stanford is unbeaten through four conference games for the first time since 2006, when it had the same 3-0-1 mark.
Sixth-ranked Stanford swept Utah, 25-20, 25-16, 25-21, Friday at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
Stanford (11-4, 5-2 Pac-12) out hit Utah, .269 to .183, and led in the block column, 11-8. The Cardinal also recorded seven service aces in the match, getting two each from senior Madi Bugg, sophomore Sarah Benjamin and freshman Halland McKenna.
Opposite Hayley Hodson, the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, led the Cardinal offensively with a team-high 10 kills to go with four blocks and three digs. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Merete Lutz pitched in with eight kills and a team-best six blocks.
Senior outside hitter Brittany Howard finished with eight kills, five blocks and five digs, including the 1,000th of her career. The Los Altos, California native became the 17th Cardinal player to reach that milestone and just the 10th member of the program to have amassed 1,000 career kills and digs.
Bugg finished just shy of a double-double with 29 assists and nine digs. She also had four kills in the contest. Senior outside hitter Jordan Burgess tallied eight kills on .333 hitting, while McKenna registered a team-high 10 digs for the Cardinal.
Stanford heads to Colorado for a game Sunday at 1 p.m.
No. 12 Stanford lost, 1-0, to America East Conference rival Pacific on Friday at the Pacific Field Hockey Turf.
The Cardinal (9-5, 1-2 America East) outshot the Tigers (8-6, 2-1 America East) 13-10 while holding a 6-4 advantage in penalty corners, but was unable to capitalize on some early chances.
After withstanding the Cardinal pressure for much of the first half, Pacific scored what would prove to be the deciding goal in the 32nd minute.
Dulcie Davies made seven saves for Stanford, while Clemence Couteau and Jessica Chisholm took three shots apiece. Fran Tew led the Cardinal with two shots on goal.
Stanford returns to action on Sunday when it plays host to California in an America East matchup at the Varsity Turf at 1 p.m. (PT).
Seniors David Boote and Dominick Francks have been named men's golf team captains for the 2015-16 season.
"David and Dominick are well deserving of this important role on our team," said Conrad Ray, Stanford's Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf. "They both epitomize what it means to be student-athletes, and their leadership has and will be a big factor in team's success."
Boote, who hails from Surrey, England, is a human biology major and two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree.
Francks, an atmosphere and energy major from Olympia, Washington, also is a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic performer for the Cardinal.