Sports

Stanford women take another step toward return to College Cup

 

Ryan Walker-Hartshorn scored twice, Megan Turner also scored and the third-ranked Stanford women's soccer team beat Arizona, 3-0, Saturday afternoon to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals.

The Cardinal (19-2-1) hosts the winner of Sunday's match between Florida and Duke on Friday at 7 p.m. for a berth in the Final Four.

Turner scored early and Walker-Hartshorn came off the bench to score twice late as Stanford reached the quarterfinal round for the seventh time in the past eight years and its NCAA tournament home unbeaten streak to 28 games.

"It was a good performance by the team," said Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe. "Megan Turner was incredible. She was one of our best players on the field today. And then Ryan Walker-Hartshorn coming in and scoring two goals – so happy for her and all of her hard work."

It is Stanford's second victory this season against the Wildcats (14-6-2) after defeating them, 3-2, in double-overtime during the regular season in Arizona on Oct. 4.

Stanford's defense earned its 12th shutout of the season. The Cardinal limited Arizona's opportunities in the center of the field and did well to keep the Wildcats' attackers out wide. Jane Campbell made three saves in goal and was a crucial presence on numerous crosses and lofty throw-ins into the penalty box by Arizona to earn her 10th shutout of the year.

"I thought our backline was very strong," said Ratcliffe. "I was impressed with the leadership from Maddie and Alana, Laura and Michelle. They're doing a great job back there."

Stanford weathered a quick offensive start by the Wildcats through the first 10 minutes. Arizona held a 3-1 shot advantage until Turner opened the scoring for Stanford in the 18th minute.

For the second game in a row, Kyra Carusa provided the dirty work to generate the game-winning goal. Carusa challenged her defender down the right sideline and created enough space to slip a pass to Turner who hammered a shot to the right corner of the goal.

Carusa finished the game with two assists, providing the helper on Walker-Hartshorn's third goal.

The Cardinal held onto a 1-0 lead for a majority of the game until Walker-Hartshorn added insurance goals in the 77th and 89th minutes. After having her initial shot blocked, the ball bounced around the middle of Arizona's six-yard box and found its way back to Walker-Hartshorn, who was battling for position in the area. She controlled the ball down to her foot and placed a shot to the left side of the net to put Stanford up 2-0.

"When you get to the playoffs it's critical to have players coming in who can make a big impact," said Ratcliffe. "Ryan is one of our top strikers and she proved it today, getting in there and scoring two amazing goals."

Stanford continued to focus on controlling possession and looked reserved to killing time on the clock by taking the ball to the corner flag during the final 10 minutes.

Arizona's defense pressured Stanford to go to the center of the field where Carusa sent a pass to Walker-Hartshorn with her back to the goal. Walker-Hartshorn took a touch and fired a left-footed shot to the right corner of the net.

"We have a really great squad," said Walker-Hartshorn. "Everyone's been working really hard and it's all about momentum and team energy and it's really high right now."

— Stanford Athletics

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