A pair of highlight-worthy goals and a quality defensive effort propelled the top-ranked Stanford women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory pver Washington State on Thursday night in Pac-12 Conference action.
Andi Sullivan and Averie Collins scored a goal apiece in the second half, while goalkeeper Jane Campbell made a season-high six saves.
The Cougars held advantages in shots (14-10) and corner kicks (6-3). Seven of the Cardinal's past eight games against Washington State have been decided by one goal.
"Washington State had a great game and created a lot of problems for us," said Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe. "Jane was amazing with some big saves. The two goals we scored were incredible too."
Sullivan, a MAC Hermann Trophy candidate, opened the scoring with a magnificent strike from distance in the 63rd minute.
She received the ball near the half line in her own defensive end, carried with pace through the midfield, juked her defender to create space and fired a shot from 25 yards out to the left corner of the goal.
It is Sullivan's fourth goal of the season and 12th point of the year, matching her previous single-season high in points from a year ago.
Collins made it, 2-0, for the Cardinal 15 minutes later in the 78th minute, finishing an outstanding series of six consecutive passes by Stanford before her decisive seventh touch.
Tegan McGrady made a nice run through the Cougars' defense to the left corner of the field and received a perfect one-touch pass from Michelle Xiao. McGrady sent a cross into the box where Kyra Carusa used a back-heel flick to get the ball to Collins who finished with her left foot into the right side of the goal.
It is the second consecutive year Collins has scored the game-winning goal against Washington State. She has scored in two consecutive games after notching her first of the year against Oregon last week.
Campbell's defense was strong in front of her and possessed well despite Washington State's high-pressing offense. Alana Cook made one of the night's most important saves in the 59th minute when she cleared a shot off the goal line. Cook was guarding the far post on a corner kick, kept her hands behind her back and blocked the shot with her chest to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
"They were putting us on our heels and from my angle it looked like it was going in – I didn't see Alana," said Ratcliffe. "She's been doing that for a couple years now. She's incredible and has been saving goals off the line."
Maddie Bauer and Cook continued to be a force in the center of the defense, forcing tough shots and the Cougars to play wide. McGrady and Beattie Goad played well at outside back and were aggressive in the offensive zone, regularly stepping up in plays and carrying with pace down the wings.
"Tegan and Beattie did a good job of bringing the ball forward," said Ratcliffe. "They played a system that allowed our outside backs to really get forward. They created good opportunities for us and then defensively they were very sound too."
Stanford will look to continue its momentum Sunday at 2 p.m. when it takes on Washington.