The top-ranked Stanford women's soccer team went into battle in the land of Troy and sustained its first loss of the season, 3-0, in a Pac-12 Conference match to host No. 7 USC.
It was a tough day for the Cardinal (10-1-1, 3-1 Pac-12) which played well for extended stretches of time but could not figure out how to break down the Trojans (10-2, 4-0) defense and finish its opportunities.
Multiple streaks were snapped in the defeat, including Stanford’s 269-game streak of holding teams to two or fewer goals. It is the first time an opponent has scored more than two goals on the Cardinal since Sept. 11, 2005, when North Carolina did it in a tournament in San Francisco.
Stanford's 21-game unbeaten streak in Pac-12 play ended on the Cardinal’s first loss against USC at McAlister field in program history.
The Trojans outshot the Cardinal 13-8 but Stanford looked the more dangerous team for extended periods of time, spending significant time in the final third but being unable to finish opportunities. The Cardinal finished the contest with a 10-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Stanford got off to a strong start through the first 25 minutes, controlling a majority of the possession and generating quality opportunities in the final third.
The Cardinal could not find the finishing touch needed and faced its first deficit of the season when USC scored in the 28th minute to take a 1-0 lead. The Trojans found a rhythm after the goal and Stanford did well to defend against the increased pressure.
Stanford retook the momentum toward the end of the half regaining a majority of the possession but went into the break facing a 1-0 deficit.
The Cardinal came out strong to start the second half and was dominating in the final third but could not find the final touch needed to even the score.
USC capitalized on Stanford’s inability to level the score, adding a second goal in the 56th minute. The Trojans Alex Anthony possessed the ball in the center of the field about 30-yards away from goal.
She turned and hit a chip shot over the head of Stanford goalkeeper Alison Jahansouz, playing due to starter Jane Campbell's ejection against Washington State, and into the goal.
Stanford continued to pressure and started pushing numbers forward to increase the attack. Kyra Carusa played well all game and nearly cut the deficit in half in the 74th minute with a blistering left-footed shot on frame that was tipped over the crossbar by the Trojans’ goalkeeper.
USC added a third goal in the 78th minute connecting a series of passes in Stanford’s penalty box before finding the back of the net.
Stanford will look to regroup quickly as it prepares for another top-10 road matchup Sunday at 1 p.m. at No. 10 UCLA.
Senior Taylor Davidson dropped a hard-fought 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 decision to Oklahoma State's Viktoria Lushkova on Thursday at the Riviera ITA All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades.
Stanford's lone representative in main draw singles competition, Davidson was competing in her first match of the season.
Ranked No. 22 in the nation and a two-time All-American in doubles, Davidson provided the clinching point in three NCAA matches last year, including a three-set victory to secure Stanford's NCAA title win over Oklahoma State.
Davidson, who entered this season with career marks of 78-30 overall and 48-14 in duals, reached the quarterfinals of last year's event.
The Cardinal was also represented with two teams in the doubles main draw, with Davidson joining freshman Emily Arbuthnott and fellow senior Caroline Doyle partnering with sophomore Melissa Lord.
Kacee Cox joins Stanford as a volunteer assistant coach, it was announced Thursday by Cardinal coach Rachel Hanson.
Cox joins the Cardinal from Chico State, where she spent the past two seasons. Cox played a key role in the Wildcats’ successful 2015 season and the program’s first NCAA championship tournament appearance in three years.
“I’m excited to add Kacee to our staff,” said Hanson. “She has a high level competitive background, as well as a great track record of developing players on and off the field. She’ll work primarily with our catchers and outfielders.”
Before her time with Chico State, Cox served as an assistant at Queens (N.Y.) College for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, coaching a pair of All-Americans and helping the Knights reach the NCAA Championship Tournament East Regional in 2014.
Cox enjoyed a successful playing career as a four-year starter at St. John’s. She held a .339 career batting average for the Red Storm and is the program’s all-time leader in RBIs (154).
Cox earned three All-Big East honors and was a two-time Second Team All-Great Lakes Region selection. She led the Big East in hitting in 2010 (.404), and became the first player in St. John’s softball history to be named Big East Player of the Year during her senior season in 2012.