Soccer Surprises

Peter Krutzik

In a strong comeback season, the women’s soccer team reached the third round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in four years under head coach Paul Ratcliffe.

Stanford (15-6-2) beat Nevada and USC in the first and second rounds of NCAA postseason play, but lost at home before a sellout crowd to No. 21 Clemson on November 17. The young Cardinal team dominated the trap, turn and go game and outshot the Tigers 18-3 but failed to score in regulation play. Still tied 0-0 after two 10-minute, sudden-death overtime periods, they lost 4-2 on penalty kicks.

Freshman forward Ali Riley, a member of the New Zealand national team program, led the Stanford offense with three shots on goal. Freshman Kelley O’Hara, the team’s leading scorer who was named Pac-10 player of the week in October, contributed two shots on goal. “Thank you, seniors,” the student section chanted to the three team members who had played their final game on Maloney Field. And it was clear to all that the talented class of five freshmen would be back to run the ball down the line another day.