Stanford women’s soccer draws with Santa Clara in championship rematch

In a close, end-to-end game, Stanford’s 9th-place women’s soccer (7-1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) tied with Santa Clara University (2-5-1, 0-0) WCC), ending with a score of 2-2. The cardinal narrowly avoided what would have been a disastrous defeat with an 89th-minute equalizer. This was the two teams’ first meeting since the Broncos defeated Stanford 1-0 in the 2021 NCAA championship tournament.

Since the kick-off, Santa Clara has not lost its rhythm. With crisp passes, even in wet conditions, the Broncos were able to score in the first two minutes. With a well-aimed cross from defender Alyssa Bourgious, midfielder Izzy D’Aquila deftly headed in to secure the first shot and goal of the match.

With work to do, the Cardinal turned physical. As conditions worsened, with the drizzle turning to downpour, there was a six-fault attack in just over 10 minutes. In the 20th minute, Cardinal’s junior midfielder Julia Leontini received a yellow card.

A few minutes later, the Broncos scored their second goal of the match, with D’Aquila scoring twice with a beautiful volley to the far post.

Taking advantage of fresh legs, the Cardinal entered a series of substitutions in the 33rd minute, including junior winger Samantha Williams. Not a minute later, the Laguna Beach forward found the back of the net in a masterfully placed left-footed shot to the nearest post. Williams – known for his fast pace – didn’t waste a second, skipping the celebration and pushing the ball back into midfield in hopes of keeping up the pace and finding another. Finally, the score remained stable for the rest of the time.

The second half proved to be just as physical – if not more so – than the first. Cardinal Amy Sayer’s junior striker was booked in the 53rd minute, as was D’Aquila in the 68th. With a total of 19 fouls by Stanford and 14 by Santa Clara, the game was eventful but dangerous, with both teams getting their part in attack and defense.

While the Broncos maintained high pressure throughout the game, they pulled back in the 78th minute, aiming to protect their lead. With five set pieces in five minutes, Stanford was breaking the net. In a free kick received by Cardinal rookie midfielder Jasmine Aikey, Aikey herself secured the goal with a beautiful 25-yard shot. Aikey, ranked 6th in the class of 2022, sealed the first goal of her career as a cardinal. With just one minute left in the game, the stoppage goal marked the end of a match to remember.

For his first conference match, Cardinal will hit the road to face USC (4-1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) on Friday, September 23. Kick off will begin at 2pm PT.

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