Taking part in in white and pink, No. 5 ladies’s soccer (13-0-2, 6-0-1, Pac-12) defeated the Oregon Geese (0-13-2, 0-7, Pac-12) 2-0 Sunday, of their annual Breast Most cancers Consciousness recreation.
The Cardinal dominated with 27 pictures on purpose and 17 nook kicks, however their victory was not the one notable a part of yesterday’s recreation. As they do in each recreation, the Cardinal performed for a broader function. This recreation targeted on elevating consciousness for breast most cancers, as a part of their effort to make use of their platform to ignite optimistic social change.
Stanford’s first purpose in yesterday’s recreation got here early. Within the ninth minute, sophomore midfielder Jasmine Aikey intercepted an errant cross from an Oregon defender supposed for her goalie and simply positioned the ball into the decrease proper nook of the web.
“I used to be form of urgent and delaying. Then I noticed somebody made a nasty cross and I simply pounced on it. I noticed the keeper and I noticed the underside nook open,” Aikey stated.
Constructing off this momentum, the staff proceeded to dominate, hammering pictures from everywhere in the attacking third. Head coach Paul Ratcliffe acknowledged Oregon goalkeeper Leah Freeman, the 2022 Pac-12 keeper of the 12 months, who saved the sport aggressive. Conserving the Geese’ heads above water, Freeman made 15 saves, inflicting collective frustration for the Cardinal.
“I believe the staff was a bit of pissed off. We created a whole lot of possibilities, which is wonderful. However we do have to capitalize on [them] extra. We must be extra scientific within the remaining third [of the field],” Ratcliffe stated. “However full credit score to [Oregon’s] goalkeeper. I believed she made some great saves as a result of we did have some good connections that simply didn’t go in due to her.”
Within the recreation, the management of co-captains Maya Doms (midfielder) and Kennedy Wesley (middle again) was paramount to Stanford’s success. The 2 gamers’ tenacity contributed to each offensive and defensive success via Doms’s inventive distribution within the midfield and Wesley’s fierce defensive battling towards an aggressive striker.
Rolling into the second half, the sport was nonetheless 1- 0, largely as a consequence of Freeman’s goalkeeping. Nonetheless, within the 76th minute, Wesley scored the Cardinal’s second purpose off Aikey’s fifteenth nook of the day, cementing Stanford’s lead.
“Jasmine set me up completely with a superb ball, and I simply was on the proper place on the proper time. I did what I at all times do, and it occurred to work out,” Wesley stated. “However I’ll give credit score to Jazz ’trigger that was a terrific ball.”
Each Wesley and Doms stated that, as captains, they prioritize good management techniques over domineering and intimidating methods in an effort to assist the staff’s success on the sphere. In consequence, different gamers naturally fall into their very own positions of management, constructing the staff’s chemistry.
“I really feel like we’re extra of a lead-by-example kind of duo. Ken clearly must be a bit of extra vocal within the again line, however I believe we’re captains that don’t actually care about having that a lot authority or energy,” Doms stated. “We simply wish to ensure that everybody feels welcome and we wish different folks to step up as effectively. We wish to give different folks the chance to develop into management roles, particularly with us two on the way in which out.”
Past their success on the sphere right now, each captains acknowledge the significance of using their platforms to generate significant affect inside the athletic neighborhood and past. With the Cardinal presently ranked quantity 5 within the nation, the captains have remodeled the nationwide consideration right into a platform to advertise necessary causes.
“One of many issues that we’ve been specializing in, particularly of late, is to play for one thing larger than ourselves,” Wesley stated, pointing to the psychological well being and breast most cancers consciousness video games. “We’re in a great spot and do have that platform and in the end wish to use it not for ourselves, however for different issues as a lot as we are able to.”
Ratcliffe additionally appreciated the drive of his gamers to make a distinction. “I believe in the event you communicate to our gamers, it’s actually necessary to them that they wish to use this platform … to assist be position fashions for younger folks,” he stated. “I believe it’s actually necessary that we ship that message to all people, that we’re not simply soccer gamers, however we care about others.”
To witness the inspirational play and big-picture spirit of the Cardinal ladies’s soccer program, tune into their subsequent Pac-12 recreation at 2:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, on the College of Southern California towards the Trojans (9-3-1, 5-1-1, Pac-12).