Sunday in Cagan didn’t disappoint Stanford’s No.7 women’s football (8-3-0, 2-1-0 Pac-12) by beating Oregon (6-1-4, 1-1-1 Pac -12) 2 -1. The Cardinal looked calm and confident as they reestablished their dominance over the Ducks, but above all, the stadium erupted when fans saw graduate student striker Madison Haley return to the field for the first time this season.
The first half was full of Stanford chances in front of goal, but Oregon’s defense remained stable. Stanford took nine shots in the first half and limited Oregon to just two. The score was 0-0 in the second half.
Senior defender Naomi Girma immediately changed the pace of the game in the second half with an unassisted goal in the 50th minute. The crowd went wild when the defender buried the ball in the back of the net to start the scoring.
In the 66th minute, junior midfielder Maya Doms scored another goal thanks to an assist from junior midfielder Paige Rubinstein. Rubinstein collected his second assist of the season and stopped an Oregon second-half opportunity to keep the score 2-0.
Oregon recovered one in the 75th minute as junior Ally Cook broke away and blew a shot through junior goalie Katie Meyer. The deep ball was placed beautifully by her junior midfielder teammate Maya Hahn and left little room for Meyer to make the save.
Either way, the final whistle has sounded, giving Stanford the 2-1 victory over the team that gave them a loss and a draw last season. Stanford racked up a total of 29 shots throughout the game, keeping a good grip on the offensive advantage.
A new fan favorite has appeared in freshman striker Andrea Kitahata. Kitahata tore the pitch apart on Sunday afternoon, pulling defenders in all directions and creating opportunities for her teammates. The Cardinal could have his next big playmaker in the young star.
Another notable star was freshman Avani Brandt, who played the full 90 minutes alongside Girma, maintaining the baseline and stopping throughout the game. The duo, with junior defenseman Kennedy Wesley, appear to be lining up well ahead of Meyer.
Second-year forward Samantha Williams received a flick later in the second half and was sent off the pitch.
Then the cardinal will travel north to face Washington State on Thursday and Washington on Sunday. Games are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. PT and 12 p.m. PT, respectively.