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Golden goal ends Bears’ season

By Dean Caparaz Daily Planet Correpondent
Monday November 18, 2002

STANFORD – Last week, Stanford midfielder Marcie Ward said that Sunday’s NCAA tournament match with Cal would “be more exciting than the football [Big] game.” She was probably right. 

The 13th-ranked Golden Bears women’s soccer team hung around for 93 minutes against the No. 1 Cardinal at the latter’s Maloney Field. But a sudden death goal by Stanford midfielder Ally Marquand in the 95th minute put an end to Cal’s season. Cal lost, 1-0, to their Pac-10 rival in the second round of the postseason and ends with a 12-8-1 record. Stanford, which improves to 20-1-0, will play Notre Dame in the third round next week. 

Stanford outshot Cal, 20-6, but Cal got a stellar outing from goalkeeper Sani Post, who made a career-high nine saves to keep the Bears alive. 

The match between the long-time rivals also produced 34 fouls – 18 for Stanford and 16 for Cal. 

“It was a great game,” Cal coach Kevin Boyd said. “I don’t think there was a lot of flow of play. I think it was two rivals in the second round of the playoffs that was a good matchup. I think we did a great job taking their game away, not letting them knock the ball around very well.” 

Indeed, despite the shot disparity, Cal disrupted much of what the Cardinal wanted to do. Bears defenders Ashley Valenzuela and Lucy Brining and midfielders Carly Fuller and Kimberly Yokers made life difficult for Stanford’s offense. 

“One of Cal’s strengths is putting a lot of pressure on you,” Marquand said. “We adjusted in the second half.” 

Cal couldn’t continue to live on borrowed time nor defend all of Stanford’s dangerous runs. Stanford midfielder Marquand and Callie Withers spent much of their time making diagonal runs that stretched Cal’s defense to the limit. When Withers wasn’t making those runs or taking a team-high nine shots, she was fouling Yokers, who responded with some physical play of her own in the second half. 

Stanford four-player backline of Natalie Spilger, Alisan Pabon, Lindsey Hunt and Hayley Hunt was impenetrable. The defense, with a big assist from its midfield, also limited the touches by Cal senior forward Laura Schott, who had just one shot, in the 81st minute. 

Cal’s best scoring chance came in the 49th minute, when Tracy Hamm launched a swerving blast from the left side of the Stanford penalty area that just cleared the crossbar and landed on top of the net. 

Stanford had many scoring chances early on. In the 10th minute, Marcia Wallis had a short shot saved off the goal line by Cal defender Amy Willison. Two minutes later, Post saved a Withers shot from 10 yards out. Three minutes after that, a high Marquand cross scooted through Post’s hands and fell in the vicinity of Kelsey Carlson, but Valenzuela cleared the ball away. 

In the 18th minute, Post made a diving save on Ward’s 18-yard blast with Wallis ready for a rebound. But a heady Valenzuela got in the way of Wallis and forced the latter to foul her. 

Cal suffered a big blow in the 68th minute, when Stanford goalkeeper Katie Barnhart punched away a high ball only to follow through and punch Brining in the nose. The redshirt junior, who is Cal’s best defender, left the match for good with a broken and bloody nose. 

The best chance for either team before the goal came in the 82nd minute, when Wallis had a one-on-one chance against Post. Wallis fired to her right past Post, the ball hit the post and rebounded across the goalmouth to the left and out of the penalty area. 

At 94:01, Wallis crossed from the right flank and Ward flicked the ball to the left with her head. The ball arced over Valenzuela and Willis to an unmarked Marquand, who fired into the upper right corner of the net. 

It was the last college game for Schott, who leaves her mark at Cal as the all-time goalscoring leader with 56. 

“Going out in this game, it was a real battle,” she said. “It’s hard to leave losing in the second round, but we lost to No. 1.”