Stanford Stops USC’s NCAA Soccer Run
Los Angeles (AP) — A battle from the beginning between No. 14 South Carolina (17-4-2) and No. 17 Stanford (15-5-1) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament ended as Taylor Uhl netted the game’s only goal less than two minutes into overtime to give the Cardinal the 1-0 win on a chilly night at Drake Stadium.
A quick play down the right flank, Stanford got a cross in before it was knocked back out. Midfielder Chioma Ubogagu corralled the ball at the top of the 18-yard box where she tapped it forward to Uhl who one-timed a soft shot past Gamecock keeper Sabrina D’Angelo inside the left post.
A stalemate throughout, neither team could find a way to break down the others defense.
Stanford had the first attempt of the game on a free kick from just outside the box in the fifth minute. After Courtney Verloo’s first attempt was whistled back, her second attempt curled away from the left post.
Five minutes later, the Gamecocks earned the first corner of the night. A collision in the box occurred as the ball was in the air between Stanford keeper Jane Campbell and Gamecock defender Taylor Leach and the ball was knocked away. Midfielder Stevi Parker pounced on the loose ball, but her shot was over the crossbar.
In the 12th minute, Uhl hit a low shot from close range that crossed the face of goal, but it missed wide of the left post.
With the Cardinal keeping the ball in the Gamecocks half for much of the first 20 minutes, the Gamecocks began to settle in after bringing on several subs over the ensuing 10 minutes.
After a dangerous attacking run up the middle from forward Daija Griffin, the ball was poked away by a Stanford defender. Forward Coryn Bajema was got the loose ball and hit a shot from range, but the attempt landed in the hands of Campbell.
After 45 minutes of play, Stanford held a 4-2 advantage in shots, while both sides only produced one shot on goal.
The Gamecocks came quick out of the break as midfielder Gabrielle Gilbert lined up a one-timed shot from outside the box that was just over the bar early in the half.
In the 78th minute, Stanford’s Natalie Griffen had the best chance in regulation as she got on he end of a bouncing ball and ripped a shot across the face of goal that caromed off the crossbar. That came just after D’Angelo came up big for her side on a shot from Ubogagu that was destined for the back of the net. The junior went to her left and was able to punch away the attempt before it tucked under the crossbar.
The Cardinal put the Gamecocks under heavy pressure late in the regulation, but the defense was able to withstand it and force overtime.
In a defensive match-up, Stanford managed to outshoot South Carolina 9-6, while holding a 4-1 advantage in shots on goal.