Nov. 8, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - The California women's soccer team fell to the No. 1 team in the country, 4-1, against top-ranked Stanford on Sunday afternoon at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. Alex Morgan had Cal's lone goal while the Cardinal's Kelley O'Hara netted a hat trick to power the Cardinal (20-0 overall, 8-0 in the Pac-10) past the Golden Bears (10-8-1, 4-5-0 Pac-10) in the regular-season finale for both squads. The annual Big Game between the rival schools was played in a sell-out crowd of 2,000 with fans filling the stadium and lining the field.
"Our players worked extremely hard," Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. "Stanford is a very, very talented team, and they took advantage of many great opportunities. We failed to capitalize on our chances early."
The Bears took the first shot on goal in the second minute when Kevorkian powered one off after Morgan went down in the box, but the Stanford keeper Kira Maker was there for the save.
After Pellegrini had made three impressive saves, the Stanford offense poked one through at 13:40. The Cardinal took a corner kick, which was headed away by the Cal defense, but Stanford's Kelley O'Hara rebounded the ball, and shot it to the back right from 10 yards out for her 21st goal of the season.
Stanford scored its second goal at 31:17, again thanks to O'Hara. Rachel Quon played a ball to her from the right and O'Hara headed it in to the back post.
O'Hara earned herself a hat trick with Stanford's third goal of the game in the 53rd minute off an assist from Alicia Jenkins.
At 58:10, heavily pressured by five defenders and the keeper in front of the box, Morgan was awarded a penalty kick.
Morgan took her kick to the right side, but the diving Maker made a black. Morgan collected the rebound and easily knocked it in for Cal's first score of the game.
The goal by Morgan was her 13th goal of the season, bringing her three-year career total to 30 goals, which is fourth all-time in program history. She also remains in fifth place with 74 career points.
Stanford responded roughly four minutes later when Lindsey Taylor shot the ball into the upper left 90 from 30 yards out. Courtney Verloo had the assist.
"At moments in the game, we did a very nice job of keeping the ball," McGuire noted. "We just didn't do that long enough. As a result, we got tired."
With the win, Stanford concluded its perfect regular season at 20-0 and 9-0 in the Pac-10s and won the Pac-10 Conference Championship. Cal will find out if it has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Monday evening's selection show.