SEATTLE – Despite a great defensive effort on the part of the University of Washington women’s soccer team (7-7-4, 3-2-3 Pac-12), they fell Thursday night to the seventh-ranked Stanford 1-0 in an extremely physical match that moved the Huskies back to .500.
The match started off slow with only two shots total for either team, both coming from the Cardinal. For those first twenty minutes, Stanford had control of the game.
“It was a good game. I thought we played hard but I was disappointed in the first 20 minutes. I thought we came out tentative and we didn’t set any kind tempo or possession or rhythm for ourselves with the ball on the attack,” Head coach Lesle Gallimore said, “we let them have the ball too much and get comfortable, but nothing came of it. None of their chances were dangerous, we didn’t get tested that much at the back and we handled whatever they threw at us. “
The last twenty-five minutes of the half, however, were dominated by UW. The Huskies increased the pace and forced more play on the Stanford side of the field.
Lindsay Elston did her best to try to give the Huskies an early advantage, leading the team in shots with three total and two on goal all in the end of the half push.
“I felt like the second 25 minutes of the first half we really picked it up. But there was one errant pass and then we gave them too much time. We turned off for a moment in the last two minutes of the half, and they capitalized on it,” she added.
Stanford ended the half with only two shots on goal. Unfortunately, one of those slipped past redshirt sophomore goalkeep Megan Kufeld into the back of the net from 15 yards out. The goal came from Stanford midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta late in the 44th minute to put the Cardinal up by one just before half.
At the beginning of the second period, the Huskies came out strong. In the first part of the half UW took 3 shots on goal, which was as many as they had the entire first period.
Gallimore continued, “if a mistake happens you can correct it, you just can’t be tentative about it. That was the focus of our halftime talk, was to come out and be way more aggressive. And we came out and we looked good.”
The Dawgs weren’t able to capitalize on any of their offensive opportunities and were instead forced to focus on defending a Stanford team that was doing their best to dominate possession time and clock management.
“But at the end of the day, it’s finishing. It’s creating more chances, it’s being more dangerous, it’s getting better attempts on goal, it’s making the most of your restarts and I don’t think we did that.”
UW’s focus now shifts to their next two matches that can keep their post-season hopes alive. The first must-win match is against California at home on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 pm PT.