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How Sweet It Is: Falk Sends Cardinal to Round of 16
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 11/18/2007

Nov. 18, 2007

Box Score

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford women's soccer team tied California 1-1 through regulation and two overtime periods, but were able to win 7-6 in a penalty kick shootout. Junior Allison Falk sent a shot past California goalkeeper Rosie Aguilera to clinch the win. The penalty kick win advanced Stanford into the round of 16 where they will play against the University of Connecticut.

The game, which provided high drama for the capacity crowd at Laird Q. Cagan stadium, was played physically throughout and led to 31 penalties being called in the match with 16 going against California and 15 going against Stanford. There were also four yellow cards given in the match, with three being assessed to the Cardinal and one being called on the Golden Bears.

Both teams kept the opposing offense at bay for most of the afternoon with two stellar backlines on display. The first period led to only five shots for Stanford and two for California with both teams providing heavy defensive pressure. Freshman Christen Press, coming off her first five point game of her young Cardinal career, got the first shot on net in the 9th minute, but it went to no avail as California goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini made one of her three saves on the day.

Neither side was even able to get a shot off until the 27th minute as Press sent another shot wide of goal. The Cardinal in the first half was able to control the flow of the match and had a lot of the action on the Golden Bear side of the field. Stanford had a strong chance when Press sent a corner kick right into the middle of the goalkeeper box, but junior Marisa Abegg's header went just over the crossbar and kept the score at 0-0.

After sophomore Alicia Jenkins sent a shot wide in the 34th minute, Shari Summers corralled the ensuing kickoff by Pellegrini and sent a streaking Ali Riley a ball down the right side of the field. Riley caught up to the ball and centered a pass to Kristin Stannard who was trailing down the center of the field. The ball arrived right at Stannard's and she powered the ball past Pellegrini on the left side of the goal. It was Stannard's fourth goal of the season and her second in postseason play after she scored an insurance goal against Sacramento State in the first round of NCAA Tournament play. It was also the second assist for Riley on the season. This score held up until halftime and Stanford held the 1-0 lead at the break.

The Golden Bears seemed determined to come out more aggressively in the second half and played a much crisper game in the frame. The Golden Bears got off five shots to Stanford's three and held possession for a lot more than they did in the first half.

Courtney Hooker got the action started in the second half when she sent a shot that Holland made a nice play on to preserve the 1-0 lead. It was Holland's only save of the afternoon in the 110 minutes of play.

The second half was marred by very physical play and lots of high emotions from both sides. The Cardinal were called for a season-high 11 fouls in the second half, but remained composed after watching the Golden Bears take numerous free kicks. Red shirt senior Rachel Buehler was often vocal in the second half trying to spark the Cardinal defense. "Adrenaline took over and we just had to find a way to win," said Buehler. "We just wanted it so badly in the end."

The final half continued to be played physically, which resulted in yellow cards for both Buehler and Riley in the 69th and 74 minutes respectively.

The game took a heated turn when the Cardinal got called for a foul in the 89th minute right near the center of the field. California brought up Pellegrini to take the free kick giving the Golden Bears an extra attacker at the net. Pellgrini launched a perfect ball into the center of the goalkeeper box and freshman Alex Morgan headed in the ball to tie the game at one apiece. It was a tough pill to swallow for the Cardinal, but they were determined to not let it deter them. "We knew we had to just keep on fighting out there," said Stanford junior Allison Falk. "We have a lot of girls with experience in Buehler and Summers and they kept us going the whole way."

The Cardinal controlled the overtime periods by not allowing a shot in both ten minute frames. The Cardinal had three attempts, but their best chance came on a ball that wasn't even fired on net. Riley sent a crossing pass that got through Pellegrini and another Golden Bear defender. Freshman Allison McCann came streaking down the right side of the field but couldn't quite reach the ball in front of an empty net.

The second overtime gave Stanford two corner kicks, but they couldn't find the net and the two teams were headed into a penalty kick shootout.

Stanford turned to junior Alex Gamble to be the goalkeeper for the shootout and the junior made a diving stop of the first shot in the shootout by California's Brianna Bak. Shari Summers came into the penalty kicks having converted all three of her attempts in the regular season. Summer's stepped up to the box and drilled her shot past newly inserted Rose Aguilera for the Golden Bears and the Cardinal lead 1-0 early in the shootout.

Kelley O'Hara and Press converted the next two attempts for the Cardinal and California responded with successful attempts by Megan Jesolva and Morgan.

The Cardinal turned to Lizzy George for the fourth attempt and her shot deflected off the top crossbar, and after Katie Oakes converted for California the teams were tied 3-3 after four attempts each.

Nikki Schrey converted her penalty shot and the Bears lead 4-3 heading into the final attempt for the Cardinal. Stannard stepped up to the box with the season on the line and sent a shot into the right side of the net to force a sudden death penalty shootout.

Caroline Lea then converted the sixth kick for the Golden Bears, but freshman Allison McCann successfully converted hers to send the shootout to a seventh round. Emily Shibata found the net on her kick, and senior April Wall scored the equalizer to send the penalty shootout to an eighth and final round.

California's Caitlin Hannegan sent a ball to the right of Gamble, but the Stanford goalkeeper read the ball perfectly and dove right and knocked the ball out of bounds.

Stanford then turned to junior Allison Falk, who converted her kick to give the Cardinal a 7-6 victory in the shootout.

With the win, Stanford now hosts the University of Connecticut in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, Nov. 23. The game will be played at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Stay tuned to www.gostanford.com for more coverage of the Cardinal victory and post-game quotes.


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