Oct. 10, 2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. - No. 1 Stanford continued a season-long trend of breaking down opponents in the second half, this time with three goals in the final 35 minutes to beat Oregon State, 3-0, in a Pacific-10 Conference women's soccer opener Friday night.

The victory gave Stanford (12-0, 1-0) its best start in school history, improving upon the Julie Foudy-led 1991 Cardinal, which opened 11-0.

After being held scoreless for 55 minutes, Christen Press opened the scoring by taking a pass from Lindsay Taylor and slotting in a low shot from the top of the box. Camille Levin followed in the 83rd minute on a one-on-one opportunity and Taylor bent in a free kick from 20 yards to complete the scoring in the 85th minute against the Beavers (8-3-1, 0-1).

Stanford has now outscored opponents 33-5 in the second half, all this despite being tied or behind before halftime eight times this season.

"Every game in this conference is hard," said coach Paul Ratcliffe, whose Cardinal team is shooting for its first Pac-10 title since 2002. "We've got to play our best and believe we're going to score and break the ice."

Press' goal was her 11th of the season, while Levin scored her first while coming off the bench at halftime and providing a spark in the midfield. Taylor, who scored her third of the season, now has a goal and three assists in the past two games.

The shutout was the fourth credited to goalkeeper Kira Maker and the seventh overall this season.

"We've just got to take care of business mentally and be ready for every opponent," Ratcliffe said. "We've got to take each game seriously and play our best. That's how it's going to be in the Pac-10."

The Cardinal got another boost by the appearance of the Stanford band, in town for Saturday's football game at Oregon State.

Stanford next plays at Oregon (8-3-1, 0-1) on Sunday (1 p.m.) before playing its conference home opener Friday (7 p.m.) against USC.