Stanford drops Boston College
The Cardinal scored twice in seven minutes late in second half
STANFORD, Calif. -- Four minutes after Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe moved Camille Levin from outside back to the midfield, the senior scored a superb goal to break a scoreless stalemate and spark Stanford to a 2-0 victory against Boston College Sunday.
The goal, scored in the 63rd minute was followed only seven minutes later by another, a perfectly-placed free kick by Lindsay Taylor that essentially clinched a quarterfinal berth for the top-seeded Cardinal.
Stanford at times looked flustered in the first half and Boston College (12-6-3) seemed to grow in confidence as the match remained scoreless.
“Coming into the second half, I thought we could have had them,” junior forward Victoria DiMartino said.
Until that time, Levin was having trouble moving into the attack at her outside right back position, which Boston College coach Alison Foley attributed to DiMartino’s attention.
But in the 59th minute, Ratcliffe made a double move. He removed Kristy Zurmuhlen, hampered by an injury suffered Friday, out of midfield, and replaced her with Levin. He also moved Rachel Quon from left to right outside back and brought in Annie Case to defend on the left side.
“It was a tactical adjustment,” Ratcliffe said. “I thought we could penetrate up the middle. She’s such a great player. So, when she went up there, the adjustment paid off straight away.”
The move was designed to give Levin more room and to allow her to focus on the attack.
Boston College responded by immediately attacking toward Case, but she held her ground and the Eagles were stymied. Meanwhile, Levin began creating problems of a different sort in the middle of the B.C. defense.
Overlapping with Taylor, Levin slid the ball over to Teresa Noyola, who fed it back to Levin in space just above the penalty area. Showing great composure despite taking her first shot since the first round last week, Levin chipped the ball over goalkeeper Jillian Mastroianni and into the upper right corner.
“I was just trying to get a good shot off,” she said.
Levin also played a role in the second goal, making another run that forced B.C. to foul her, about 25 yards from the goal and a little to the right.
Taylor saw room around the right side of the Boston College wall and noticed Mastroianni was cheating to the side. So, Taylor struck low with her right foot, around the wall, and just inside the near (right) post, in the 70th minute as Mastroianni nearly collided with the post in her effort to stop the shot.
The goal was Taylor’s 19th of the season, the fifth-highest season total in school history, and the assist was Noyola’s 13th, a personal high that ties her for third on Stanford’s all-time single-season list.
Stanford advanced to the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season and has eliminated Boston College (12-6-3) the past three years, including at the 2010 College Cup in Cary, N.C., when Levin broke a 0-0 deadlock in a similar situation, by moving to the midfield (from forward) in a mid-match adjustment. And, just as in that one, Taylor provided the clinching goal in a 2-0 victory.
“It doesn’t matter what round you play Stanford, or any other great team,” DiMartino said. “In order to be the best, you have to beat the best.”
On Sunday, the Cardinal also extended its home winning streak to 49 – the second-longest in NCAA history – and its home unbeaten streak to 53. The seniors -- Levin, Taylor, Noyola, and Zurmuhlen -- have never lost a home match.