Nov. 21, 2008

Courtesy Stanford Athletics

STANFORD, Calif. - Junior Kelley O'Hara volleyed the top-seeded Cardinal to a 1-0 victory over Rutgers in the third round of the 2008 NCAA DI Women's Soccer Championship this evening at Stanford's Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, keeping alive the team's quest for its first College Cup appearance since 1993.

The Cardinal dominated much of the play, keeping the ball on the Scarlet Knights' side for most of the game and limiting them to only two shots in the match.

Stanford was on the prowl right from the start, and just 1:30 into the game earned a great chance to score but couldn't convert. O'Hara forwarded the ball up to freshman Lindsay Taylor, who then sent the ball across the box from the right side but hit it just behind a wide-open Kristin Stannard, who was unable to play the ball.

In the ninth minute O'Hara got the next best chance for the Cardinal, as she hit a shot from 25 yards out that looked to be going in, but hit the inside of the post and caromed across the face of the goal. Sophomore Christen Press followed up on the rebound, but hit her attempt high.

In the 50th minute, the Scarlet Knight netminder Erin Guthrie made one of her several big saves in the game, tipping the ball over the bar , foiling Press' header attempt and keeping the game scoreless.

Twenty-one minutes later, Guthrie again stuffed the Cardinal's chance, making a one-on-one save on Press' charge.

But then, with 4:46 left in the game, O'Hara made the clutch play of the game, side-volleying the ball into the net off of Press' serve and propelling Stanford into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002.

The Cardinal out-shot Rutgers 26-2 and forced Guthrie to make a career-high 10 saves. O'Hara's goal counted for her 13th of the year.

Stanford now has an Elite Eight date with the winner of tomorrow's (Saturday, Nov. 22) match between Portland and James Madison. The quarterfinal is tentatively scheduled to be played at Stanford on Friday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m., and the final details of the game will be confirmed on Monday, Nov. 24.