[UCLA-STANFORD WOMEN] No. 1 Stanford, tied for third in the country in scoring, showed it can not only score but it can also play some defense. The Cardinal got first-half goals from Christen Press -- her national-leading 16th of the season -- and Mariah Nogueira and shut down UCLA star Sydney Leroux to beat the No. 13 Bruins, 2-0, on the road in Sunday's meeting of Pac-10 giants.
Press scored on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute, and Nogueira followed with a close-range shot off a scramble following a corner kick 13 minutes later, allowing Stanford to complete a road sweep of USC and UCLA.
“It was something I spoke to the team about, so they understood the importance of this week,” Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. “But the job’s not done. There are plenty of tough teams in this conference.”
Stanford and UCLA have won or shared the Pac-10 title in the last nine years and 15 of the 16 years the conference has sponsored women's soccer.
“We knew the first weekend was going to determine who’s going to have the best shot of controlling the Pac-10,” Cardinal captain Allison McCann said. “This was huge.”
Leroux recently spent two weeks in the U.S. national team camp and was held to only one shot.