When Stanford Cardinal and the UCLA Bruins started their match at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, both teams were undefeated. The Cardinal’s record was 12-0-1 and the Bruin’s was 10-0-2. This game was called a showdown as both teams had been ranked #1 this season – one teams “0” was supposed to go. UCLA appeared to be at a statistical and physical disadvantage. Stanford had defeated the Bruins in their four previous matches, Stanford had also shutout their previous seven opponents, including a relatively easy 3-zip win over the USC Trojans – two days prior to the UCLA game. In their prior game, the Bruins battled to a double-overtime, scoreless tie with the California Golden Bears. Fresh legs, recent history and home field advantage made the Cardinal the favored team.
From the opening Stanford appeared to be dominant, if not a distinct territorial advantage, the Cardinal appeared to have more control, purpose, cohesiveness and accuracy when they attacked. Stanford forward, Chioma Ubogagu, scored first, unassisted at 7:01 and repeated at 17:31, with an assist from Lindsay Taylor. Less than thirty seconds expired when UCLA defender Zakiya Bywaters put UCLA on the board, assisted by Chelsea Cline. Approximately ten minutes after the Bywaters goal, Lindsay Taylor took a pass from Teresa Noyola and kicked it by UCLA goalkeeper, Katelyn Rowland. The final goal of the period and game was scored by Stanford’s Kristy Zurmuhlen, assisted by Marjani Hing-Glover and Shelby Payne.
In the second period, UCLA replaced the shell-shocked goalkeeper, Rowland, with Alana Munger. The four goals scored on Rowland’s shift equaled UCLA’s previous goals allowed total for the season. Munger, it turned out, faced little of the type of pressure that tested Rowland. Stanford was content to prevent UCLA from scoring and played a containment game that frustrated not only UCLA but the capacity crowd of 1,937 spectators. In the end, it is the victory that counts and Stanford remains firmly atop the PAC-12 Conference.