Women’s soccer to take on No. 1 Stanford

first_imgSarah Kim | Daily TrojanChop chop · Redshirt senior forward Katie Johnson, who netted a hat trick against Oregon State on Sunday to help extend the soccer team’s win streak to nine games, will look for more goals against No. 1-ranked Stanford.The Trojans will face their biggest challenge so far this season on Thursday in a matchup against No. 1 Stanford. After a trip to Oregon notched two more victories for the Trojans, head coach Keidane McAlpine said that his team is solidifying its chemistry.“I think you see the confidence and the way the girls mesh together on the field really coming together,” McAlpine said. “We’re becoming more consistent, we’re becoming more aggressive. We’re moving in the direction we need to be.”The weekend moved the Trojans up to a No. 7 ranking as they continued in winning form, stretching to a nine-game streak. After taking down Oregon 3-1 on Thursday, redshirt senior forward Katie Johnson turned up the pressure and scored a hat trick to beat Oregon State 3-1 on Sunday.The Trojans will need to continue to pressure on offense in order to take down a high-powered Stanford offense on Thursday. Stanford will bring the heat, led by MAC Hermann candidate Andi Sullivan. The midfielder has already scored four goals, doubling the points scored by Johnson even after Johnson’s three goals on Sunday. Sullivan is the engine for the team’s attack, and McAlpine said that if any player is a focus for his team, she will be it.But the challenge with playing Stanford is the way the team operates as a unit. Although Sullivan is arguably one of the best college midfielders in the country, guarding her too heavily will allow for other talented scorers to get loose. And the Cardinal’s main focus is to spread teams out, creating both pace and positioning that is difficult to keep up with for 90 minutes.Typically, the team is also equipped with one of the best backlines in the country with goalkeeper Jane Campbell in the net. She is chasing former U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart’s shutout record and backstops the Stanford defense. But after a collision with a Washington player in last Sunday’s game earned her a red card, Campbell is suspended from Thursday’s game. Freshman Alison Jahansouz will take her place after holding Washington to a 3-0 shutout with only 10 players on the field.For McAlpine, the goal of Thursday’s game is to keep his team focused on the game, not the hype surrounding the team they are playing. It’s something he says hasn’t been a problem thanks to senior leadership.“They really set the tone,” McAlpine said. “When we come into practice, there’s a certain feeling and everyone knows that okay, we’re going to be serious today. Even after [winning] last weekend, they were upset that we’d let in two goals, they were wanting to improve on that. They’re locked in and they’re ready.”last_img read more