I don’t mean to brag about my past work, but did I call it or did I call it? Stanford so far, has hit the ball completely out of the park, or for a lack of better terms, directly into the back of the net. More than several times. To be exact, 9 times in their first two games this season. Outscoring Marquette and Wisconsin 9-0 have catapulted the Cardinals into NCAA first place ranking. Again, I’m not trying to brag, but I pretty much called it from the start. But, for the people who are just now joining us in this college season, I’ll be breaking down Stanford’s recent success- but more importantly how they’re going to continue dominating the NCAA.
First and foremost, every amazing soccer team has to have a solid goalie- an anchor behind their backline. Not only does having a strong goalie increase the defenses confidence, but it’s just great to have a reliable player in goal. Stanford has found that in Alison Jahansouz, their starting goalie against Marquette. Playing a full 90 minutes, Jahansouz recorded her first clean sheet of the season, coming up with three big saves including one PK save. Stanford then gave the start to Lauren Rood against Wisconsin- earning her first shutout in her first career start. With two rockstar goalies in their roster, these games are only the start of a clean sheet run for the Cardinals.
Everyone who follows soccer knows that famous quote of “Offense wins games and defense wins championships”. If you need any further proof that that quote is spot on, look at Stanford at the end of this season. Yes, their offense scored 9 goals in their two games. But, their defense let in 0 goals, and they’re going to continue to shutout their oppositions. Their backline works so well, because they all work for each other- they’re filling in the gaps, they’re helping out the midfield, and they’re always making sure to cut off shots before they make it to the goalie. Sam Hiatt definitely stood out in their game against Wisconsin, only being a sophomore. She proved to have good chemistry with the rest of the backline, and she’s not afraid to take on an opponent in a 1 on 1 situation, and at the same time she found the back of net.
The midfield for Stanford has absolutely exploded in these two games, mostly thanks to a played named Andi Sullivan, along with Jaye Boissiere. Coming back from an ACL injury, Sullivan has been absolutely incredible in the midfield for Stanford, and while she hasn’t netted a goal yet, I’m expecting some big goals and even bigger assists from Sullivan. Give her time, and I guarantee we’ll be looking at one of the best midfielders in college soccer. Playing alongside Sullivan is none other than Jaye Boissiere, a player that already has had a handful of great shots, along with recording one assist. Putting these two together in the midfield is going to lead to a flurry of goals and assists for the Cardinals.
And of course, a team that’s going to score 9 goals in two games needs a forward that’s not afraid to take shots. And that player comes in the form of Kyra Carusa, Redshirt Junior. Already, Carusa has recorded 3 goals, 7 shots, and 6 shots on goal. Again, I’m not wanting to brag, but I totally called this. Carusa has been explosive up front, not only scoring goals but also finding her teammates in open space, and creating chances. Mix all of that with players like Catarina Macario, another player with 3 goals, and you’ve obtained a front line that’s going to strike fear into the opponent’s goalie.
Now, with it being only 2 games in the season, I may be calling this way too early. But, if you’ve watched the Cardinals in these last two games, you can probably see a trophy in their future, preferably this season. They play again Friday Night, at Florida University. The Gators will probably be a tougher opponent than Wisconsin and Marquette, but if Stanford continues their ways, I don’t see the Cardinals having too much of a problem with Florida. However, writing this article could completely jinx Stanford, and they somehow lose 6-0, injuring all their best players, and simultaneously get kicked out of NCAA (don’t worry, I’m currently knocking on wood). Either way, I’m thrilled to watch them Friday, as should anyone that finds college soccer as exhilarating as myself.