UCLA’s Emily Donohoe had a shot attempt blocked at the fourth quarter horn by Stanford goalkeeper Gabby Stone, giving the Cardinal a one-goal victory and an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship in two weeks.
In the second half Stanford dictated the defensive tempo pushing the Bruins’ set offense back, and often double-covering Donohoe and UCLA sophomore Rachel Fattal. The result produced zero second-half goals for the Bruins, while the Cardinal mounted its comeback.
The Bruins took a 5-3 halftime lead by shutting down the Cardinal in the second quarter and scoring a pair of goals. After earning a Stanford exclusion at 6:55, the Bruins scored on the ensuing power play when senior Becca Dorst netted a two-meter shot. Donohoe scored almost four minutes later from five meters to give the Bruins a 5-3 lead, which stood until the third quarter.
The two teams had battled to a 3-3 tie in the first quarter. Stanford scored first on a goal at 7:24 by Maggie Steffens. The Bruins answered with a power play goal at 6:56 from sophomore Kodi Hill, and then took a 2-1 lead when sophomore Alys Williams scored from two meters. At 4:26 Fattal was excluded, and the Cardinal capitalized with a goal from Kaley Dodson to make it 2-2. After a Stanford turnover produced a UCLA counterattack, junior Danielle Ferraro found senior Kelly Ronimus alone on the left side for UCLA’s third goal and a 3-1 lead. But the Cardinal answered again with a goal from Jamie Neushul at 2:13.
In the third quarter, Stanford’s Annika Dries (4:53) and Steffens (penalty, 2:05) scored to level the score at 5-5. Following Steffens’ penalty goal, UCLA goalkeeper Sami Hill made a brilliant smothering save after the Cardinal had made a steal in the middle of the pool and taken advantage of numbers on a counterattack.
Kelsey Suggs scored the winner for Stanford at 3:55 in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin of victory.
Stanford 6, UCLA 5
UCLA (3, 2, 0, 0 — 5)
Stanford (3, 0, 2, 1—6)
Goals: UCLA (K. Hill, Williams, Ronimus, Dorst, Donohoe-1). Stanford (Steffens-2, Dodson, Neushul, Dries, Suggs-1))
Saves UCLA (S. Hill-10; Stanford (Stone-4)