Oct. 31, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Midfielder Christina DiMartino broke a scoreless tie in the 77th minute Friday evening, lifting the third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over No. 2 Stanford in a showdown that featured two of the last three undefeated teams in the country. With the win, the Bruins (15-0-2; 6-0 Pac-10) move into sole possession of first place in the conference with three games remaining. The Cardinal suffers their first loss of the season, falling to 16-1-1 overall and 6-1 in league play.
"It was a matchup featuring two very skilled teams and anytime you have that, usually one goal is going to decide it at this level," said UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis. "Fortunately we were the ones to come out on top tonight."
Following a scoreless first half, DiMartino scored the game's only goal at the 76:36 mark after receiving a ball in the middle of the field about 30 yards out from Stanford's goal. She took several dribbles to her right before unleashing a right-footed shot that bent perfectly into the top right corner from about 25 yards out. Cardinal goalkeeper Kira Maker made a leaping reach for the ball, however the shot was just out of reach.
"It was a spectacular shot," added Ellis. "We've been encouraging her to shoot and it seems like every time she does, something magical comes off her foot."
Said DiMartino, "I saw an opening and I guess I was just lucky tonight."
Stanford's best chance on the night came in the 65th minute when Christen Press hit the crossbar on a header from about 12 yards out.
The Bruins outshot the Cardinal, 13-11 on the night, including 9-8 on goal. Both UCLA goalkeeper Ashley Thompson and Maker finished with eight saves apiece.
DiMartino's goal was just the sixth given up by Stanford this season. UCLA still leads the conference in goals allowed with three. The Bruins notched their 14th shutout of the season on Friday.
UCLA extends its Pac-10 winning streak to 16 straight matches. The Bruins have not lost a conference match since Nov. 3, 2006. UCLA also extends its unbeaten streak over Stanford to six in a row. The Bruins and Notre Dame are now the only two remaining undefeated teams in the country.
The Bruins will play their final home match of the regular season on Sunday, hosting Cal at Noon.