MORAGA, Calif. – The Saint Mary’s women’s soccer team hits the road this week, facing two nationally ranked teams. On Thursday, the Gaels take on No. 2 Stanford (5-0-1) at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, the Gaels travel to No. 12 California (5-0-1) and take on the Golden Bears at 11:00 a.m. Both matches will be carried by the Pac-12 network.
Last week the Gaels hosted the Saint Mary’s College Classic, splitting its two matches. On Friday, the Gaels defeated New Mexico 1-0, then lost to Classic Champion Lehigh 2-0 on Sunday.
In the win over the Lobos, Briana Campos scored in the 57th minute as Samantha Dion set up her teammate with the score. In the loss to the Mountain Hawks, the Gaels used a flurry of second half shots, outshooting Lehigh 13-4 in the 2nd half but came up empty and could not overcome the Mountain Hawks goal in the 7th minute.
Campos and Jessica Castillo were named to the SMC Classic All-Tournament team.
Campos leads the Gaels with three goals this season, including two game-winning goals. Caroline Beaulne is the Gaels’ other multiple goal scorer with two. Mary Fraser leads SMC in shots with 22, while Jessica Castillo has taken 16 shots and a team-high nine shots on goal.
Kaeli Schmidt has played all but seven minutes in goal for SMC with a 1.26 goals against average and 33 saves.
Stanford is coached by Paul Ratcliffe who began his collegiate coaching career at Saint Mary’s (1998-2002). In five years at SMC, Ratcliffe went 55-34-7, highlighted by an NCAA Tournament second round run in 2001. That year the Gaels were ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation and had a 13-match winning streak.
Stanford is outscoring its opponents 14-3 this season. The Cardinal is led by Taylor Uhl with six goals while Courtney Verloo has two goals. Stanford won a 3-1 match-up with Iowa State last week. The Cardinal have played two West Coast Conference schools, a 1-1 tie against Portland and a 4-0 win over Loyola Marymount.
Cal is also off to a strong start having tied Pepperdine in Malibu and defeating Harvard and UC Davis last week. The Golden Bears will play at Santa Clara on Thursday, before taking on the Gaels on Sunday.
Cal is led by Ifeoma Onumonu with five goals, while Samantha Witteman and Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick have scored three goals apiece. The Golden Bears are outscoring their opponents 15-4.
After this week, the Gaels will have one match per week for the next four weeks, all at home. On Friday, September 27th, the Gaels host Cal Poly at 4:00 p.m., the last contest before the start of WCC play.