While Not Shutout, W. Soccer Can't Stop Spiral

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The No. 18 Cal women's soccer team went into Saturday's game looking to re-establish itself as a presence in the Pac-10.

It came out the latest casualty of the Stanford steamroller.

The Bears (9-7-1, 2-5 in the Pac-10) jumped out to an early lead, but were unable to hold the fort as

No. 1 Stanford rallied back behind forward Marcia Wallis to claim a 2-1 victory.

After falling apart last week in Washington, Cal played much better at home, running neck-and-neck with the Cardinal (16-1, 7-0) for much of the game.

"I not only thought we were in the game, but I thought we could win the game," Cal coach Kevin Boyd said.

But in the end, the Bears were overmatched by a superior Stanford squad.

Coming into the game, the Card was riding a seven-game shutout streak and looked to make the Bears the latest victim of its red menace defense.

The Bears wasted no time ending that streak with a Laura Schott goal in the second minute.

"They have a dangerous player who we pinpointed before the game started, and that was Laura Schott," Stanford coach Paul Sapsford said. "We talked about how we were going to prevent her from getting behind us but she got in behind us and she scored."

Schott took a through ball from Brittany Kirk and ad-libbed the rest by kneeing a shot over goalie Nicole Barnhart, the fourth goal allowed by Stanford this season.

"I thought the goal she got was very nice," Boyd said. "A volley off your knee, over a keeper and into the goal-that is a savvy move."

The Cardinal defense, initially dumbfounded by Schott's acrobatic performance, was quick to recover and clamped down after the first 20 minutes.

The Stanford forwards took care of the rest by using their speed to bewilder the normally sound Bears defense.

"(Their forwards) were making diagonal runs through the seams in our defense and we weren't picking them up very well," Boyd said.

The corner kick conundrum continued to haunt the Bears.

After giving up two goals off corner kicks to Washington last week, the Bears found themselves in familiar territory when Wallis took a pass off a corner kick and found the net from point-blank range in the 22nd minute.

Wallis continued to punish Cal with a second goal 11 minutes later.

In a great one-on-one battle against Cal goalie Sani Post, Wallis had two of her shots deflected before cashing in on her third shot.

With two games left in the regular season, Schott is now within three goals Joy Fawcett's career Cal goals mark.

The Bears' five losses in the Pac-10 guarantee their worst conference mark since the Pac-10 began sponsoring women's soccer in 1995.

Cal can quickly remedy its situation when it faces perennial Pac-10 bottom feeders Arizona and Arizona State.

"I'm not counting us out at all yet," Schott said. "Next weekend's games are huge."


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