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Two second-half goals send Stanford to finals to face Notre Dame

After dominating the first half, but coming up short despite taking 12 shots, Stanford finally got on the board in the 48th minute when Camille Levin hit a ball in the upper 90 to beat Boston College keeper Jillian Mastroianni. The Cardinal tacked on another late in the game to take the 2-0 win and advance to the College Cup finals to face Notre Dame. The Eagles pressed hard after Levin’s goal, but couldn’t put one in. Their best chance came when Hannah Cerrone got the rebound off a header from Kristie Mewis right in front of Stanford keeper Emily Oliver, but her shot went over the net. Lindsay Taylor scored Stanford’s second goal when she intercepted a pass from Mastroianni to Cerrone and beat Mastroianni to her right.

“I give credit to Boston College,” Stanford Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe said. “I think they stayed up and were trying to put pressure and trying to get forward and get a goal. The game went in a few waves where they dominated for a little bit, and Emily Oliver actually made a great save for us. Then after that I thought we started to come on stronger. It was just a matter of us being more aggressive up front and being more assertive in the final third.”

The nation’s leading scorer, Christen Press, was pressured from the start, but still managed to get off six shots on the game (four on goal). “I think [Boston College] did a good job of closing off the space behind,” Press said, “and when I was checking back to get the ball they were really tight on me, making it hard for me to playmake or do anything other than pass it back to my midfield. They were really organized defensively.”

Boston College Head Coach Alison Foley said: “I thought tonight was one of the best women’s soccer games that I’ve ever seen in my life. Two fantastic teams, two teams that like to attack, both extremely disciplined. I know Stanford has some really talented players that we needed to concentrate on, and I thought our back group did a great job with Christen Press. Amy Caldwell did a nice job keeping Rachel Quon at home.”

Kristie Mewis talked about the team’s offensive attack: “I think that my team did a good job getting me the ball and I probably would’ve liked to get the ball a little more, but I guess my last pass just wasn’t as good as it usually is. Stanford’s defense was really good, so a lot of the balls I passed were a little bit too central, not enough diagonal with curve to it. I think that I probably would’ve given some better balls, but it was just that last pass, really.”

Stanford will play Notre Dame at 12 p.m. (Eastern time) Sunday in the NCAA Championship. The game can be seen live on ESPN2 or online at ESPN3.com

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