The No. 17 Stanford women's soccer team survived its first postseason test Friday, defeating Cal State Fullerton 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament in front of a crowd of 1,223 at Cagan Stadium.
The Cardinal's season-long woes of to convert chances continued despite a dominating performance highlighted by Taylor Uhl's game winner after 14 minutes.
The Cardinal (14-5-1) advances to play third-seeded South Carolina, which trounced Furman 5-0. The teams will play next Friday in the second round at UCLA.
Stanford is trying to reach its sixth consecutive College Cup with a roster of nine freshmen.
"I'm hoping we're saving goals for later rounds," coach Paul Ratcliffe said.
The Cardinal outshot the Titans 21-6, but Fullerton goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic had 10 saves, including three that stopped seemingly sure goals.
"We were really unlucky tonight," senior Courtney Verloo said. "The chances are there going forward."
Uhl got her team-leading 11th goal of the season off an easy rebound. Uhl headed a shot into the crossbar off Verloo's serve but the ball fell to the striker. Uhl buried it from four yards out.
The Titans (8-7-7), who finished fourth in the Big West but won the conference tournament to advance to the NCAA tournament, allowed only 17 goals this season.
Although Stanford failed to get a seed, the players say they can make a statement in the coming weeks.
"We're going to make a run," Verloo said. "Everyone has a new mindset."