No. 2 Men's Soccer Leaves On Five-Game Road Trip
Oct. 17, 2000
This Week's Action
Fresh off a six-game homestand which saw Stanford post a 5-1-0 record, the Cardinal embarks on a five-game road swing. Stanford battles a pair of Pacific-10 Conference foes this weekend, facing Oregon State (6-6-1) on Friday before traveling to Seattle on Sunday to play No. 4 and Pac-10 leading Washington (9-3-0).
The Clark File
Head coach Bobby Clark, in his fifth season at the helm of the Cardinal, has posted a 64-19-12 (.737) record on The Farm. The 1997 NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year has a 146-61-25 (.683) mark in 13-plus years overall, the first nine as the head man at Dartmouth. With Stanford's 5-0 win at Saint Mary's on Sept. 26, Clark passed Sam Koch and moved into fourth place on the Cardinal's all-time victory list. Stanford's 5-0 win over Seton Hall on Sept. 29 gave Clark his 60th career victory, making him only the fourth coach to record 60 victories on The Farm. On the international level, Clark was the head coach of the New Zealand National Team from 1994-96, compiling a 21-12-3 record while working with the Senior, Olympic, Under-20 and Under-17 squads. For his efforts, Clark was awarded the 1995 Jim McCullen Trophy, given by the New Zealand national media to the person who contributed the most to New Zealand soccer. Clark also served as head coach of the Bulawayo Highlanders of the Zimababwe (Africa) super league for the 1983-84 season and previously was a staff coach for the Scottish Football Association. As a player, Clark enjoyed a distinguished professional career as a goalie for the Aberdeen F.C. (Dons) in the Scottish League from 1965-1982. Clark was also a member of the Scottish National Team that advanced to the finals of the 1978 World Cup Tournament in Argentina.
Stanford in the Polls
Stanford has attained its highest ranking of the season this week, earning the No. 2 spot in the Soccer America, SoccerTimes.com and College Soccer Online media polls. The Cardinal checks in at No. 7 in this week's NSCAA rankings. Of the four polls, there are four different No. 1's: Southern Methodist (Soccer America), North Carolina (SoccerTimes.com), Indiana (College Soccer Online media) and San Jose State (NSCAA).
Bouncing the Bears
Stanford posted its third consecutive shutout and eleventh of the year in a 3-0 blanking of California on Sunday. The Cardinal improved to 2-1-0 in Pac-10 play on the strength of three second-half goals, two by senior forward Luke Rust. Sophomore forward Roger Levesque nailed his second game-winner in as many games, drilling a 25-yard shot at the 55:50 mark. Rust registered his second multi-goal game of the year in the span of just seven minutes, taking a feed from Sean Sylvis at 75:58 and redirecting a cross from Abe Geiger in the 83rd minute. Goalkeeper Adam Zapala made a pair of saves en route to his 47th career shutout.
Blanking the Broncos
Roger Levesque and Ryan Nelsen each scored goals as Stanford avenged last year's NCAA Tournament loss with a 2-0 victory over visiting Santa Clara. After being held without a shot for the first 27:12 of the match, the Cardinal made its third shot count. Senior midfielder Scott Leber played a cross to Levesque, who placed a header to the lower left corner for a 1-0 Stanford lead at the 33:51 mark. The Cardinal extended its advantage to 2-0 in the 54th minute when Matt Moses sent a corner kick to Aaron Biddle. The defender then fed Nelsen for a one-timer past the Bronco goalkeeper. Adam Zapala recorded three saves, including a diving stop of a Jeff Stewart header just before halftime.
A Cardinal Tint to the National Leaders
Of the four major team statistical categories kept by the NCAA - scoring offense, scoring defense, shutout percentage and winning percentage - Stanford leads the nation in three and is tied for second in the fourth. The Cardinal boasts the most prolific offense in the nation with 45 goals, an average of 3.46 per game. Defensively, Stanford's 0.22 GAA is the lowest in the NCAA. The Cardinal also has the nation's highest shutout percentage (.846) and is tied for the second-best winning percentage (.885).
No Goals for You
Thus far in 2000, the Cardinal has featured one of the stingiest defensive units in the country. Behind All-America candidate Adam Zapala in goal and a backline which features a pair of Tournament Defensive MVP's, Stanford has allowed only three goals in 13 games, a span of just over 1200 minutes. With six regular season games remaining, the Cardinal has 11 shutouts, four short of the school record set over 25 games in 1998.
The Ten Spot
At 11-1-1, Stanford has reached double-digits in victories for the fifth time in five seasons under head coach Bobby Clark. Prior to Clark's arrival, the Cardinal had posted consecutive 5-12 seasons. Since 1996, however, Stanford has won 10, 13, 18, 12 and 11 games, respectively. This is the second-longest such streak in school history, trailing only the ten straight 10-win seasons fashioned by the Cardinal from 1976-1985. Stanford is also aiming to reach the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season, an ongoing school record.
Stanford's match with California on Sunday was the final game of a season-long, six-game homestand. The Cardinal posted a 5-1-0 mark during its most recent stay at Maloney Field, raising its record in the four-year-old facility to an incredible 28-2-4 (.882). The homestand, which began by winning the Stanford/Nike Invitational, featured shutout wins over Seton Hall (5-0), Cincinnati (4-0), UCLA (1-0), Santa Clara (2-0) and Cal (3-0).
Dominating the Second Half
Following Stanford's three-goal, second-half outburst against California on Sunday, the Cardinal has now outscored the opposition 28-1 after intermission (including overtime). Four times, the Cardinal have been involved in a 0-0 tie at halftime, only to break through for a second-half win. The second-period dominance began in the game two of the season, when Stanford broke open a scoreless tie by scoring six goals against Western Kentucky. The Cardinal has since followed with a 2-0 victory over Harvard, a 1-0 defeat of UCLA and Sunday's 3-0 blanking of Cal. In the last three games - all victories - Stanford has scored five of its six goals during the final 45 minutes.
One of the main reasons behind Stanford's 11-1-1 start is its stellar reserve corps. The Cardinal's 'Super Subs' - Abe Geiger, Taylor Graham, Roger Levesque, Johanes Maliza and Sean Sylvis - have combined for 14 goals and nine assists (37 total points). Those numbers equal 31.1 percent of Stanford's 2000 goals, 20 percent of its assists and 27.4 percent of its total points. The quintent has also provided four game-winning goals, including Maliza's strike against previously unbeaten UCLA on Oct. 8. Just this past week, Levesque tallied both game-winners in a 2-0 defeat of Santa Clara and a 3-0 victory over California. On the defensive end, Geiger, Graham and Sylvis have helped the Cardinal post a 0.22 GAA, lowest in the Pac-10 and second-best in the country.
Zapala in the Record Books
Senior goalkeeper Adam Zapala, who has the second-lowest GAA in the country at 0.24, owns seven Stanford career and single-season records. The most prolific netminder in Stanford history, Zapala is the school record-holder in career shutouts (47), career GAA (0.62), career starts (77), career minutes (7,257), single-season shutouts (15 in 1998), single-season GAA (0.57 in 1998) and single-season minutes (2,377 in 1998).
Sophomore forward Roger Levesque, who has appeared off the bench in all 13 matches and is fourth on the team with five goals, scored the first two game-winners of his career last week. On Thursday, his header at 33:51 was the first goal of a 2-0 win over Santa Clara, on Sunday, he snapped a scoreless tie with Cal by drilling a 25-yard goal at 55:50.
Junior midfielder Lee Morrison and senior goalkeeper Adam Zapala were both honored as preseason First Team All-Americans by Soccer America. Morrison, a 1999 First Team All-America selection by Soccer America and College Soccer News, has also been named as one of 15 finalists for both the Hermann Award and the Missouri Athletic Club Award, both of which are given annually to the top player in both men's and women's collegiate soccer.
Scouting the Beavers
Oregon State is 6-6-1, however, the Beavers are winless in Pac-10 play at 0-2-1. Second year head coach Dana Taylor has his squad playing well at home, as Oregon State is 3-1-1 at Paul Lorenz Field. Senior forward Matt Olsen is the team's leading scorer with four goals and two assists (10 points), while both Josh Elbaum and Justin Kirk each have three goals with two assists. Two freshmen goalkeepers have seen significant minutes, as Peter Billmeyer has a 0.92 GAA in 780 minutes and Mark Muleady has a 1.78 ledger in 405 minutes. Stanford leads the all-time series 8-1-2, including a 3-0-1 mark over the last four meetings.
Scouting the Huskies
Washington (9-3-0) enters the week as one of the hottest teams in the country. The Huskies are in first place in the Pac-10 with a perfect 4-0-0 mark and have won six straight overall, including road victories over Stanford and UCLA. Last weekend, Washington rallied from a 2-0, second-half deficit to defeat the Bruins 3-2 in Los Angeles. Junior Ben Somoza led the comeback, assisting on the first two goals before netting the game-winner with :19 seconds remaining. Head coach Dean Wurzberger, now in his ninth season with the Huskies, has a 116-37-18 (.731) record. Washington leads the all-time series 14-9-0 and defeated Stanford 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 6 for the Cardinal's only loss of the season.
Runnin' with the Pac
The 2000 campaign is the first for men's soccer in the Pacific-10 Conference, as five schools make the transition from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation: California, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.
2000 Pacific-10 Conference Coaches' Poll
(Points 5-4-3-2-1, first-place votes in parentheses)
1. UCLA (4) 242t. Stanford 182t. Washington (1) 184. California 95. Oregon State 6
The Kiwi Connection
The 2000 Stanford team continues the recent tradition of a strong New Zealand connection on The Farm, with freshman Mike Wilson (Plimmerton, New Zealand) joining senior Ryan Nelsen (Christchurch, New Zealand) as Cardinal Kiwis.