Women's Soccer Heads South For Two Key Games

Oct. 24, 2000

Cardinal enters big weekend in Southern California... The No.18 Stanford women's soccer team travels to No. 8 UCLA and No. 15 USC for two critical Pac-10 matches this weekend. Stanford begins the week at 10-4-1 (3-2-0 Pac-10) after defeating the Arizona schools last weekend. The Cardinal has a 4-3-1 all-time record with the Bruins and picked up a 4-0 win last year. Against the Trojans, Stanford is 5-2 all time, including a 3-2 win in the last meeting.

Air time for the Bruins and Cardinal... Friday night's game at UCLA will be televised on a tape delayed broadcast on Friday Nov. 3 at 12:00 p.m by Fox Sports Bay Area.

Scorching the Sun Devils... Freshman forward Marcie Ward scored two goals and added an assist as the Cardinal defeated Arizona State 4-2. Sophomore Callie Withers put Stanford up 1-0 when she headed in a Ward corner kick. Ward scored three minutes later off an Alisan Pabon assist. ASU got on the board with :30 seconds left in the first half. Sophomore Kelsey Carlson opened the second-half scoring with her second goal in as many games. Another Sun Devil goal closed the gap to 3-2, but Ward added an insurance goal in the 80th minute.

The win over the Wildcats... Kelsey Carlson scored the first goal of her sophomore campaign off a Katherine Harrington assist. Carlson's 13th-minute goal held up until Marcie Ward tallied a score with four minutes left in the game. Callie Withers was credited with the assist. In the net, senior Carly Smolak recorded two saves en route to her eighth shutout of the season.

Buzz on the Bruins... No.-8 ranked UCLA brings a 12-2-1 overall record into Friday night's game and a 3-1-1 conference mark. The Bruins lost their first game of the season to then-No. 6 Clemson, then won nine games in a row before playing to a 1-1 tie with USC. UCLA's first Pac-10 loss came last weekend at Washington (1-0 OT). The Bruins have outscored opponents 48-5 on the season and are led by senior Tracey Milburn's 12 goals. Freshman Sarah-Gayle Swanson has recorded 19 points (9 goals, 3 assists), while junior Stephanie Rigmat has 17 points on six goals and five assists. In the net, Cici Peterson boasts a 0.36 goals against average and has 10 shutouts in her junior campaign.

Trojan territory... No. 15 USC begins the week with an 11-3-2 record (3-1-1 conference). The Trojans opened up Pac-10 play with a tie to UCLA and wins over Oregon and Oregon State. They dropped a 1-0 match to now-No. 2 Washington and beat Washington State 2-1 in overtime. USC has five players with 10 or more points, while freshman forward Jessica Edwards leads the way with 20 points on eight goals and four assists. Isabelle Harvey and Ali Fennell each have five goals. Andrea Warner (4 goals, 2 assists) and Megan Abbamonto (3 goals, 4 assists) both check in with 10 points. Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Arase has a 0.66 GAA and four shutouts, while junior Shaelyn Fernandes has played in six games, recording 23 saves and a shutout.

Carlson cashes in... Sophomore midfielder Kelsey Carlson scored her first two goals of the season last weekend and is third on the team in scoring with 11 points. Her seven assists rank second, while her 28 shots on goal is third on the team. As a freshman last year, Carlson started in all 21 games and finished with 13 points on five goals and three assists. She has started in every game this season as well.

Ward walking on water... Freshman forward Marcie Ward recorded three goals and an assist in last weekend's two wins and now has 30 points on the season, which leads the Cardinal. She leads the Pac-10 in assists (12) and assists per game (0.80), which also ranks eighth in the nation. She ranks third in the conference in points (30) with nine goals and 12 assists. Ward is one assist shy of tying Julie Foudy's single-season record of 13, set in 1992. After just 15 games, Ward is showing up in the all-time Stanford record books as she is in 11th place for career assists.

Smolak steps it up... With the 2-0 win Friday, senior goalkeeper Carly Smolak registered her eighth shutout of the year, breaking her single-season record of seven in 1998. Smolak also has a career-best of 81 saves on the season. Her previous mark was 68, which she set as a sophomore. She ranks second on Stanford's all-time save list with 215 for her career and second for minutes played (5675). Smolak and the Cardinal defense have allowed only 14 goals this season, while her goals against average is 0.85 on the year.

The Nelson File... Head coach Andy Nelson is in his first season with the Cardinal after spendng the past season at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to 1999, Nelson was head coach at Wellseley College (a Division III school in Massachusetts) for five years. He has a career record of 90-33-10, including two first-time NCAA Tournament appearances for the University of Penn and Wellsley.

Pac'n the Polls... The Pac-10 conference has five teams ranked in the top 20 (three in the top 10) in the latest NSCAA poll. UCLA (No. 8) and Stanford (No. 18) were picked to finish first and second, respectively, in conference play. Washington (No. 2) is the only team with an undefeated Pac-10 record (6-0-0). USC (No. 15), Cal (No. 6) and UCLA all have one loss apiece as each school lost to Washington.

The ways of the road... The Cardinal finished its seven-game road trip (9/22 to 10/15) with a 3-3-1 record (.500). All three of its losses, as well as the tie, came to ranked opponents. The three wins came via shutout, and Stanford held a 13-9 advantage in goals over the seven-game stretch. On the trip, the Cardinal was shutout for the first times this season (0-1 UW, 0-2 Cal). It had its biggest margin of victory (5-0 over Weber State) and two overtime games (2-2 tie to Wake Forest, 1-0 win over WSU).

How the Cardinal stacks up... On the season, Stanford is 3-4-1 against opponents with a top 25 ranking. After defeating then-No. 6 UConn, the Cardinal lost its first game of the season in overtime to Notre Dame (now. No. 1). Stanford then returned home to host its annual tournament, where it picked up wins over No. 15 Virginia and No. 23 Maryland. No. 19 Santa Clara upset the Cardinal in the fifth-straight game against a ranked team. Stanford and No. 17 Wake Forest played to a tie before No. 10 Washington defeated Stanford in the Pac-10 opener. Most recently, now-No. 6 Cal handed the Cardinal a 2-0 loss.

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