No. 1 Men's Soccer In Battle For Pac-10 Title
Nov. 7, 2000
This Week's Action
In the final weekend of the 2000 regular season, Stanford faces a pair of Pacific-10 Conference opponents. The Cardinal travels to No. 18 UCLA on Friday, Nov. 10 at 2:00 p.m. before closing out the campaign at home against Oregon State on Sunday, Nov. 12. Kickoff on Sunday, which is also Senior Day at New Maloney Field, is set for 2:00 p.m.
No. 1 Ranking
After achieving the program's first-ever No. 1 ranking last week, Stanford remained atop the Soccer America poll this week. However, its victory over Indiana also moved the Cardinal into the top spot in the College Soccer Online Media Poll. Stanford also is ranked No. 2 by Soccer Times.com, which has North Carolina as its No. 1, and No. 4 by the NSCAA, which gives San Jose State top billing. Prior to last week, Stanford's highest previous mark was when the 1998 National Finalist squad finished the year ranked No. 2.
The Pac-10 Race
The race for the inaugural Pac-10 Conference championship is a two-team affair and will be decided on the season's final weekend. Entering the weekend, Washington, at 6-1-0 (12-5-0 overall) held a slight, half-game lead over the 5-1-0 Cardinal. The No. 13 Huskies finish the season Friday at California, while Stanford travels to No. 18 UCLA on Friday and hosts Oregon State on Sunday. Since an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament is not awarded to the Pac-10 Conference champion, the two teams will be declared co-champions if they finish the season in a tie.
2000 NCAA Men's College Cup Selection Show
The 32-team field for the 2000 Men's College Cup will be announced during a selection show on Monday, Nov. 13 at 12:30 p.m. PST. The single-elimination tournament is composed of three rounds at home sites, with the final four teams advancing to the Men's College Cup at Ericcson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 8 and 10. Stanford is looking to make its fourth straight apperance in the NCAA Tournament, highlighted by a berth in the 1998 National Championship match.
Battle of No. 1's Leaves Stanford On Top
Saturday's game between Stanford and Indiana in the Cal adidas-Legacy Classic pitted a pair of No. 1's, as the Cardinal occupied the top spot according to Soccer America (Indiana No. 4) while the Hoosiers were tops in the College Soccer Online media poll (Stanford No. 2). True to form, the match was tightly contested and not decided until Stanford's Scott Leber scored off a header with just 1:41 remaining in overtime. The winning sequence began off a Cardinal counterattack. Sophomore defender Todd Dunivant sent a long ball into the middle of the box, where it bounced once before Leber outlept the Indiana goalie and headed the ball high into the back of the net. Senior goalkeeper Adam Zapala made two saves in the overtime session, including a diving stop of Marcus Chorvat's breakaway shot. The win was Stanford's first in seven tries all-time against the Hoosiers.
The Clark File
Head coach Bobby Clark, in his fifth season at the helm of the Cardinal, has posted a 68-19-12 (.747) record on The Farm. The 1997 NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year has a 150-61-25 (.689) mark in 13-plus years overall, the first nine as the head man at Dartmouth. On Saturday, Clark achieved his third milestone of the season, winning his 150th career game with a 1-0, overtime triumph over Indiana. On Sept. 26, Stanford defeated Saint Mary's, a win which moved Clark past Sam Koch and into fourth place on the Cardinal's all-time victory list. The Cardinal's 5-0 win over Seton Hall on Sept. 29 gave Clark his 60th Stanford victory, making him only the fourth coach to record 60 victories on The Farm.
Lucky Number Seven
With its 1-0, overtime victory over Indiana on Saturday, Stanford increased its winning streak to a season-best seven games, tied for the second-longest in school history. This is the Cardinal's longest winning streak since the 1997 squad opened the season with a school-record nine straight victories. Stanford has outscored its opponents 14-1 during the current binge, has tallied five Pac-10 wins, and has knocked off three ranked opponents in then-No. 1 UCLA (1-0), then-No. 4 Washington (2-0) and then-No. 4 Indiana (1-0, OT). The Cardinal has been balanced during its run, winning three at home, three on the road and one at a neutral site.
The Winning Touch
At 15-1-1, the 2000 Cardinal is only the second team in Stanford history to win at least 15 games in the regular season. With wins in its final two games, the Cardinal would set the school record for regular-season wins, surpassing the 1978 squad that went 16-5-0 before losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The 1998 National Finalists own the Stanford record for most wins in a season with 18.
A victory at UCLA on Friday will give Stanford its first undefeated road season in school history. The Cardinal is currently 5-0-1 on the road, with the lone blemish a 1-1 tie at No. 4 San Jose State. Stanford is also 4-0-0 in neutral site games, bringing its overall record to 9-0-1 away from New Maloney Field. In its six official road games, Stanford has outscored its opponents 19-2 and recorded four shutouts. Included in those wins was a 2-0 victory at then-No. 4 Washington, the Cardinal's first win in Seattle since 1993. The 1979 Cardinal squad went 7-2-1 on the road to set the school standard for road wins in a season.
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 ranks in the top five in each. The Cardinal scores the fifth-most goals in the country at 3.12 per game while boasting the nation's stingiest defense (0.23 GAA). Stanford also leads the NCAA with an .824 shutout percentage, and its .912 winning percentage is second-best.
Zapala Is the Nation's Best
Senior goalkeeper Adam Zapala, the most prolific netminder in Stanford history with seven school career and single-season records, is staking his claim as the best keeper in the country. Through 17 games, Zapala has logged 1512 minutes between the posts, allowing just four goals for a nation-low 0.24 GAA. He currently has a 0.60 career GAA (51 goals allowed in 7,630 minutes), which is tied for the 10th-best mark in NCAA Division I history.
Against Ranked Opponents
With one regular season game left against a ranked opponent (at No. 18 UCLA), Stanford is 3-1-1 against such competition. Prior to handing No. 4 Indiana a 1-0, overtime loss on Saturday, the Cardinal also tied then-No. 19 San Jose State 1-1 at Spartan Stadium, suffered a 2-1, home overtime loss to then-No. 7 Washington, defeated then-No. 1 UCLA 1-0 at home, and beat the then-No. 4 Huskies 2-0 in Seattle.
No Goals for You
In its first 17 games of the 2000 season, Stanford has posted 14 shutouts, just one shy of the school record set in the 25-game 1998 season. The Cardinal have outscored its opponents 53-4 this year, have allowed more than one goal only once, and have yet to surrender goals in consecutive games. Senior goalkeeper Adam Zapala, who has a school-record 50 saves in his illustrious career, has been between the posts for each blanking this year and is one away from equaling his own school single-season mark.
Stanford placed three players on the All-Tournament Team at the Cal adidas-Legacy Classic following the Cardinal's 1-0, overtime victory over Indiana: Scott Leber, Ryan Nelsen and Adam Zapala. Leber, a midfielder, scored the game-winning goal against the Hoosiers with a header at 103:19. Nelsen, also a midfielder, was an intregral part of a Cardinal defense that allowed the Hoosiers just eight shots. Zapala, a goalkeeper, made four saves, including two in overtime. This was Nelsen's fourth All-Tournament Team selection in 2000 and Leber's third.
The 2000 senior class is making its mark as one of the best in Stanford history. The eight-man class, consisting of defender Chris Gores, midfielder Scott Leber, midfielder Matt Moses, midfielder Ryan Nelsen, forward Luke Rust, midfielder Sean Sylvis, forward Corey Woolfolk and goalkeeper Adam Zapala, has contributed largely on both ends of the field. With 33 goals and 26 assists for 92 points, not only have the seniors produced 57.9 percent of the team's points, they have also established themselves as the highest-scoring class in Stanford history. Proving its penchant for the clutch, the senior class has also netted 11 of Stanford's 15 game-winning goals. Defensively, Zapala owns seven school career and single-season records to lead a unit that boasts a nation-best 0.23 GAA. The 2000 seniors will be honored in a special 'Senior Day' ceremony prior to the regular season finale on Sunday against Oregon State at New Maloney Field.
The Legend of Leber
Senior midfielder Scott Leber added another chapter to the marvelous story of his 2000 campaign on Saturday when he headed in the game-winner against Indiana. That was his third game-winning goal of the year, tied for the team lead. Leber, who entered the season with two career goals, already has 12 this year to become the first Cardinal to score a dozen since Ricky Goad in 1993. With four assists to total 28 points, he is just two points shy of becoming the first Stanford player to tally 30 points since Jorge Titinger finished with 38 in 1982 (13 goals, 12 assists). After scoring two goals in a 3-0 win at Pac-10 rival California on Oct. 29, Leber was named Pac-10 Player of the Week and earned a spot on the Soccer America Team of the Week.
An Offensively Minded Defense
Sophomore defender Todd Dunivant assisted on the game-winning goal Saturday, continuing a trend by the Cardinal back line. Stanford's four starting defenders - Aaron Biddle, Lee Morrison, Chris Gores and Dunivant - have combined for three goals (including a game-winner) and 16 assists (22 points). With six assists, Dunivant is the most generous Cardinal defender since Ricky Goad tallied seven assists in 1992. Biddle also has five assists, while Morrison has a pair of goals. Gores made his one assist count, feeding Luke Rust for the game-winning strike against Cincinnati.
At 15-1-1, Stanford has reached double-digits in victories for the fifth time in five seasons under head coach Bobby Clark ... The streak, which also includes three consecutive postseason appearances, is the second longest in school history, trailing only the ten consecutive 10-win seasons fashioned by the Cardinal from 1976-1985 ... Stanford has 53 goals, making it the highest-scoring Cardinal team since the 1981 version netted 66 ... The Cardinal has seven players in double-digit scoring: Scott Leber (28 points), Luke Rust (19), Roger Levesque (17), Corey Woolfolk (16), Johanes Maliza (13), Sean Sylvis (10) and Ryan Nelsen (10) ... Another two - Lee Morrison and Matt Moses - have eight points apiece ... With its overtime goal on Saturday, Stanford has now outscored its opponents 33-2 after halftime and has been held scoreless following intermission just twice (at San Jose State and vs. Washington) ... Stanford is 6-1-0 at home this year and is 28-2-4 (.882) at New Maloney Field since the facility opened in 1997 ... When Indiana outshot Stanford 8-7 on Saturday, it marked only the second time the Cardinal had been outshot all season (at San Jose State).
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 Bruins
UCLA, the preseason coaches' pick to win the Pac-10, started the season 8-0, earning the nation's top ranking. Since then, however, the Bruins have gone just 2-6-0, including a 1-5-0 mark in conference play. UCLA is an explosive team, with National Player of the Year candidate McKinley Tennyson (13 goals, 3 assists, 29 points) up front and Shaun Tsakiris (9 g, 8 a, 26 pts) in the midfield. Goalie D.J. Countess has played 1389 minutes between the posts, making 65 saves with a 1.17 GAA. On Oct. 8 at New Maloney Field, Stanford handed UCLA its first loss of the year, beating the Bruins 1-0 behind a Johanes Maliza goal at 60:13.
Scouting the Beavers
Oregon State enters the week at 7-10-1 overall and 1-5-1 in the Pac-10. The Beavers have posted some impressive wins, defeating Portland and UCLA while dropping one-goal decisions to Santa Clara, Washington and Stanford. OSU has two players in double-digit scoring: midfielder Josh Elbuam (4 goals, 3 assists, 11 points) and forward Matt Olsen (4 g, 2 a, 10 pts.) Midfielder Aaron McHardy has added four goals while forward Justin Kirk has three goals and three assists. Freshman keeper Peter Billmeyer has 50 saves and a 1.37 GAA in 1050 minutes while a fellow frosh, Mark Muleady, has 30 saves and a 1.85 GAA in 585 minutes. Stanford captured a 2-1 decision on Oct. 20 in Corvallis, Ore., when Sean Sylvis snapped a 1-1 tie with a header at the 86:12 mark.
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.