No. 3 Men's Soccer Concludes Regular Season This Weekend
This Week's Action
Fri., Nov. 16 at Washington (12-4-0, 3-3-0 Pac-10)...Seattle, Wash.-7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 18 at Oregon State (5-10-0, 1-5-0 Pac-10)...Corvallis, Ore.-1 p.m.
The Cardinal swept the season series against rival California, blanking the Golden Bears 2-0 in Berkeley last Sunday to improve to 14-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the Pac-10. Stanford has now won five of its last six matches and the shutout against California was the 10th of the season for the Cardinal. The victory was the first for the Cardinal since a 4-1 triumph against Washington back on Oct. 28. Stanford's defense was superb once again, and the shutout lowered the team GAA (goals against average) to 0.43. This is the final week for conference play, and the Cardinal will play its remaining two contests on the road- Washington on Friday night and Oregon State on Sunday afternoon. Two victories will assure the Cardinal of the 2001 Pac-10 crown outright, and one win could be enough if other scenarios occur. UCLA (5-2-1 Pac-10) is the current leader with16 points, three more than Stanford's 13.
Stanford in the Polls
Entering the final week of the regular season, the Cardinal are once again ranked No. 3 in the NSCAA national poll for the third consecutive week. Undefeated SMU and Virginia hold down the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the poll, respectively, followed by Stanford, St. Louis and Indiana. The Cardinal are also ranked No. 3 in the latest Soccer Times poll, as well.
Scouting the Huskies
The defending Pac-10 champions have slipped to the middle of the pack this season, as they enter Friday's matchup against the Cardinal with a 3-3 mark in Pac-10 competition. Washington, 12-4-0 overall, experienced a wild two-game swing last week, with a victory against Portland and a loss to UCLA. Sophomore Seth Marsh checked into the game in the 88th minute and scored the game-winning goal with just seven seconds remaining in regulation to give the Huskies a 4-3 non-conference victory over Portland last Friday. Two days later, UCLA rallied in the final three minutes of regulation to send the game to overtime and then clinched the victory in the waning minutes of the extra period as the Bruins pulled the upset. The win was the first victory for UCLA over Washington since a 1997 NCAA Tournament win that ended the Huskies' season in Los Angeles. Benjamin Somoza leads the team with six goals scored and 16 total points in 16 games played. The Huskies hold a 19-11 edge in the all-time series, despite the Cardinal notching a 4-1 victory at Maloney Field on Oct. 28. Each team won on the opposing school's home field in the two games last season.
Scouting the Beavers
The Beavers (5-10-0 overall, 1-5-0 Pac-10) are likely to finish last in the Pac-10 standings, but would love to play spoiler in their final home match of the season. Oregon State has done what the Cardinal have been unable to do in two tries this year- defeat UCLA, as the Beavers only conference victory was a 1-0 shutout in their Pac-10 opener. Since then the Beavers have not scored a goal in four conference games, and have tallied just 21 for the entire year. Oregon State fell to UCLA 1-0 in its only match last week, as the game's lone score came in the eighth minute when UCLA's Matt Taylor beat goalkeeper Peter Billmeyer one-on-one after he took an Adolfo Gregorio pass and sent home his fourth goal of the year. The Beavers are led by Aaron McHardy, who is tied with Roger Levesque for the Pac-10 lead with nine goals scored and is second in the conference with 20 total points. Oregon State is scheduled to battle California on Friday before their Sunday season finale with the Cardinal. Stanford blanked Oregon State 4-0 earlier this season on Oct. 26, and is now 11-1-2 in the all-time series. The Cardinal won both contests by one goal decisions in the two meetings last season.
The Simon File
Head Coach Bret Simon begins his first season as head coach of the Stanford men. Simon, a 1980 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, came to The Farm in February of 2001 after serving as the men's head coach at Creighton University for the past six seasons. Simon guided Creighton to its most successful season in school history last year, as the Bluejays (22-4-0) earned a trip to the College Cup for the second time in five years before falling to Connecticut in the championship match. A four-time Coach of the Year honoree, Simon compiled a 96-26-9 overall record in six seasons at Creighton and his 96 wins are the most victories ever by a Bluejay soccer head coach. Simon also led the Bluejays to four Missouri Valley Conference championships, a pair of MVC regular-season titles and six NCAA Tournament appearances. The Cardinal head coach notched his 100th career victory earlier this season in Stanford's 3-1 victory against Cal State Fullerton in the adidas Cal Legacy Classic on Sept. 9.
Golden Bears Not So Golden
The Cardinal got back on the winning track Sunday afternoon in Berkeley, recording its 10th shutout of the year by defeating the California Golden Bears 2-0 and sweeping the season series. Freshman Darren Fernandez gave the Cardinal a 1-0 lead in the first half, and junior Johanes Maliza continued his recent stellar play with an insurance score in the 67th minute to round out the scoring. Andrew Terris and Robby Fulton, who played 76 minutes in goal, combined to make five saves in the victory.
Down To The Wire
UCLA enters the weekend as the Pac-10 leader, sitting in first place with a conference record of 5-2-1 (16 points). The Cardinal, at 4-1-1 and 13 points, will play its remaining two road contests this weekend at Washington and Oregon State andcan clinch the Pac-10 crown outright with either two victories or one victory and one tie. UCLA has completed its Pac-10 schedule and is idle this weekend. Washington owns a 3-3-0 Pac-10 mark (9 points) and while it will not be able to retain its conference crown, can finish as high as second with some help. California (6 points) and Oregon State (3 points), fourth and fifth in the standings respectively, are out of contention.
Stanford's 14-1-1 overall record through 16 games this season is exactly where the Cardinal stood after 16 contests last year. This year's squad has two games remaining on its Pac-10 schedule, whereas the 2000 team had three matches left- two of which were conference bouts. However, last season's team shutout its opponents in 13 of the first 16 matches, while the 2001 squad has recorded 10 shutouts during the same span.
The shot output for the Cardinal so far this year has been both balanced and consistent. Stanford has tallied 223 shots to date, compared to the 124 total shots produced by its opponents. The Cardinal remains balanced in its attack, with 108 of those occuring in the first half, 110 in the final 45 minutes and five in overtime. And while Stanford is currently ranked third among Pac-10 schools in that category, the Cardinal are tops in goals scored (43), assists (39) and overall points (125).
Maliza Making An Impact
Cardinal junior Johanes Maliza has been a key component in the offense during Stanford's last six games. Maliza has scored four goals and tallied one assist during that stretch, starting all six contests. The forward was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for matches played during Oct. 23-29, and also earned Soccer America Team of the Week honors. Maliza is third on the team with six goals scored and tied for third with 14 total points. He has also recorded two assists in 13 games played this season for the Cardinal.
Meet Me At Maloney
Just how good has the Cardinal been on its home turf ? Since the 1997 season, Stanford has posted a 38-3-4 record in the facility, and finished 9-2 at home last year. The Cardinal has been dominant at home against against conference opponents (three years in the MPSF and two seasons in the Pac-10), posting a 14-1-2 mark in such contests. Maloney Field has also been the site for NCAA Tournament matches in 1998-2000, with the Cardinal holding a 4-2 record in home playoff games.
Several Cardinal men have stepped up their play in conference matches. Junior Todd Dunivant has started all six Pac-10 matches and has three assists and seven total points in such contests. Another pleasant surprise has been the play of freshman Darren Fernandez, who has accumulated eight points and has scored all three of his season goals in Pac-10 play. Junior Johanes Maliza has also caught fire, and leads the club with four goals and nine points in conference competition.
Cardinal D is Grade A
Stanford's defense this season has been just as impressive as the offense. The Cardinal is limiting opponents to a 0.43 GAA (goals against average) and has allowed just seven goals through 16 regular season contests. The men have recorded 10 shutouts to date, and have not allowed more than two goals in one game. If Stanford has the lead at halftime, forget it- the Cardinal has allowed just two goals in the second half.
Getting In On The Action
Stanford has started the season 14-1-1 mainly due to its offensive depth. There have now been four different instances in 2001 when at least four different Stanford men recorded at least one goal:
10-4-01 vs. San Jose State: Mike Wilson, Derek Shanahan, Aaron Maines, Lee Morrison
10-19-01 vs. California: Darren Fernandez, Todd Dunivant, Matt Janusz, Johanes Maliza
10-26-01 vs. Oregon State: Johanes Maliza, Taylor Graham, Derek Shanahan, Todd Dunivant
10-28-01 vs. Washignton: Derek Shanahan, Darren Fernandez, Roger Levesque, Johanes Maliza
In addition, three different players have found the net on at least five separate occasions this year.
Four Score and...
...the Cardinal are likely to win the match. Stanford's offense has been explosive in seven of the eight home games at Maloney Field this year, as the Cardinal has scored four goals in each match except for a 0-0 (2OT) draw against UCLA. Four of the seven victories have been 4-0 shutouts, while the other three wins have been by 4-1 scores.
Second Place Sounds Good...For Now
Senior Lee Morrison continues to inch closer to becoming Stanford's all-time leader in career games started. The defender has now started in 82 consecutive career games since his freshman season, and is all alone in second place on the all-time list behind goalkeeper Adam Zapala.
1- Adam Zapala (1997-2000).....86
2- Lee Morrison (1998- ).....82
3- Ricky Goad (1990-1993).....74
Morrison is also currently in third place on the all-time career games played list with 82. He would need to appear in the Cardinal's final two regular season games, as well as three postseason matches to claim either record.
Hermann Watch is in Effect
Senior Lee Morrison has been announced as a men's candidate for both the 2001 Hermann Trophy and 2001 Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year award. Morrison was a finalist for the Hermann award last season and finished third in the voting for the Missouri Athletic Club in 2000. The 2000 All Pac-10 First Team selection started all 22 matches for the Cardinal men last season and helped anchor the nation's stingiest defense. Morrison, a Second Team NSCAA/adidas All-American, tallied three goals and four assists last year.
11/11 at California: Morrison started the game at defender and helped guide the Cardinal to its 10th shutout of the season.
Noteworthy: Morrison's consecutive games started streak is now at 82 games...Morrison made the All-Tournament Team at the adidas Cal Legacy Classic...2001 collegesoccer.com Preseason First Team All-American ... Morrison has recorded three goals and an assist for the Cardinal this year, and is tied for sixth on the team with seven points.
Giving Out Minutes
One of first-year head coach Bret Simon's trademarks this season has been a willingness to get everyone involved in the game. 27 of the 29 players on the roster have played in at least one game, and a season-high 24 Cardinal men saw action in a game twice this year. Four freshmen- Darren Fernandez, Aaron Maines, Matt Janusz and James Twellman- have appeared in at least 12 of the 16 games. Sophomore Mike Wilson was the only newcomer to play last season.
They Came, They Saw, They.....
The Cardinal continue to rewrite home attendance records, as the crowd of 2,212 against California on Oct. 19 was the largest of the season to watch a game at Maloney Field, inlcuding women's matches. 2,115 braved the elements for last weekend's showdown with UCLA, and 1,773 fans were in attendance for this year's home opener on Sept. 28 against Dartmouth. All three crowds were larger than both of last year's home NCAA Tournament matches (1,150 vs. Cal State Fullerton in the 1st Round) and (1,553 vs. Illinois-Chicago in the 2nd Round). However, last season's NCAA Quarterfinal contest against SMU played before 2,854 fans on a cool, damp evening in December remains the top draw in Cardinal soccer history.