Cardinal Heads to Dallas for SMU Tournament

Aug. 31, 2004

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Stanford at SMU Mi Cochina Classic

vs. Tulsa * Friday, Sept. 3 * 5:00 p.m. (CDT)
Westcott Field * Dallas, TX

vs. SMU * Sunday, Sept. 5 * 7:30 p.m. (CDT)
Westcott Field * Dallas, TX


Upcoming Games: Stanford opens the 2004 season in Dallas, TX at the Mi Cochina Classic, hosted by SMU. The Cardinal square off against a pair of top-ranked squads, as they will take on No. 19 ranked Tulsa on Friday and face the host Mustangs on Sunday ... Stanford played both squads last season at the Golden Hurricane Classic in Tulsa, falling 2-0 to the hosts in the opening game and playing SMU to a scoreless draw ... The Cardinal will be looking for the program's first ever win over Tulsa, as the Golden Hurricane have won both contests between the two programs (in 2002 and 2003) ... Stanford leads the all-time series with SMU, holding a slim 2-1-1 advantage.

Last Week: Stanford warmed up for the 2004 schedule with a pair of exhibition games against Division II powers Chico State and Sonoma State ... Head coach Bret Simon got a good look at his squad in Monday's contest with Chico State, as 21 different Cardinal players saw action against the Wildcats ... Six freshmen saw playing time in the match as Scott Bolkan and Mark Bartlett earned starts on the Cardinal backline. Freshmen Evan Morgan, Ryan Oblak, Luke Sager, and Enrique Allen all came on as subs in the contest.

Stanford Garners Preseason Ranking: Stanford has been ranked 18th in the Soccer America preseason poll, released on Monday. The ranking marks the first time since September 8, 2003 that the Cardinal have seen time in one of the four major men's soccer polls. Bret Simon's squad earned a No. 2 preseason ranking in the NSCAA preseason poll prior to last season.

Opening Day Success:Stanford has had great success on opening day, posting a 24-2-4 record in openers since 1973. The Cardinal have reeled off seven straight season-opening wins, including last year's 1-0 double-overtime victory over Cal State Fullerton. The last season-opening loss for the Cardinal came in 1996 to the Creighton Blue Jays, who were coached by Stanford's current skipper Bret Simon. The Cardinal won a program record nine straight matches to begin the 2001 season.

Recruiting Class Ranked Among Nation's Elite:Stanford's group of freshmen and transfers was tabbed as the sixth best crop of newcomers in the nation by Soccer America. A seven-member freshman class highlights the incoming group, including defender Scott Bolkan and defender Mark Bartlett, a member of the New Zealand Under-20 National Team. Bolkan was rated as the eighth best incoming freshman by Soccer America while Bartlett was listed as 20th in the publication's individual rankings.

Fulton Named to Hermann Award Watch List:Senior Goalkeeper Robby Fulton was one of 25 players recently named to the watch list for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, collegiate soccer's top individual honor. Fulton enters the season with a 0.72 career goals against average, the second lowest career GAA in program history. He set a program record with a 0.42 GAA during the 2002 season. The 25 players named to the list are considered to be among the top players entering the 2004 season. A list of 15 semifinalists will be announced in November, with three finalists selected in early December. The winner will be announced at a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on January 8, 2005.

Kartunen's Clean Sheet: Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Kartunen recorded his first collegiate shutout against SMU last season, making a career-high 14 saves in Stanford's scoreless draw with the Mustangs on September 19. Kartunen was named to the All-Tournament team at the Golden Hurricane Classic after posting the clean sheet in his first collegiate start.

Colorado Connection: Five players on the 2004 Stanford roster are from Colorado, more than any other state. All five (Abolaji, Janusz, Morgan, Ryan, and Thompson) played youth soccer for the Colorado Rush club team and three (Janusz, Ryan, and Morgan) hail from the town of Littleton.

The 2004 Slate: Stanford has put together a challenging schedule once again. It is one that will see the Cardinal play 10 of their 18 games away from the comfort of Maloney Field, and face 11 teams that were selected for NCAA Tournament competition in 2003. Of Stanford's 14 opponents on the 2004 schedule, eight of them have been ranked in preseason polls issued by the NSCAA and College Soccer News.

2003 in Brief: The Cardinal finished the 2003 season with a 3-15-2 overall record and a 0-10-0 mark in Pacific-10 conference play. Stanford lost five games by one goal last season and played four overtime contests, posting a 1-1-2 mark. 11 of Stanford's 16 opponents were selected for postseason play in 2003.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS

Scouting the Golden Hurricane: An NCAA Tournament team last year, Tulsa enters Friday's season-opener after posting three straight victories in exhibition contests. Head coach Time McIntosh will rely on the tandem of junior All-American Ryan Pore and senior forward Kyle Brown for goals. Pore and Brown combined for 32 of the Golden Hurricanes' 50 team goals last season. Tulsa has been ranked No. 19 in the NSCAA preseason coaches poll.

Scouting the Mustangs: Expectations are high for Schellas Hyndman's squad as SMU hosts the Mi Cochina Classic at Westcott Field this weekend. The Mustangs received a No. 11 preseason rank from the NSCAA and have been ranked as high as No. 7 by College Soccer News heading into the 2004 campaign. Picked as the favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference title, SMU features a stingy defense led by senior defender Ugo Ihemelu.

ON THE HORIZON
Stanford returns home to face local rival San Jose State in the first game of the Cal-Adidas Tournament at Maloney Field on Friday, September 10. The contest will mark the 33rd meeting between the two programs, with the Cardinal holding a 18-11-3 advantage in the all-time series. Last season, Stanford handed the Spartans a 5-1 defeat in San Jose. The Cardinal closes out the weekend tournament with a neutral site contest against San Diego in Berkeley. It will be the first meeting with the Toreros since 1998, when Stanford knocked USD out of the NCAA Tournament with a 3-1 second round victory at Maloney Field.

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