Stanford To Open Pac-10 Conference Play At Home Against California

Sept. 28, 2004

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Stanford vs. California * Friday, October 1 * 7:00 p.m.(PDT)
Maloney Field * Stanford, CA

Upcoming Game: Stanford opens Pacific-10 conference play on Friday, as the Cardinal will host California at Maloney Field at 7:00 pm. The Golden Bears enter the contest with a 7-0-1 record and claimed the title of the Stanford Nike Invitational last weekend, having played Brown to a scoreless draw and posting a 1-0 victory over then-No. 3 ranked Santa Clara on Sunday. Friday evening will mark the 40th meeting between the two Bay Area soccer powers, with Stanford holding a 23-10-6 advantage in the all-time series. California has dominated the series as of late, posting a 3-0-1 record against the Cardinal over the last two seasons. The Golden Bears handed Stanford a 3-1 loss in Berkeley and a 1-0 defeat on The Farm last season.

Last Week: Stanford suffered its first loss of the 2004 season on Friday evening, falling 2-0 to an undefeated Santa Clara side in the second game of the Stanford Nike Invitational. Medhi Ballouchy opened the scoring, tallying a goal in the 52nd minute and Jason Cunliffe scored just three minutes later to give the Broncos a 2-0 lead. The Cardinal were forced to play most of the second half a man down, as senior Jason Griffiths was shown a red card for a tackle in the 52nd minute. On Sunday, the Cardinal battled Brown to a scoreless draw at Maloney Field. Goalkeeper Robby Fulton collected five saves in net and posted his first shutout of the 2004 campaign against the Bears. Matt Janusz and Darren Fernandez each attempted a pair of shots against Brown.

Quest For the Gauntlet Begins With Men's Soccer: Along with women's volleyball, the Friday night men's soccer match is one of the first contests in the inaugural year of an annual all-sports competition between Stanford and California. The two athletic programs will compete head-to-head in a year long competition for the Lexus Gauntlet. In the scoring system for the Gauntlet, the winner of each men's soccer match between California and Stanford earns five points, and a tie nets each side 2.5 points toward the overall competition.

Packing the Stands: Through three dates at Maloney Field, the Stanford men's soccer team has drawn an impressive number of fans, including a capacity crowd at last Friday's match against Santa Clara. The Cardinal have posted an average attendance of 1,251 so far this season.

Fernandez Honored: Senior Darren Fernandez was named to the Soccer America National Team of the Week last Wednesday, following his two-goal performance against UC Irvine on September 17. The two scores give him a team-high four goals and nine points on the season. The goals were the 20th and 21st of his collegiate career, making him Stanford's active career goals scored leader. Three of Fernandez's four goals have been game-winners this season, including his first strike against the Anteaters. Fernandez also leads the team with nine points (4 g, 1 a) and 12 shot attempts.

Cardinal in the National Polls: The Cardinal continue to rank in the national polls, checking in at No. 7 in the Soccer America poll despite suffering the season's first loss on Friday. Stanford moved to No. 16 in the Soccer Times poll, and is also ranked at No. 16 in the College Soccer News poll. Stanford dropped out of the NSCAA/Adidas coaches poll, but held the No. 5 spot in the NSCAA Far West regional rankings.

Cardinal Clips: Six different players have scored goals for the Cardinal so far this season, and for four of the six goal scorers it was the first score in their respective careers (Todd Leber, Evan Morgan, Dan Shapiro, and Galen Thompson) ... Eight different players have assisted on goals so far this season ... Robby Fulton's shutout of Brown on Sunday was the senior's first clean sheet since the 2003 season opener against Cal State Fullerton ... The Cardinal have out-scored their opponents by a 9-3 margin despite being out-shot 80-67 so far this season.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT

Scouting the Golden Bears: California enters Pacific-10 Conference play with an undefeated 7-0-1 record and a No. 10 ranking in the NSCAA coaches poll. Goalkeeper Eric Kronberg has led the Cal defense, posting five shutouts in eight starts in net, including a pair of clean sheets against Brown and Santa Clara last weekend. Carl Acosta, Nick Hatzke, and Pieter Berger are tied for the team lead with three goals apiece. Junior Calen Carr scored the game-winner in Sunday's win over Santa Clara.

On the Horizon: The Cardinal will continue Pac-10 conference play, making a Northwest swing to face Oregon State and Washington next weekend. Stanford brings a 14-3-1 all-time mark against the Beavers into Friday's match, but will be looking for its first win over OSU since the 2002 season. The Huskies hold a slim 16-14-0 advantage in the all-time series The Cardinal.

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