Stanford Prepares for First Pac-10 Home Stand
Oct. 10, 2006
Stanford, Calif. -
This Week: The Stanford women's soccer team will play its first home conference matches this weekend, taking on Arizona State and Arizona at Maloney Field. On Friday night, Stanford will meet the Sun Devils at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Cardinal will meet the Wildcats, with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. The weekend will be the second in a set of Cardinal soccer double-headers this season, as the Stanford men's team kicks off prior to both women's games.
On The Horizon: The Cardinal hits the road again next weekend, traveling to Washington to take on the Washington State Cougars in Pullman and the Washington Huskies in Seattle. First, Stanford will attempt to top the Cougars for the second-straight season, in a 3 p.m. contest at Lower Soccer Field on the WSU campus. On Sunday afternoon, the Cardinal will meet the Huskies on their home turf in a match scheduled for noon at Husky Soccer Field.
So Far This Season: Stanford is 7-5-1 so far in 2006 and has shutout opponents in eight of its last 11 matches. During the opening weekend, the Cardinal dropped two close matches to Utah and No. 23 Wake Forest at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic. Stanford then cruised past San Francisco, Cal Poly, Rutgers and Long Island, holding all four opponents scoreless. At the Stanford Nike Invitational, Stanford was edged by No. 10 Tennessee, 1-0, before blanking No. 24 Boston University, 3-0. On Sept. 22, Stanford topped UC Irvine 2-0, while out-shooting the Anteaters 27-1. Two days later, Stanford dropped San Diego State, 4-0, behind two first half goals by senior Shari Summers. On Sept. 30, the Cardinal out-shot No. 3 Santa Clara 15-2, and held the Broncos to by far their lowest shot total of the season, but fell 2-0. Stanford opened up conference action last weekend with a tie against No. 19 USC and a loss to No. 4 UCLA.
Top-Notch Defense: Anchored by senior Rachel Buehler and sophomore Allison Falk, the Cardinal back line has posted eight shutouts in its last 11 games, and allowed just five goals since the beginning of September. Prior to the meeting with UCLA this weekend, Stanford had out-shot 11-straight opponents and held ten-straight to two shots on goal or less. Among the team's greatest feats this season: blanking now No.-10 Boston University and holding No. 3 Santa Clara to its lowest shot total of the season. On Sunday, the Cardinal successfully defended six UCLA corner kick opportunities and held the No. 4 Bruins scoreless for 80 minutes of play. Nationally, Stanford is tied for 20th in shutout percentage.
Pac-10 Numbers: After last weekend's matches, Stanford stands third in the Pac-10 in goals, with 21 on the season. The Cardinal is second in the conference in total shots (188) and third in shutouts (8). Stanford also has the third largest scoring margin among Pac-10 schools. Senior Shari Summers continues to be one of the Pac-10's top offensive players. She is third in the conference in total goals (6), fifth in total shots (40), sixth in total points (12) and third in game-winning goals (4). Goalkeeper Alex Gamble is tied for third in the Pac-10 with five shutouts.Top Competition: Stanford's 2006 opponents have proved to be some of the best in the country this year. In fact, Stanford has still played more current NSCAA top-25 teams than anyone in the Pac-10. The Cardinal has played five teams in the current top-25, while no other Pac-10 team has played more than four. Stanford, California and UCLA are the only Pac-10 teams to have beaten a current top-25 squad. Ten Cardinal opponents have found their way into one of the major soccer polls at some point this season, and, in its last three matches, the team has faced two of the top four teams in the nation.
The Series with Arizona State: Stanford has a slight edge in the series with the Sun Devils, 4-3, and the teams have finished in two ties. Last season, the pair played to a scoreless tie in Tempe. The five previous meetings saw the squads trade wins on their home fields, with Stanford coming out on top in the three contests at Maloney and the Sun Devils claiming wins in the two contests at Sun Devil Stadium. Stanford has outscored Arizona State 14-11 all-time.
Scouting the Sun Devils: The Sun Devils are coached by Ray Leone, who is in his sixth year as head coach. Last season, the team finished tied for fifth in the Pac-10 and posted a 9-8-3 record. The team lost ten letterwinners and six starters from last season, but has 13 promising newcomers. Junior Courtney Crane is currently the team's leading scorer, with four goals and an assist this season. Brittney Doty, a freshman from Manteca, Calif., has also scored four goals, including two in the season-opener against UC Irvine. After winning four of their first six, the Sun Devils have won just one of their last six. Last weekend, ASU dropped its first two Pac-10 matches to Oregon State and Oregon, 2-1 and 1-0, respectively.
The Series with Arizona: Stanford is 9-2 in contests with the Wildcats, but the Cardinal has dropped the two most recent games between the schools. In the first nine matches of the series, Stanford scored three or more goals eight times and five or more goals five times. In 2004, Stanford fell at home, 1-0, in double-overtime. Last season, the Wildcats again came out on top, 2-1, in Tucson. Kate Mannino scored the lone Cardinal goal in the match in the 56th minute, the first of her collegiate career.
Scouting the Wildcats: The Arizona Wildcats are coached by Dan Tobias, who has made a significant impact on the program since taking over three years ago. The Wildcats have appeared in the last two NCAA Tournaments and are coming off of their best postseason run in school history. In 2005, the team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, and was defeated by eventual national champion Portland. Just four starters and 11 letterwinners return for the Wildcats, but they have been strong so far in 2006. The team won six of its first eight, before falling to No. 5 Portland and No. 14 BYU. The team topped Cal State Fullerton two weeks ago and split with the Oregon schools in their first weekend of Pac-10 play. Sophomore Gianna DeSaverio leads the team with six goals and four assists. Sophomore London King has four goals and an assist, and sophomore goalkeeper Chelsea McIntyre leads the conference with 62 saves. The Wildcats have been ranked as high as No. 17 in the NSCAA poll this season, but fell out of the top-25 this week after losing to Oregon on Friday night.
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