Stanford Men Open 2007 Season Friday Night Against No. 1 UC Santa Barbara

Aug. 28, 2007

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STANFORD, Calif. - Friday, Aug. 31 - 7:00 p.m.
- vs. - No. 1 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (0-0-0)

Cardinal Kick-Off 2007 Season Against Defending National Champions
Coming off of a 7-7-4 (5-3-2 Pac-10) record and third-place Pac-10 finish in 2006, the Stanford men's soccer team opens the 2007 season at home this Friday night, August 31, at 7 p.m. The Cardinal will host the No. 1-ranked and defending national champion UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (17-7-1, 7-3-0 Big West in 2006) on Friday at Maloney Field.

Scouting UC Santa Barbara
No. 1 UC Santa Barbara, the defending national champion, begins its 2007 season Friday night against the Cardinal. The Gauchos are unbeaten in 11 of their past 12 matches, and last year became the first unseeded team since Connecticut in 2001 to win the national title. Returning in 2007 for the Gauchos is a strong core of their `06 title squad, including three-time All-American defender Andy Iro, second-team All-American midfielder and 2006 leading scorer Eric Avila (eight goals, five assists in `06), and College Cup Most Outstanding Player Nick Perera.

Stanford All-Time vs. UC Santa Barbara
The Cardinal holds an overall record of 11-5-1 all-time against the Gauchos heading into Friday night's contest. Stanford won the first-ever meeting between the two schools, 2-1, on Oct. 25, 1979, but UCSB claimed victory in the last meeting by a 1-0 score on Nov. 6, 2004. Prior to that match, the Cardinal had defeated the Gauchos in the previous four meetings from 1996-99.

Cardinal Notes
Stanford tuned up for Friday night's season opener with a pair of exhibition contests last week ... in the first exhibition, the Cardinal dropped a 1-0 contest against the Denver Pioneers last Thursday ... Stanford bounced back with an emphatic 5-1 thumping of Sacramento State Saturday night at Maloney Field ... Sophomore midfielder Michael Strickland scored a goal and assisted on another in the win ... redshirt senior Andrew Kartunen made his return to the net after missing the entire 2006 season ... Kartunen started both exhibition contests.

Cardinal Returning Their Firepower
Five of Stanford's nine goal scorers from a year ago return to The Farm to help the Cardinal towards a Pac-10 title and NCAA Tournament berth, led by Evan Morgan (five goals, one assist in 2006). Other returning scorers include Kyle Hency, Dan Shapiro, Michael Strickland, and Scott Bolkan. Combined with freshmen threats Brant Bishop, Cameron Lamming, and Bobby Warshaw, the Cardinal should field a talented group of players with a nose for the net in 2007.

Head Coach Bret Simon
Head coach Bret Simon enters his seventh year at the helm of the Cardinal program in 2007. Simon has accumulated a 58-46-17 record on The Farm and ranks tied for fifth in the Stanford history books in career wins (56). With one more win, Simon will surpass Sam Koch (1984-89) for fifth place. Simon piloted the Cardinal to consecutive College Cup appearances in his first two seasons, including a trip to the championship game in 2002.

Looking Ahead
Stanford will head to Berkeley to face Wisconsin in the opening game of the adidas Cal Legacy Classic on Friday, Sept. 7, at 1:30 p.m. The Cardinal will then return to Maloney Field to host Penn Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

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