No. 1 Stanford Returns Home for Stanford Invitational

Sept. 12, 2007

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Stanford, Calif. -

Stanford Nike Invitational

Sept. 14 * 5:00 p.m. No. 12 Rutgers vs No. 3 Santa Clara
Sept. 14 * 7:30 p.m. - No. 1 Stanford vs Missouri

Sept. 16 *11:00 a.m. Missouri vs No. 3 Santa Clara
Sept. 16 * 1:30 p.m. - No. 1 Stanford vs No. 12 Rutgers

Stanford Invitational: This weekend at Maloney Field, Stanford University will host the Stanford Invitational. On Friday, Sept. 14, No. 12 Rutgers will take on No.3 Santa Clara at 5:00 p.m. followed by No. 1 Stanford will take on Missouri. On Sunday, Sept. 16, Missouri will take on No. 3 Santa Clara at 11:00 a.m. followed by No. 1 Stanford vs No. 12 Rutgers.

New No. 1: Stanford moved up to the No. 1 spot in the NSCAA/adidas rankings after being placed in the fifth spot last week. The Cardinal also moved up in the remaining three major polls. Soccer Times has Stanford in their top slot, while Soccer Buzz put them at No. 2 in their latest poll. Soccer America had Stanford at their No. 4 spot, a jump of nine spots from their rankings last week.

This Week: Stanford opens the home season in the Stanford Invitational with matches against the Missouri Tigers and No. 12 Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The first match against Missouri will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night and the Cardinal will on Rutgers at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16.

Falk Named SCU Classic MVP: Junior Allison Falk was named the SCU/adidas Classic MVP after the Stanford defense allowed just two goals against Virginia and Notre Dame. As a sophomore in 2006, Falk was an All-Pac-10 Second Team selection and started all 23 games for the Cardinal.

Riley in the World Cup: Stanford sophomore Ali Riley is currently in China for the Women's World Cup as a member of the New Zealand National team. Riley's father, a professor at UCLA, was born in New Zealand and Riley holds dual citizenship. Volunteer assistant coach Nicole Barnhart is also in the World Cup, representing the United States. Barnhart, who was a three-time All-American on the farm, was one of the three goalies selected to the team.

Impact Freshmen: Three Cardinal freshmen have already made a strong impact on the season. Morgan Redman, a midfielder from Indianapolis, Ind., scored a goal in her first collegiate game against Boston University. Allison McCann, a midfielder from Carlsbad, Calif. has played in every game for Stanford and has made three starts on the young season. Christen Press, a forward from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. made her collegiate debut last weekend after missing the first two games and assisted on Kelley O'Hara's goal against Notre Dame.

Another Tournament Championship: Stanford won the SCU/adidas Classic last weekend behind a couple of 2-1 victories over ranked opponents. The Cardinal beat No. 11 Virginia last Friday night, and then was able to get past No. 2 Notre Dame in overtime. The tournament victory was the teams second of the season after winning the BU Terrier Classic the opening weekend of the season.

The Cardinal Highlights: Rachel Buehler returns to lead the Cardinal defense in 2007 after earning All-American honors and All Pac-10 First Team honors last season. The defense that Buehler anchored last season recorded 15 shutouts and allowed a mere .55 goals per game. Redshirt senior Shari Summer returns to the midfield for her fourth season as a starter, after earning All Pac-10 First Team honors as well. Kelley O'Hara returns to the Cardinal after being the first Stanford freshman to earn All Pac-10 First Team honors since 2000.

Playing the Best: This season Stanford will face many of the top women's soccer teams in the country and half of the members of the 2006 College Cup. In total, the Cardinal face nine teams ranked in the Soccer Buzz Preseason Top-30, as well as eight teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season. Nine Stanford opponents were ranked in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, including UCLA, Oregon, USC, and California from the Pac-10. Five of Stanford's first seven games are against teams ranked in the Top 25 and only one of those games will be played at Maloney Field.

Stanford in the Tournament: Last season Stanford completed its 19th consecutive season with 10 or more victories and went to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth straight year. Despite having a very young team, the 2006 Cardinal had one of the most successful seasons in the program's history, after it finished with a 15-6-2 record and advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

Still to Come: After the Stanford Invitational, Stanford will head to Boulder, Colo. for the Colorado Tournament. In Colorado, the Cardinal will face host Colorado University on Friday, Sept. 21 and Denver University on Sunday, Sept. 23.

Scouting the Tigers:Head Coach Bryan Blitz returns for his 12th season in Columbia, Mo. and owns a 112-106-9 record behind the Tigers bench. Blitz has nine newcomers to his program after finishing with a 10-9 record last season. Missouri enters this week ranked 21st in the Soccer Buzz poll and 20th in the Soccer Times national rankings. Missouri is currently ranked 13th nationally with 3.25 goals per game and the offense has been led by freshman Alysha Bonnick, who has three goals and three assists in the four games this year for the Tigers. Missouri is also led by sophomore Kristin Andrighetto, who has scored four goals on the season. In between the pipes, the Tigers will have sophomore Tasha Dittamore, who has posted shutouts the last two games.

Series with Missouri:Stanford heads into Friday's match with a 1-0 overall record against Missouri in the program's history. The only meeting between the schools was a 1-0 Stanford victory during the 2004 season.

Scouting the Scarlet Knights: Head Coach Glenn Crooks enters his ninth season behind the Scarlet Knights bench with an overall record of 74-58-17 at the school. Rutgers finished 16-3-2 last season and was a 2006 NCAA Tournament participant. Rutgers is led by 2006 All-Big-East selection Gina DeMaio, who scored five goals and posted eight assists last season. The Scarlet Knights also return junior Alicia Hall, who led the team with eight goals in the 2006 season. Sophomore Erin Guthrie returns to be the goalkeeper for Rutgers and has allowed just one goal in the first four games of the 2007 season.

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