No. 1 Stanford Hosts USF and St. Mary's

Sept. 27, 2007

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Stanford, Calif- No. 1 Stanford suffered its first defeat at the hands of Denver University last Sunday, but also was able to beat Colorado University to split its matches in the Colorado Tournament. Both games had the same final score of 1-0, and weren't decided until late in the second half. This leaves the Cardinal record at 7-1-0.

This Week: Stanford returns home to begin a stretch of six home games in a row. The Cardinal will take on the University of San Francisco Dons and the St. Mary's College Gaels. The match up with San Francisco will take place on Friday, Sept. 28 at 5:00 p.m. and the match against St. Mary's will take place on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1:00 p.m. Both games will be played at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium in Stanford, Calif.

Number Four Ranking: After beginning the season at the number four spot, Stanford vaulted all the way to the top ranking in the NSCAA/adidas poll by the third week of the season. The Cardinal dropped back to the number four ranking in the NSCAA/adidas poll after its first loss, and to the number three spot in the Soccer America poll in this week's poll. Stanford finished in the second spot in the SoccerBuzz poll and the sixth spot in Top Drawer.

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 were against teams ranked in the Top 25 and only one of those games was played at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. So far on the young season, Stanford has defeated No. 10 Connecticut, No. 11 Virginia, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 12 Rutgers.

Abegg Puts In Game-Winner against Colorado: Junior Marisa Abegg scored her first goal of the season against Colorado University, which turned out to be the game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory. Abegg, a defender from Lake Oswego, Ore., was an All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention selection in 2006 after starting all 23 games for the Cardinal. She was only one of four Stanford players to start every game.

Impact Freshmen: All four Cardinal freshmen continue to make a strong impact on the season. Morgan Redman, a midfielder from Indianapolis, Ind., is the team's second leading scorer after tallying three goals and one assist on the season. Allison McCann, a midfielder from Carlsbad, Calif., started two more games on defense for the Cardinal and has played in every game. Christen Press, a forward from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., has taken ten shots this season for the Cardinal and has tallied four points on the year.

Riley Returns From World Cup: Stanford sophomore Ali Riley returned from China for the Women's World Cup where she was a member of the New Zealand National team. The young New Zealand team dropped all three of its matches in the tournament which led to its early exit. The young kiwi team lost to Brazil and Denmark by scores of 5-0 and 2-0 respectively and finished the tournament with a 2-0 loss to China. 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 was one of the three goalies selected to the team. The U.S. team has advanced to the semifinals of the Women's World Cup and will take on Brazil. The winner will face Germany in the Championship game.

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.

Maker Records First Shutout: Maker then recorded her first career shutout in her second start against Colorado University, when the Cardinal won the match 1-0. Maker, a native of Potomac, Md., made four saves in the victory. She and junior Alex Gamble will take over the goalkeeper duties for the Cardinal, while regular starter Erica Holland sits with a finger injury.

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.

Strong Bay Area Soccer: Stanford University and Santa Clara University hold two of the top five spots in the national rankings. Stanford and Santa Clara are set to meet on Friday, Oct. 5 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium in Stanford, Calif.

Scouting the Dons: Head Coach Mark Carr is in his first season with the Dons program after a successful stint as an assistant coach for UCLA. Carr has gone 0-5-2 to date after playing a very tough schedule. USF is led by sophomore Samantha Brand who finished her freshman campaign with six points. In net for the Dons is junior Katie Hodgson who allowed 1.75 GAA last season.

Scouting the Gaels: Head Coach Kelly Lindsey returns to St. Mary's for her third season after finishing 3-13-4 last season. Saint Mary's is currently on a three-game winning streak. Sophomore Allie Weiner leads the Gaels on the season with 13 points on 4 goals and five assists. Junior Stefani Rocco is also a top returnee for St. Mary's as she was a 2006 Honorable Mention All-WCC and on the 2005 WCC All-Freshman team.

Series with San Francisco and St. Mary's: Stanford heads into the two matches this weekend with impressive records against both of the schools. Stanford is a perfect 18-0 against USF with the Cardinal winning 3-0 in last season's match up on Sept. 1. The Cardinal are 14-5-2 against St. Mary's in the program's history and the last meeting was a 2-1 Stanford victory on Oct. 3, 2004.

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