Stanford Readies for Vital Matches
Sept. 2, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford Plays in Four-Team Cal Legacy Classic
Coming off a season-opening 1-1 draw at San Jose State on Sunday, Stanford enters the Cal Legacy Classic, a four-team event that includes two nationally-ranked teams. The Cardinal first plays SMU, ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA coaches' poll, in Berkeley. On Sunday, Stanford plays its home opener against Cornell in the second leg of the same event. No. 11 Cal plays Cornell on Friday in the nightcap of the Edwards Stadium doubleheader, and plays SMU on Sunday. The tournament champion is determined by record, with total goals serving as the tiebreaker. Stanford, playing in the event for the 12th consecutive season, finished second last year.
Stanford radio station KZSU will do an Internet-only broadcast of Sunday's home opener. The broadcast can be found on-line at kzsulive.stanford.edu. In addition, Stanford will produce a live Webcast, which can be found at www.gostanford.com. Click on the All-Access box on the home page.
The Cardinal has won its past two home openers -- over Pennsylvania and Sacramento State by 2-0 scores -- and is 9-3 in such games since 1996. Bobby Warshaw scored his first collegiate goal against Penn last year, opening the scoring in the sixth minute, and went on to lead Stanford in goals as a freshman.
Scouting SMU The Mustangs come into the match ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA national coaches' poll, and No. 1 in the Midwest. SMU won its first two matches, 2-0 over Old Dominion and 3-1 over Virginia to capture the four-team Virginia Classic. The victories also christened the SMU coaching career of Tim McClements, who had served as an assistant for two years after a four-year run as the head coach at Vanderbilt. Senior defender Ryan Mirsky, a fourth-year starter, was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA team, with the team picked to finish second by conference coaches. SMU was 14-5-2 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year.
Stanford-SMU Series Stanford holds a 3-1-1 lead in a series that began in 1989. Stanford won their most recent meeting, in 2003 at a tournament in Tulsa, Okla., by a 2-0 score. However, their most notable matchup was in the 2000 NCAA quarterfinals when the Mustangs handed Stanford a 2-1 home loss. SMU overcame a halftime deficit by scoring the winner in the 81st minute. The loss ended the collegiate career of Stanford's NSCAA national player of the year Ryan Nelsen.
Scouting Cornell Stanford defender Ryan Imamura played for the Big Red as a true freshman in 2003, playing in 15 matches and starting 13. He had one goal and an assist that season and they remain his own points as a collegian. Imamura was granted a sixth-year of eligibility before this season and returns as a stalwert in central defense for the Cardinal. He will face his former coach, Bryan Scales, who is in his 11th season as Cornell's head coach. The Big Red is coming off a 7-9-1 season. Matt Bouraee, a junior forward, returns after leading the team in scoring last year with nine goals and four assists for 22 points. Cornell's season opener will be Friday at Cal.
Stanford-Cornell Series The teams have met only once, with Stanford earning a 2-0 victory against the visiting Big Red on Oct. 12, 1991 on goals by Jim Talluto and Robert Brophy.
Stanford Opens Season with 1-1 Draw Tom Montgomery first-timed a Ryan Thomas corner kick into the net from the near post to give Stanford a third-minute lead at Spartan Stadium. But San Jose State answered two minutes later when Ricky Dorrego converted a rebound for the equalizer. Stanford had to play a man down for 55 minutes of the 110-minute double-overtime match because of a red card. Though Stanford earned a draw, the Cardinal was unable to earn a season-opening victory for the fifth consecutive year.
Jones a Offensive and Defensive Standout Right-side defender Tim Jones not only is durable, having made his 47th consecutive start in the San Jose State match, but perhaps All-America worthy as well. Jones, a senior, rarely made mistakes on defense in the opener, often stripping the ball and starting a counter-attack. Besides being an uncompromising defender, Jones proved to be a dynamic attacker on runs up the wing. Coach Bret Simon has long been convinced that Jones is deserving of All-America status and is hoping the voters will notice, too.
Cardinal Notebook Junior goalkeeper John Moore made a career-high eight saves against San Jose State and prevented several other scoring chances by coming off his line quickly to intercept crosses and through balls. Moore, a third-year starter, made a diving save on a shot that rebounded to Dorrego for the tying goal. His previous high was four saves in a match.
Stanford will be without co-captain Michael Strickland, a junior central midfielder, for the SMU match because of a red card against San Jose State. Strickland must sit out one match per NCAA rules.
Coach Bret Simon is closing in on 250 career coaching victories. In his 20th season, going back to his days at NAIA Berry College (Mount Berry, Ga.), Simon's record is 243-121-48, with a winning percentage of .648.
Stanford is 9-3 in home openers since 1996.
Defender Tommy Ryan became the first of the six-member freshman class to get in a match, playing 10 minutes of overtime against San Jose State.