Fifth-Ranked Stanford Takes On Arizona, Arizona State In Final Regular Season Home Series
Oct. 22, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The fifth-ranked Stanford women's soccer team will play its final two home regular season matches this weekend against Arizona and Arizona State. Sunday's match against the Sun Devils will serve as 'Senior Day' and pregame ceremonies will honor the Cardinal's Class of 2009.
Cardinal Take Care Of Business In The Pacific Northwest
The fifth-ranked Stanford women's soccer team continued its winning ways, crushing Washington, 5-1 (10/17), and No. 24 Washington State, 3-0 (10/19). Kelley O'Hara (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill HS) paced the Cardinal with eight points on the weekend, scoring and assisting twice against the Huskies and adding one goal against the Cougars.
Sophomore Christen Press (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Chadwick HS) and freshman Lindsay Taylor (Los Altos, Calif./Castilleja School) got in on the scoring frenzy as well, as each scored two goals, with Press recording her second multiple-goal game of the season and notching one assist against Washington, and Taylor, who assisted once in Seattle, netting two against Washington State for her third multiple-goal game. Freshman Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif./Tarbut V' Torah) earned her fourth tally of the season with the opening goal against the Huskies, while Teresa Noyola (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto HS) combined twice with Taylor in Pullman. Morgan Redman (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central HS) was also credited with an assist on O'Hara's final goal on Friday night. Stanford boasts an undefeated record of 14-0-1, with its only tie coming against then fifth-ranked North Carolina (9/12).
Sunday's match against Arizona State, the final regular season home match for the Cardinal, will serve as `Senior Day' for the Class of 2009. Stanford will honor seniors Allison Falk, Marisa Abegg, Kate Mannino, Kelley Birch, Alex Gamble, along with redshirt juniors Lea MacKinnon and Austinn Freeman. Redshirt junior Hillary Heath will also be recognized with her classmates, but has already made the decision to return for the 2009 season.
The Wildcats (8-6-0, 1-2-0) have gone to overtime five times this season, and have come out of those instances on the positive side winning three and losing two. They've earned notable wins against Cal Poly (1-0 on 8/24), Utah (4-0 on 8/29), and Santa Clara (2-0 on 10/5) and suffered a couple of heartbreaking losses, including a double-overtime 2-1 loss to then-ranked No. 8 Texas and a 1-0 regulation loss to then-No. 20 UC Santa Barbara, wins that could have increased their RPI. They are in the midst of arguably the toughest part of the Pac-10 schedule, and fell last weekend to fourth-ranked UCLA and seventh-ranked USC by the score of 2-0 and will have to face fifth-ranked Stanford Friday and California Sunday.
Arizona's top scorer comes in the form of freshman Renae Cuellar, who as a native of Los Altos, Calif., will be on a homecoming trip to the Bay Area. Cuellar has five goals and two assists. Sophomore Karina Camacho also is one to watch out for, as she has four goals and three assists. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Chelsea McIntyre, another Bay Area product from Walnut Creek, Calif., has played every minute in the net for the Wildcats and sports five shutouts and a .089 goals-against-average. The Cardinal hold a 11-2-0 all-time advantage over Arizona and defeated them last year 3-1 in Tucson.
Scouting Arizona State
The Sun Devils have had quite a bit of success this season, and early on fought to a 1-1 tie with Pepperdine (8/29) and nil-nil draw with then-eighth-ranked Texas (9/14). Since then, they recently completed a seven-game home-stand in which they posted a 4-2-1 record, earning a 1-0 win over then-No. 20 UCSB (9/26) before beginning Pac-10 play. ASU began conference play with the annual derby against Arizona, and suffered a 1-0 loss. The following weekend, they fell 3-0 to UCLA, but then really made some noise this past Sunday, upsetting USC on a goal in the 17th minute from sophomore forward Karin Volpe, the team's leading scorer with seven goals and two assists. The win snapped the Trojans 11-game winning streak, and it was their first victory over a top-10 opponent since 2001 when they defeated then-second-ranked Stanford 1-0 in double overtime. Even more amazing is that the Sun Devils accomplished this having already lost six players for the season because of injuries. On Sunday they were also without another key contributor, junior midfielder Carly Kallas, who was held out because of an injury she sustained in Friday's game against UCLA. Junior goalkeeper Briana Silvestri earned her sixth shutout in 11 games by stoning USC. She carries a 0.69 GAA heading into the weekend. The Cardinal is 5-3-3 against Arizona State over the years, and went to a scoreless double-overtime tie last year against the Sun Devils in Tempe.
In The Rankings
Stanford remained in the No. 5 position in the NSCAA national rankings, and remains one of only three unbeaten teams in the top 25. The Cardinal has been consistently noted as the second-best team in the country on three of the other national polls and has been making its mark on the NCAA and Pac-10 statistical charts.In all NCAA Division I competition, Stanford is ranked in the top 30 of all five team categories, holding second place in won-lost-tied percentage (0.967) and third in GAA (0.263), sixth in scoring offense (3.2 goals per game), and is tied for third in shutout percentage (0.733) and 27th in save percentage (0.852). Individually, Kira Maker (Potomac, Md./Thomas S. Wootton HS) ranks third in the country with a GAA of 0.276. Kelley O'Hara jumped into a tie for 23rd in points-per-game with 1.87, while Christen Press and Lindsay Taylor follow not far behind in 26th with 1.80, putting all three starting forwards in the top 30. Also, Taylor is tied for 16th in goals-per-game (0.80), and O'Hara is tied for 11th in assists-per-game with 0.67On the Pac-10 side of things, the Cardinal leads the conference in scoring offense, won-lost-tied percentage, points (144), goals (48), assists (48), and assists-per-game (3.2), is second in goals allowed (4), GAA, and shutouts (11), and third in shots (285). Individually, Taylor leads in goals (12), game-winning strikes (6), and goals-per-game, while O'Hara occupies the top spot in points (28), assists (10), assists per game, and holds second in points-per-game (1.87). Taylor and Press share second in points just behind O'Hara with 27 each, and also third in points-per-game (1.80). Press is second in goals with 10 and third in assists-per-game with 0.47. Maker is second in GAA only to UCLA's Ashley Thompson, who has allowed two fewer goals in the same amount of games (15), leads the conference with 9 shutouts, and falls in a tie for second in save percentage (.846).
Stanford Players Earn National Recognition
The Cardinal has earned two national and three Pac-10 players of the week honors, and has had seven different players named to a national team of the week this season. Most recently, Kelley O'Hara was named to Soccer Buzz, Soccer America, and Top Drawer Soccer's teams of the week, and became the third player this season to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week accolades for her eight point performance against the Washington schools (10/19-21).
Stanford has outscored its opponents 48-4 so far this season and the scoring is widely distributed amongst the roster with seven players having multiple goals and one with a single tally. The Cardinal has also out shot its opponents 285-89 (154-27 on goal), averaging 19.0 (10.3 on goal) shots per game. The three starting top-liners and Morgan Redman have been responsible for 33 goals, and when defenses are trying to shut them down, the midfield has stepped up and knocked in 14 of their own. Three midfielders, Camille Levin, Kristin Stannard (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill HS) and Teresa Noyola, have all recorded multiple-goal performances in a single game. All three starting strikers have also accomplished the feat, with Taylor putting in multiple goals on three separate occasions, and Press doing it twice.
The Stanford offense has scored at least one set of back-to-back goals within five minutes in eight of its 15 games this season. Against Pacific (8/24), the Cardinal recorded all five of its goals in the shutout victory in a 19 minute segment in the first half. One week later, Stanford scored two of its three goals in a 2-0 victory over No. 15 Boston College (8/31) in the 4th and 8th minutes. At the Georgia/Nike Invitational, the Cardinal notched its final two goals in a 3-0 defeat of Auburn (9/5) just one minute and seven seconds apart, while against No. 22 Georgia (9/7), Stanford posted both of its goals in the 16th and 21st minutes to win the game. In a 4-1 victory over Yale (9/19) at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic, Camille Levin and Christen Press scored the Cardinal's third and fourth goals just 1:11 apart. Against Santa Clara (10/3), Press put in Stanford's third goal of the game just under five minutes into the second half, and four minutes later Lindsay Taylor completed her hat trick with the Cardinal's fourth goal. Against Oregon State, Levin helped put the Beavers away early, scoring the team's second goal at 12:14, just 2:44 after Taylor's eventual game-winner. In Seattle, Levin and O'Hara put the one-two punch on Washington (10/17) for the game's first two goals, scoring in the 17th and 20th minutes.
Rock Solid Defense
Stanford's back line of captains junior Ali Riley (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS), Marissa Abegg (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge HS), and senior Allison Falk (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley HS), along with junior Alicia Jenkins (Diamond Springs, Calif./Union Mine HS) have made things relatively easy for goalkeeper Kira Maker, who has only had to make 22 saves in 15 games, recording nine shutouts and a 0.276 GAA. Maker has been outstanding when called upon, and has had to step up and make game-changing big saves in games against Santa Clara (10/3) and Oregon State (10/12).
Of the 48 goals the Cardinal has recorded so far this year, freshmen Lindsay Taylor (12), Teresa Noyola (4), and Camille Levin (4) have contributed 20. Taylor, scored once in the season opener against Pacific (8/24), added another against No. 15 Boston College (8/31), and notched three goals at the Georgia/Nike Invitational (9/5-7). She tacked on her sixth goal against Saint Mary's (9/26), and recorded her first career hat trick against Santa Clara (10/3) before adding her tenth against Oregon State. She got her third multiple-goal game against Washington State this past Friday (10/19), netting two. Noyola has added six assists to her four goals for 14 points, good enough for fourth best on the team, and is involved in just about every Stanford offensive surge. Fellow newcomer Levin, who was moved to the holding mid position after starting the season in the back, has produced four goals, three assists, and even more scoring opportunities for her side . Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair HS) has also contributed two assists, aiding Kristin Stannard's insurance goal against UNC Greensboro (9/14) and Morgan Redman's second goal of the season against Oregon (10/10).
O'Hara A Double-Edged Sword
Kelley O'Hara, last season's leading scorer with nine goals, has turned out to be the Cardinal's main setup gal this season and has a team-leading 10 assists. She has also already matched her goal total from last season, and currently has nine tallies with five games left to play in the regular season. And not only has she been putting the ball in the net quite a bit, she's been doing it at important moments. Three of her goals have come within the big-five minute periods both at the beginning or end of a half, and each time increased her team's momentum in the game. She earned her first multiple-goal game of the year against Washington (10/17), scoring twice and adding two assists, and capped off the weekend in the Pacific Northwest with a insurance goal against Washington State (10/19). O'Hara is also the one who scored the game-tying goal against then-ranked No. 5 North Carolina with 3:30 left in the game, forcing two overtime periods in which Stanford went on the offensive, firing six shots to the Tar Heels' two in the first extra segment (9/12).
The Cardinal was selected as the preseason favorite to take the Pac-10 title in the conference coaches' poll, ahead of 2007 National Champion USC and College Cup participant UCLA ... Stanford returned 18 letterwinners this season, seven of which were starters from last season's roster, and added seven newcomers that made up the No. 6 ranked Soccer Buzz recruiting class ... every home Cardinal soccer game this season will be webcast live on GoStanford.com All-Access, providing there is no TV conflict, and as always, live stats will be available on CBS College Sports' GameTracker ... following weekend action, be sure to check out http://www.youtube.com/stanfordathletics on Tuesdays for the women's soccer team's goal of the week video.
Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe
Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe entered his sixth year at the helm of the Stanford program in 2008. Ratcliffe has accumulated a 77-31-19 record on The Farm and is tied for first in the Cardinal record books in career wins (77) with Berhane Andeberhan. Should Ratcliffe secure a victory this weekend against Arizona or Arizona State, he will become the winningest coach in Stanford women's soccer history. Ratcliffe has piloted the Cardinal to an NCAA Tournament appearance each year he has been in charge, capped off by two consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2006 and 2007.
Game ChangeStanford's Pac-10 and regular season finale against No. 18 California on Nov. 8, which was originally scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in Berkeley, has been moved up an hour and will now begin at 2 p.m. The Golden Bears' Edwards Stadium is not equipped with lights and the decision was made to move the game up an hour so that the game could be completed in ample daylight, should it need to go to double-overtime.
Looking AheadThe Cardinal will face a tough challenge to close out the season, playing No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 USC, and California all on the road. The games are must-wins for Stanford if it hopes to increase its position on the national rankings and persuade the NCAA Tournament selection committee to award them home matches for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, set to take place 11/14-16, as many teams in the West are highly-touted.