Cardinal Will Wrap Up Regular Season At California On Saturday
Nov. 5, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The sixth-ranked Stanford women's soccer team will finish up its regular season schedule on the road in the team's Pac-10 finale against California this Saturday at 2 p.m.
Cardinal Split Weekend In Los Angeles
The Stanford women's soccer team suffered its first loss of the season this past weekend, falling 1-0 to fourth-ranked UCLA on the road after Bruin senior Christina DiMartino was able to get one past sophomore goalkeeper Kira Maker (Potomac, Md./Thomas S. Wootton HS) in the 77th minute. The Cardinal fired eight of its 11 shots on goal, and narrowly missed taking the lead about ten minutes before UCLA's strike, but sophomore Christen Press' (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Chadwick HS) shot clanged off the crossbar and left Stanford empty-handed.
On Sunday, at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Cardinal played the first of its game against No. 10 USC to a 0-0 tie. Then, in the second half, overwhelmed the Trojan defense for three goals. Senior Allison Falk (Danville, Calif/San Ramon Valley HS) scored her first goal of the season to break the draw, heading in a corner kick service from freshman Teresa Noyola (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto HS). Rookie Lindsay Taylor (Los Altos, Calif./Castilleja School) scored her conference-leading 16th goal and seventh game-winner (also a best in the Pac-10) to make it 2-0, and Press scored the third with just over a minute left to play. USC was able to stave off a shutout and scored with two seconds remaining to put the final score at 3-1.
Stanford will go into Saturday's match against the Golden Bears knowing whether or not it's a must-win for a chance to get at least a share of the conference title, as the Bruins have two games left against the Oregon schools on Friday and Sunday. The Cardinal need UCLA to drop both of those matches, otherwise Stanford will finish in second place.
California is fighting for an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament, and can certainly make its case to the selection committee if it can best Stanford. The Golden Bears are 10-7-1 overall, and 3-4-1 in the conference, having beaten Oregon, Oregon State, and Arizona. Cal has also posted two big non-conference wins; a 3-0 defeat of No. 20 Missouri (9/6) and a 2-1 triumph over No. 22 BYU (9/25). Sophomore Alex Morgan has been the best offensive threat for the Golden Bears this season, producing nine goals and five assists. Redshirt sophomore Lisa Kevorkian has also been contributing and has posted six goals and one assist. Junior goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini has seen the most action in net for Cal, and has recorded a 7-6-1 record with four shutouts and a 1.30 goals-against-average.
NCAA Selection Show Monday, November 10
The NCAA Tournament selection committee will release the 2008 brackets Monday afternoon at 5 p.m. via television on ESPNEWS. The Cardinal will most likely receive an at-large bid and stand a good chance of receiving a No. 1 or No. 2 seed, as it currently is at No. 3 on the NCAA Women's Soccer RPI. ESPNEWS is located on channel 207 on DirecTV, channel 142 on Dish Network, and channel 402 on Comcast Digital Cable in the South Bay area.
In The Rankings
Stanford fell one place on the NSCAA national poll to No. 6. The Cardinal's highest current ranking is No. 3 on Soccer America's table and is no lower than No. 5 on any of the other publication polls.
In all NCAA D-I competition, Stanford is ranked in the top 10 in four of the five team statistical categories, holding fourth place in GAA (0.364) and won-lost-tied percentage (0.921), sixth in scoring offense (3.11 goals per game), and is tied for eighth in shutout percentage (0.632). Individually, Kira Maker ranks fifth in the country with a GAA of 0.385. Lindsay Taylor is 12th in goals-per-game (0.842) and 18th in points-per-game (1.84) Kelley O'Hara (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill HS) is 13th in assists-per-game (0.61) and 29th in points-per-game (1.63).
On the Pac-10 side of things, the Cardinal leads the conference in points (177), goals (59), scoring offense, assists (59), assists-per-game (3.11), and is second in shots (376), goals allowed (7), and GAA. Individually, Taylor leads in goals (16) and goals-per-game, game-winning strikes (7), and points (35) and points-per-game. Press tops the league in shots (73), is second in goals (11), is tied for second in points (31) and assists (9), is third in points-per-game (1.63), goals-per-game (0.58), and is tied for third in assists-per-game (0.47). O'Hara leads the conference in assists (11) and assists-per-game, is second in points-per-game, is tied for second with Press in points (31), , and is third in goals (10). Also, Teresa Noyola is tied for second in assists with Press, and is tied for third in assists-per-game with Press. Maker is second in GAA, save percentage (.841), and shutouts (9).
Stanford Players Earn National Recognition
The Cardinal has earned two national and three Pac-10 players of the week honors, and has had eight different players named to a national team of the week this season. Most recently, Allison Falk was named to Soccer America's squad after scoring her first goal of the season on a header off a corner for Stanford's first goal against USC.
Stanford has outscored its opponents 59-7 so far this season and the scoring is widely distributed amongst the roster with seven players having multiple goals and three with a single tally. The Cardinal has also out shot its opponents 376-126 (207-47 on goal), averaging 19.8 (10.9 on goal) shots per game. The three starting top-liners and Morgan Redman (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central HS) have been responsible for 39 goals, and when defenses are trying to shut them down, the midfield has stepped up and knocked in 18 of their own. Three midfielders, Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif./Tarbut V' Torah), 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 four separate occasions.
The Stanford offense has scored at least one set of back-to-back goals within five minutes in 10 of its 19 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. Against Arizona (10/24), Noyola earned the game-winner and Taylor scored an insurance goal four minutes and 16 seconds later. At USC (11/2), Taylor converted at 83:22, and Press at 88:57, just 5:35 apart.
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, 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 37 saves in 19 games, recording nine shutouts and a 0.385 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 59 goals the Cardinal has recorded so far this year, freshmen Lindsay Taylor (16), Teresa Noyola (6), Camille Levin (5), and Kristy Zurmuhlen (Walpole, N.H./Fall Mountain Regional HS) (1) have contributed 28. 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 (10/19), netting two. Most recently she added a fourth multi-goal game against Arizona (10/24) with two, and posted one against Arizona State (10/26). Noyola has added eight assists to her six goals for 20 points, good enough for fourth best on the team, and is involved in just about every Stanford offensive surge. Levin, who was moved to the holding mid position after starting the season in the back, has produced five goals, four assists, and even more scoring opportunities for her side . Zurmuhlen scored her first career goal in the 89th minute against Arizona State. 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). Taylor got her seventh game-winning goal aginst USC (11/2).
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 11 assists. She has also already surpassed her goal total from last season, and currently has 10 tallies. Her timing is impeccable too, as she's been putting the ball in the net 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). She has three game-winning goals and her most recent one came against Arizona State (10/26). 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).
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 regular season home Cardinal soccer match 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 became Stanford's all-time leader in career wins on Oct. 24 following a 3-1 defeat of Arizona, surpassing Berhane Andeberhan's 77 victories in his sixth year at the helm of the Cardinal program. Ratcliffe has accumulated a 80-32-19 record and has piloted Stanford to an NCAA Tournament appearance each year he has been in charge, capped off by two consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2006 and 2007.
The Cardinal will learn which opponents it will have to go through to get to its first NCAA Women's Soccer College Cup since 1993 on Monday, Nov. 10, when the selection commitee will announce the tournament draws on ESPNEWS at 5 p.m. PT.