Stanford's Top 10 Tests
Sept. 10, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 3 Stanford women's soccer team faces its toughest weekend yet, with matches against two Top 10 teams, including a rematch against Notre Dame, the team that beat the Cardinal in the NCAA College Cup semifinals last season. Both matches are part of the Santa Clara Classic, with Stanford playing in the openers of two doubleheaders. Stanford (5-0) opens with No. 7 Purdue (5-0) on Friday at 5 p.m. and follows with a Sunday match (11 a.m.) against No. 5 Notre Dame (3-1). Both will be played at Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Stadium.
On the Web
There will be live stats for both matches, but no streaming video. Links to the Gametracker live stats can be found at gostanford.com, in the Calendar of Events on the home page, or on the women's soccer page.
College Cup Rematch
This will be the first meeting between Stanford and Notre Dame since the NCAA College Cup semifinals on Dec. 5, 2008, in Cary, N.C. In Stanford's first semifinal appearance and second overall, Courtney Barg scored the only goal in Notre Dame's 1-0 victory. She took a low cross from fellow freshman Melissa Henderson in the 15th minute and sent a shot inside the left post. Notre Dame advanced to its seventh NCAA final before losing to North Carolina, 2-1.
Stanford in the Rankings
The Cardinal's twin shutout victories over UNC Greensboro (1-0) and Virginia Tech (5-0) at the UNC Greensboro Spartan Classic, combined with Notre Dame's 6-0 loss to North Carolina enabled Stanford to move up one spot to No. 3 in the NSCAA coaches' rankings. Stanford also is ranked No. 2 by Soccer America, No. 2 by Soccer Times and No. 3 by Top Drawer Soccer.
Shutout victories over UNC Greensboro (1-0) and Virginia Tech (5-0) in Greensboro, N.C., last weekend extended Stanford's defensive scoreless streak to 218 minutes, 29 seconds. Last year, Stanford registered 18 shutouts. with two streaks of five consecutive shutouts. The school record consecutive scoreless minutes is 774:22, bridging the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
Two Stanford players were recognized nationally for their play last week. Kristin Stannard was named to Top Drawer Soccer's Team of the Week for her hat trick against Virginia Tech and central defender and captain Alicia Jenkins made the CollegeSoccer360.com team for her role in the Cardinal's shutouts.
Friday's Opponent: Purdue
The Boilermakers have risen from unranked to No. 14 to No. 7 in successive weeks in the NSCAA Top 25. The chief reason for the jump was a 3-2 victory over then-No. 6 Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, with help from Sylvia Forbes' goal off the opening kickoff and Vanessa Ibewuike's 77th-minute winner. Purdue's 5-0 start is its best ever. Senior captain Jessica Okoroafo returned from an injury-shortened 2008 season and leads the Big Ten in goals (5), assists (3) and points (13).
The Purdue Series
This will be the first meeting between the two teams, but not the first time Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe and Purdue's Robert Klatte have faced off. Purdue beat Ratcliffe's Saint Mary's team 1-0 in the 2002 season opener in Berkeley.
Sunday's Opponent: Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish have returned seven starters from a team that went 26-1, losing only to North Carolina, 2-1, in the NCAA final. Among the losses from that team is forward Kerri Hanks, a two-time winner of the Hermann Trophy, college soccer's highest honor. Sophomore Melissa Henderson (17 goals, 2 assists, 36 points) is the top returning scorer. Notre Dame had a 30-match regular-season winning streak snapped by North Carolina on Sept. 4, with the Tar Heels earning a shocking 6-0 victory in a rematch of the 2008 NCAA final and the first match at Notre Dame's new Alumni Field.
The Notre Dame Series
Notre Dame holds a 6-4-1 series edge over Stanford, with three of the contests played in the NCAA Tournament. Besides Notre Dame's 1-0 victory in the 2008 College Cup semifinals, the teams have met twice in the third round, trading 1-0 victories. Stanford's came in 2002 when Marcia Wallis beat two defenders and scored from 20 yards in the 81st minute. The teams have met three times in the Santa Clara Classic, going 1-1-1, including Stanford's 2-1 overtime victory in 2007. Shari Summers scored on a 98th minute penalty kick for the winner, giving Stanford one of its two victories in the past nine meetings between the teams.