Stanford is No. 2, or is it No. 1?
Sept. 24, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
Complete Release in PDF Format The Rankings
Of the four national rankings, Stanford is ranked No. 1 in three of them. However, the Cardinal is No. 2 in the NSCAA coaches' poll, the most widely accepted rankings system. Then-No. 3 Stanford won twice last week, by a combined 10-0, while No. 1 North Carolina was tied by Auburn, 0-0, and No. 2 Portland lost to Texas A&M, 3-1. Stanford is ranked No. 1 by Soccer America, Soccer Times and Top Drawer Soccer.
The No. 2 Stanford women's soccer team (9-0) plays at Saint Mary's (5-4) on Sunday, at 1 p.m., providing Cardinal coach Paul Ratcliffe with a return to the school he coached for five years, from 1998-2002. This will be Stanford's second-to-last nonconference match before beginning play in the demanding Pac-10 Conference with an Oregon road trip.
There will be live stats, but no live video or audio. The free live stats can be found via the Gametracker link at gostanford.com, in the Calendar of Events on the home page or the women's soccer page.
Stanford won its own Nike Invitational on goal differential over Santa Clara, with both teams jumping the national rankings because of their performances. Stanford beat No. 23 Colorado, 4-0, and followed with a 6-0 victory over Wisconsin. Santa Clara also beat both teams, 2-1, and 1-0 (overtime), respectively. But Stanford's plus-10 goal differential was superior to Santa Clara's plus-2. While Stanford moved up one spot to No. 2 in the NSCAA poll, Santa Clara moved up to No. 9. The teams will play on Oct. 1 at Santa Clara.
At 9-0-0, Stanford is two victories away from matching its all-time best start, which came in the 1991 season. Stanford went 17-2 that year, reaching the NCAA quarterfinals with future national team star Julie Foudy and all-time scoring leader Sarah Rafanelli. The Cardinal's current start matches the fourth-best in school history, after 1991's 11-0-0, and 10-0-0 starts in 1993 and 1994.
The following are among Stanford's current streaks:
Winning and unbeaten streak (9)
Regular season winning and unbeaten streak (11)
Home winning streak (13)
Home unbeaten streak (17)
Home regular season winning streak (9)
Home regular season unbeaten streak (16)
Sunday's Opponent: Saint Mary's
This will be coach Paul Ratcliffe's second visit to Saint Mary's, following Stanford's 1-0 double-overtime victory in Moraga in 2003 when Ratcliffe was in his first year at Stanford after five seasons with the Gaels. Saint Mary's (5-4-0) is under first-year coach Kai Edwards, whose squad earned a 2-1 victory over perennial NCAA Tournament team Texas in Berkeley. The Gaels are led by Jessica Menzhuber, who has five goals and three assists.
The Saint Mary's Series
Stanford has played only Cal and Santa Clara more than Saint Mary's over the years, posting a 16-5-2 series edge since their first meeting in 1984, Stanford's first year with women's soccer. Stanford has a six-match winning streak, beginning with a 2001 NCAA second round victory over Ratcliffe's Gaels. Stanford has a 16-match unbeaten streak in the series (15-0-1), with SMC's last victory coming in 1989 at home, 1-0. Stanford is 3-4-1 in Moraga.
Stanford has shut out its past three opponents and has allowed only one goal in its past six matches. The Cardinal enters Sunday's match with a 356:32 scoreless streak.
Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe is one victory away from his 150th career coaching victory. Ratcliffe has a career record of 149-67-23 and a winning percentage .671. He coached at Saint Mary's from 1998-2002 before coming to Stanford in 2003.
National Stat Leaders
Stanford's Kelley O'Hara ranks third in the nation in goals, with 10, and her 24 points are tied for second in the nation. Forward Christen Press is tied for the national lead in assists, with eight, and her 22 points are the fourth highest. O'Hara has scored or assisted in all but one match this season, including the past five. Press has a point in all but two matches.