Stanford Heads Into Local Showdown
Sept. 30, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
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In a much-anticipated local showdown between ranked teams, No. 2 Stanford (10-0-0) plays at No. 11 Santa Clara (8-3-0) in a nonconference finale for both teams on Thursday night at 7 at Santa Clara’s Buck Shaw Stadium. Stanford is off to its best start since 1994 while perennial national power Santa Clara has turned itself around after a losing 2008 season.
There will be live stats, via Gametracker on the gostanford.com Web site, and a live radio broadcast on KZSU 90.1-FM, with Scott Bland providing the call. Streaming video is available for a fee on santaclarabroncos.com.
Stanford continues to hold a No. 2 ranking in the NSCAA coaches’ poll, behind defending champion North Carolina, and holds the No. 1 spot by Soccer America, Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer Times. Santa Clara is No. 11 in the NSCAA.
Stanford faced its closest match this season, winning at Saint Mary’s 1-0 in 100-degree heat Sunday in Moraga. Christen Press scored in the 59th minute to finish off a 1-2 combination with Kelley O’Hara for the winner. Stanford allowed nine shots and goalkeeper Kira Maker was forced to make three saves. Both totals matched season highs.
At 10-0-0, Stanford is one victory 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 second-best in school history, after 1991’s 11-0-0, and 10-0-0 starts in 1993 and 1994.
Stanford is among the national statistical leaders in the following categories:
• Won-Lost-Tied Percentage: 1 (tie), Stanford, 1.000.
• Assists: 1 (tie), Christen Press, 9
• Points: 2 (tie), Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press, each 25
• Goals: 3 (tie), Kelley O’Hara, 10
• Scoring Offense Per Game: 6 (tie), Stanford, 3.40
The following are among Stanford’s current streaks:
• Winning and unbeaten streak (10)
• Regular season winning and unbeaten streak (12)
• Non-home regular season winning streak (9)
Thursday’s Opponent: Santa Clara
Despite its 2-0 loss to visiting USC last week, Santa Clara (8-3-0) has re-established itself among the nation’s elite after a 4-12-4 season last year. The Broncos reached as high as No. 9 in the NSCAA coaches’ poll, and now rest at No. 11. Santa Clara has gotten five shutouts from goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, who carries a 0.63 goals-against average, and is getting balanced scoring. The Broncos have won six of their past seven and beat Stanford for the Santa Clara Classic title on goal differential, though they didn’t play each other.
The Santa Clara Series
Stanford and Santa Clara know each other well, having participated in each other’s tournaments without going head to head. Santa Clara leads the series 18-8-5, but Stanford won last year’s meeting, 5-0, at Buck Shaw Stadium. Lindsay Taylor had three goals in the match, marking Stanford’s first hat trick in five years.
Stanford has shut out its past four opponents and has allowed only one goal in its past seven matches. The Cardinal enters Thursday’s match with a scoreless streak of 446 minutes, 32 seconds. Goalkeeper Kira Maker has a 0.65 goals-against average and has three shutouts this season. Maker made a spectacular two-handed save to push a hard second-half shot wide during Stanford’s 1-0 victory over Saint Mary’s on Sunday. The junior carries a career GAA of 0.51 had has 19 shutouts.
Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe captured his 150th career coaching victory on Sunday in Stanford’s 1-0 victory at Saint Mary’s, the school he coached from 1998-2002. Ratcliffe has a career record of 150-67-23, with a .673 winning percentage. His next milestone could come soon. Ratcliffe’s record at Stanford is 95-33-16 (.698) in seven seasons. Ratcliffe already is the winningest coach in the program’s history, having achieved that feat last year. He had passed Berhane Andeberhan, who went 77-26-11 at Stanford from 1987-92. Ratcliffe was selected as the 2008 national Coach of the Year by the NSCAA and Soccer America.