Stanford Women's Soccer Preview

Stanford

  

TEAM QUICK FACTS

2009 Overall Record: 25-1
2009 Pac-10 Record: 9-0 (1st)

Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 17/8
Newcomers: 6

Head Coach: Paul Ratcliffe
Alma Mater: UCLA, 1994
Record at Stanford: 110-34-16 (17 seasons)
Assistant Coaches: Jay Cooney, Theresa Wagner

 

PREVIEW

Stanford is coming off its best-ever season, finishing as national runners-up at the NCAA College Cup in 2009. Although the team lost the scoring firepower of forward Kelley O'Hara and the staunch defense of Ali Riley, the Cardinal returns eight starters, including four All-Americans in junior midfielder Teresa Noyola, junior forward Lindsay Taylor, senior forward Christen Press and 2009 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year midfielder Mariah Nogueira. Press was a strong presence on offense for the Cardinal last season, netting 21 goals, a school-record 16 assists and 58 points. The defense will be anchored by sophomore All-American candidates Rachel Quon and Alina Garciamendez, both members of the U.S. Under-20 team. In goal the squad will be anchored by four-year starter Kira Maker, who could break the Stanford record for career shutouts by season end. The Cardinal have a formidable schedule lined up in 2010, facing powers Portland and Santa Clara. Possibly the biggest challenge could come on Aug. 27, when the Cardinal travel to face North Carolina in Chapel Hill, a rematch of the 2009 NCAA College Cup Final.

KEY MATCHUPS

Aug. 27- Stanford at North Carolina, 6:00 p.m. ET
Oct. 10 - Stanford at UCLA    , 1:00 p.m. PT

Stanford travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., to face the Tar Heels in a rematch of last year's NCAA College Cup final. Stanford will be looking to avenge the loss and to make a big statement early on in the season.

Stanford handed UCLA its first Pac-10 loss since 2006 last season and beat the Bruins in the College Cup semifinals, so UCLA will be playing this game with a chip on its shoulder. This will be a test for the Cardinal in a hostile environment on the road and should have implications on the race in the Pac-10. 

 

PLAYER TO WATCH

#23, Christen Press
Sr., F, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

A senior, Christen Press is coming off an outstanding junior season, where she scored 21 goals, the second-highest scoring season in Stanford history, and looks to be the Cardinal's main offensive threat in 2010. She set Stanford single-season records in assists (16) and shots (143) in 2009 and was named Top Drawer Soccer's National Co-Player of the Year with teammate Kelley O'Hara. The Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., native had seven game-winning goals in 2009 and was an All-Pac-10 First Team pick. Entering 2010 she sits poised to break some Stanford career records, as she is currently ranked sixth in career points (123), sixth in goals (45) and is tied with Cardinal great Julie Foudy for third in assists (33). Press has played with the U.S. U-23 national team, most recently for a three-match tour in May 2010, where she started two matches.

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