Women's Soccer Hosts San Jose State In NCAA Tourney

Nov. 8, 2000

Tourney time for Cardinal... The No. 16 Stanford women's soccer team will host San Jose State in the first round of the NCAA Women's College Cup Wednesday night. The Cardinal finished the regular season at 13-5-1 and is headed to the postseason for the third straight year and for the 10th time in 11 seasons. San Jose State earned an automatic berth into the 48-team tournament by winning the Western Athletic Conference tournament. The Spartans, 10-12-1 overall, are making their first ever postseason appearance.

Tournament tidbits... The field of 48 was selected by the NCAA selection committee with sixteen teams receiving first-round byes. Eight teams were seeded with two seeded teams in each of the four regions. The Pac-10 led all conferences with seven berths (three seeds) and the Atlantic Coast Conference was second with six teams. North Carolina, the No. 5 seed and defending national champion, defeated Notre Dame (No. 1 seed) in the finals 2-0 last year. Second round games will be played this weekend with the third round on Nov. 18-19. Quarterfinals are the following weekend, and the semifinals and finals are slated for the first weekend of December.

Second time around... Stanford and San Jose State will face off on Wednesday for the second time this season. On Sept. 24 in the Bay Area Soccer Classic at Spartan Stadium, the Cardinal came away with a 3-0 win as Marcia Wallis scored two goals and Brittany Oliveira added another. Marcie Ward and Kelsey Carlson each had two assists. Stanford leads the all time series 2-0, with the Cardinal winning the only other meeting 2-0 (1998).

Scoop on the Spartans...San Jose State enters the tournament with a 10-12-1 overall record (3-3-1 WAC), and is riding a three-game winning streak after going 3-0 in its conference tournament. The Spartans opened with a 2-0 win over UTEP, then upset No. 18 SMU 4-2 in the semifinals, and defeated Tulsa 3-1 for the title. Junior Brandy Apodaca and senior Julie Brum both have 16 points on six goals and four assists. The Spartans have four other players with 10 or more points as well.

The Nelson File... Head coach Andy Nelson is in his first season with the Cardinal after spending the past season at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to 1999, Nelson was head coach at Wellesley College (a Division III school in Pennsylvania) for five years. He has a career record of 93-34-10, including two first-time NCAA Tournament appearances for the University of Penn and Wellesley.

Wrappin' up the Pac...The Cardinal finished the Pacific-10 Conference season in fourth place with a 6-3-0 mark, while Washington (8-1-0) won the title. Cal and UCLA finished second and third, respectively, while USC rounded out the top five. Stanford closed out the Pac-10 season last weekend with wins over Oregon State (1-0) and Oregon (4-0).

Nothing beats home cookin'... The Cardinal has a perfect 8-0 record when playing at home this year on New Maloney Field. It opened the 2000 season with wins over Saint Mary's and Wisconsin before hosting the Stanford Nike Invitational, where it defeated Virginia and Maryland. The Cardinal came out a winner in its four home Pac-10 games against the Arizona and Oregon schools. Since New Maloney Field opened in 1997, the women's soccer team has a 26-8-2 (.750) record. The last time Stanford lost at home was a 2-1 overtime loss to California (10/29/99).

Record against tourney teams... The Cardinal has a 7-5 record against this year's College Cup teams. In the top half of the bracket (where Stanford was selected), the Cardinal is 4-3. If Stanford were to advance to the semifinals, it might have to go through top-ranked Notre Dame, Santa Clara and Cal. In the bottom half of the pairings, the Cardinal is 3-2, and all of those games are against Pac-10 opponents.

What's the scenario...The winner of the San Jose State-Stanford game would advance to Saturday's second-round game against No. 8 BYU. The Cougars received a first round bye and will host Saturday's match in Provo, Utah. As the Mountain West Conference Champions, BYU boasts an 18-3-1 overall record and went a perfect 6-0 in conference play. The Cougars have won 11 straight games and are also undefeated on their home field this season with a 7-0-1 mark. Their losses came to Washington (1-0), Portland (2-1 OT) and Marquette (2-1), all of which are tournament teams. Stanford is 2-2 all time against BYU, with the most recent meeting being a 6-1 Cougar win in the first round of the 1998 tournament.

History 101... Stanford is making its 10th appearance in the postseason and brings a 5-8-2 (.357) overall record into the first round of the 2000 Tournament. It has won three straight at New Maloney and is 5-1 all time at home with the most recent win being a 3-1 decision over Cal Poly (11/13/99). The Cardinal's best showing came in 1993 when it advanced to the semifinals before losing in penalty kicks to George Mason. Last year, Notre Dame eliminated Stanford in the third round with a 1-0 win in South Bend.

M & M: A potent offense...Forwards Marcie Ward and Marcia Wallis have combined for 65 points this season - nearly 50 percent of the Cardinal's offense. Between the two, they have 24 goals, 17 assists and 117 shots. Either Ward or Wallis has scored at least one goal in 11 of Stanford's 13 wins. The two players are first and second on the team in scoring, and tied for fourth in goals in the conference. Ward is this year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, while Wallis earned the honor in 1999.

Ward walking on water...With 38 points (12 goals, 14 assists), forward Marcie Ward had an outstanding freshman campaign as she led the team in scoring and broke the single-season assist record held by U.S. National Team member Julie Foudy. She recorded her 14th assist in a 4-0 win over Oregon, which broke Foudy's record of 13 set in 1992. After playing in just 19 games, Ward is beginning to show up in the career record books at Stanford. She is tied for eighth on the all-time assist list and is sixth on the single-season point list. Her 14 assists and 0.74 assists per game average both led the Pac-Marcie Ward (2 goals, 2 assists).

Sauer sweetens the defense... Junior defender Amy Sauer has been the anchor of Stanford's defense, which posted 10 shutouts while giving up 21 goals this year. A starter in 18 of the Cardinal's 19 games, Sauer has been consistent from the back line all season. She was selected the Most Valuable Player of the Stanford Nike Invitational and the Defensive Most Valuable Player at the Santa Clara Adidas Classic. She was also named to the Soccer America Team of the Week after scoring a game winner against Weber State. Sauer has three points on a goal and an assist.

Smolak solid between posts... Senior goalkeeper Carly Smolak is making her mark in the all-time record books on The Farm. She is second in minutes played (5990) as well as in saves (229). Her 26 shutouts (7 shared) rank third all-time, while her goals against average of 1.32 is good for sixth. In her final season with the Cardinal, Smolak broke personal records of saves (95) and shutouts (10). She was named the conference player of the week early in the season and was selected Most Valuable Goalkeeper of the Notre Dame Tournament.

Carlson cashes in...Sophomore midfielder Kelsey Carlson scored her first two goals of the season against the Arizona schools and added her third goal in as many games against USC. A starter in every game for the last two years, she is third on the team in scoring with 14 points while her eight assists are second on the squad. Carlson scored the game-winning goal against Arizona State and Arizona, while assisting on the game winner vs. Maryland. As a freshman last year, Carlson started in all 21 games and finished with 13 points on five goals and three assists. She has started in every game this season as well.

Fab frosh... Brittany Oliveira is having a solid first season, ranking third on the team with five goals. The forward/midfielder scored her first collegiate goal in a 3-0 win over UConn and had the game winner against Virginia for which she was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week. She also has three assists on the season and has seen considerable playing time as a rookie, appearing in 18 games and starting twice (against Oregon and Oregon State last weekend).

Streaky at times...Winners of six of the last eight games, the Cardinal is heating up at the right time as it brings a three-game winning streak into Wednesday's match. It opened the season with three straight wins before losing in overtime to Notre Dame. Then, the Cardinal picked up two wins before going a month without winning or losing more than two consecutive games. Over the next four weekends, Stanford would split with Santa Clara (L) and San Jose State (W) as well as with UW (L) and WSU (W). It went 1-0-1 at the Santa Clara Adidas Classic before dropping a Pac-10 game to Cal. The Cardinal would lose just one more time in conference play and ended up winning five of its last six games.

How the Cardinal stacks up...On the season, Stanford is 4-5-1 against opponents with a top 25 ranking. The wins came over then-No. 6 UConn, No. 15 Virgina, No. 23 Maryland and No. 15 USC, while the losses came to Notre Dame (No. 4), Santa Clara (No. 19), Washington (No. 9) Cal (No. 10) and UCLA (No. 8). Wake Forest (No. 17) and Stanford played to a tie.

Roller coaster in the polls... Stanford has been ranked as high as No. 5 in the NSCAA poll this year and as low as No. 20. The Cardinal began the season as the seventh-ranked team, dropped to 10th, but then moved up to No. 6 after defeating UConn and coming up just short against Notre Dame in overtime. Stanford earned its highest ranking (No. 5) of the year in the Sept. 18 poll after defeating two ranked teams in Virginia and Maryland. From there, the Cardinal dropped to No. 13 after Santa Clara came away with an upset win. When Stanford opened Pac-10 play with a loss to Washington, it dropped all the way to No. 20. It slowly moved up to 18 after defeating the Arizona schools and then up to 15 after upsetting USC. The Cardinal is currently ranked No. 16 in the NSCAA poll, No. 11 in Soccer America, and No. 12 in the Soccer Buzz poll.

Young guns... Two freshmen and a pair of sophomores lead the Cardinal in scoring this year. Freshman Marcie Ward (38 points) not only led the team in scoring, but was second in the Pac-10 as well. Sophomore Marcia Wallis (27 points) tied with Ward for the most goals while sophomore Kelsey Carlson (14 points) was second on the team with eight assists. Freshman Brittany Oliveira (13 points) made solid contributions as well. Of the seven freshmen on the roster, three of them started in all 19 games. Ward (forward), Natalie Spilger (defender) and Alisan Pabon (defender) didn't miss a start while Oliveira played in all but one match.

The ways of the road...With a perfect record at home, the Cardinal has seen all of its losses come on the road or at netural sites. Stanford has a 3-4-0 road record with wins over USC, Washington State and San Jose State. At neutral sites, or in tournament games, the Cardinal is 2-1-1 with wins over Connecticut and Weber State and a tie to Wake Forest. Conference games were tough on the road as well as opponents won three of Stanford's five Pac-10 road matches.

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