No. 4 Men's Soccer Prepares For Critical Homestand
This Week's Action
Fri., Oct. 26 vs. Oregon State (5-6-0)...7:30 p.m...Stanford, Calif.
Sun., Oct. 28 vs. No. 8 Washington (10-1-0)...2:30 p.m...Stanford, Calif.
Stanford enters this weekend's homestand having won two in a row after dropping its Pac-10 opener back on Oct. 14. The Cardinal (11-1-0 overall, 1-1-0 Pac-10) remained undefeated at home with a 4-0 shutout of rival California last Friday. Stanford erupted for three second half goals against the Golden Bears to claim the victory. The men followed that victory up by edging non-conference foe Santa Clara 1-0 two days later at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Cardinal will host a critical two-game homestand this weekend, beginning with Oregon State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. before Sunday's marquee matchup against defending Pac-10 champion Washington at 2:30 p.m.
Stanford in the Polls
The Cardinal, which has won eleven of their first twelve contests, climbed one spot in this week's NSCAA national poll to No. 4. Undefeated SMU continues to hold down the top spot in the poll, followed by Virginia, St. Louis, Stanford and St. John's. The Cardinal also moved up two spots in the Soccer America poll to No. 6, after previously being ranked No. 8.
Scouting the Beavers
Oregon State (5-6-0 overall, 1-1-0 Pac-10) rebounded nicely last weekend with a pair of victories after falling to Washington in its Pac-10 opener. The Beavers began the weekend by routing Western Washington 5-0 Friday at home, as junior Aaron McHardy came up with the first hat trick in six seasons for Oregon State. McHardy also dished out an assist in the win for the Beavers, who outshot the Vikings 26-16. The Beavers followed that triumph with a 1-0 shutout of visiting UCLA on Sunday afternoon, thanks to a score in the 41st minute by McHardy . The Beavers are now 5-2 in their last seven games and will play three of their next four contests away from Corvallis. Oregon State is guided by head coach Dana Taylor, who begins his third season at the helm. The overall series has been quite one-sided, with Stanford claiming a 10-1-2 advantage. The Cardinal swept both games last season, winning 2-1 on the road and edging the Beavers 4-3 in double overtime at Maloney Field.
Scounting the Huskies
The defending Pac-10 champions have been just as impressive this season, as the Huskies, who have not lost a match since Sept. 8, are 10-1-0 in 2001. Washington won its eighth-straight game and fourth in a row over UCLA last Friday in a 3-1 victory in front of 1,587 fans at Husky Soccer Field. The win was the widest margin of victory in the series since the Huskies shutout the Bruins 2-0 in 1998. Senior co-captain Ben Somoza gave Washington an early lead in the game when he converted a free kick at the 8:52 mark. UCLA scored in the 67th minute, but the Huskies answered back with the game-winner five minutes later and added an insurance goal late in the game. Washington is slated to face California before Sunday's much-anticipated matchup with the Cardinal, who are trailing in the all-time series by a 19-10 margin. Stanford fell to the Huskies 2-1 in last year's Pac-10 opener at Maloney Field, but avenged the loss with a 2-0 win later in the year in Seattle. The Cardinal outshot the Huskies in both of the games.
The Simon File
Head Coach Bret Simon begins his first season as head coach of the Stanford men. Simon, a 1980 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, came to The Farm in February of 2001 after serving as the men's head coach at Creighton University for the past six seasons. Simon guided Creighton to its most successful season in school history last year, as the Bluejays (22-4-0) earned a trip to the College Cup for the second time in five years before falling to Connecticut in the championship match. A four-time Coach of the Year honoree, Simon compiled a 96-26-9 overall record in six seasons at Creighton and his 96 wins are the most victories ever by a Bluejay soccer head coach. Simon also led the Bluejays to four Missouri Valley Conference championships, a pair of MVC regular-season titles and six NCAA Tournament appearances. The Cardinal head coach notched his 100th career victory earlier this season in Stanford's 3-1 victory against Cal State Fullerton in the adidas Cal Legacy Classic on Sept. 9.
Golden Bears Not So Golden
Stanford wasted little time getting back on the winning track following a 2-1 road loss to UCLA. The Cardinal torched rival California in fine fashion, routing the Golden Bears 4-0 in front of 2,212 fans at Maloney Field. Stanford outshot Cal 11-8 in the contest and received goals from Darren Fernandez, Todd Dunivant, Matt Janusz and Johanes Maliza. 24 Cardinal men played in the game, matching the season-high previously set against Dartmouth on Sept. 28.
Besting the Broncos
The Cardinal picked up its second consecutive victory of the week, traveling to Santa Clara and claiming a tough 1-0 win in front of 763 fans. The contest was tightly-played in the first half, with both teams combining for 13 fouls and 14 shots in the first 45 minutes. Roger Levesque's eighth goal of the season in the 70th minute proved to be the difference for the Cardinal, which upped its record to 11-1-0 and will play its next three games at home.
Enjoy Them While You Can
In a slight scheduling quirk, the Cardinal will be play their next three games at Maloney Field. With only six regular season contests remaining on the schedule, Stanford's upcoming matches against Oregon State, Washington and UCLA will be the final home dates unless the Cardinal hosts an NCAA Tournament game in late November.
A Case of Amnesia
While the Cardinal's 2-1 loss to UCLA on Oct. 14 was a bump in the road in what has been a spectacular season, the Cardinal was able to bounce back with two wins last week. Excluding season-ending playoff losses, Stanford has followed a loss up with a victory in nine of the last ten instances. The last time the Cardinal lost back-to-back games was during the 1997 season, when it lost five straight matches in the last five games of the season.
Can't Tie These Guys Down
Amazingly enough, all 12 games the Cardinal men have been involved in have ended in either a win or a loss. Only one of Stanford's 22 matches ended in a draw last year and the Cardinal were involved in three ties in 1999. Stanford played 18 consecutive games in 1998 before two straight ties to end the regular season. The 1978 campaign was the only season Stanford didn't play in a game which ended in a tie.
A First For Fernandez
Stanford freshman Darren Fernandez scored the first goal of his collegiate career in the Cardinal's 4-0 shutout of California on Oct. 19. The midfielder from Benoni, South Africa, scored the first goal of the match in the 27th minute and also tallied an assist in the victory. Fernandez, a crowd favorite, has played in nine games this season and has recorded one goal and two assists for a total of four points.
Getting In On The Action
Depth on the offensive side of the ball has been a key component of the Cardinal's season thus far . There have now been seven different instances in 2001 when at least three different Stanford men recorded at least one goal:
9-1-01 vs. Gonzaga: Matt Moses, Derek Shanahan, Roger Levesque
9-9-01 vs. Cal State Fullerton: Matt Janusz, Lee Morrison, Todd Dunivant
9-30-01 vs. Fresno State: Matt Janusz, Derek Shanahan, Lee Morrison
10-4-01 vs. San Jose State: Mike Wilson, Derek Shanahan, Aaron Maines, Lee Morrison
10-7-01 vs. Saint Mary's: Matt Janusz, Roger Levesque, Johanes Maliza
10-12-01 at San Francisco: Aaron Biddle, Johanes Maliza, Roger Levesque
10-19-01 vs. California: Darren Fernandez, Todd Dunivant, Matt Janusz, Johanes Maliza
Four Score and...
...the Cardinal are likely to win the match. Stanford's offense has been explosive in five home games at Maloney Field this year, as the Cardinal has scored four goals in each match. Stanford racked up back-to-back 4-0 shutouts against Dartmouth and Fresno State in the Stanford/Nike Invitational, and shutout California 4-0 last week. The men have also defeated San Jose State and Saint Mary's by 4-1 margins at home.
Second Place Sounds Good...For Now
Senior Lee Morrison continues to inch closer to becoming Stanford's all-time leader in career games started. The defender has now started in 78 consecutive career games since his freshman season, and is all alone in second place on the all-time list behind goalkeeper Adam Zapala.
1- Adam Zapala (1997-2000).....86
2- Lee Morrison (1998- ).....78
3- Ricky Goad (1990-1993).....74
Morrison is also currently tied for third place on the all-time career games played list (78). He would need to appear in the Cardinal's final six regular season games, as well as three postseason matches to claim either record.
Balanced Across The Board
12 games into the season, it's still somewhat difficult to pinpoint in what stage of the game the Cardinal is doing its most damage. The scoring is fairly balanced, with Stanford scoring 18 of its 33 goals in the second half of play. The Cardinal has recorded 86 shots in the first half, compared to 84 in the second 45 minutes. Stanford has also taken 38 corner kicks before halftime, as opposed to 39 in the second half. Fouls are just as even, with 71 being committed in the first half and 75 in the second. The mainstay has been Stanford's penchant to score first- the Cardinal are 9-0 when tallying the game's first goal.
Giving Out Minutes
One of first-year head coach Bret Simon's trademarks this season has been a willingness to get everyone involved in the game. 28 of the 29 players on the roster have played in at least one game, and a season-high 24 Cardinal men saw action in a game twice this year. Four freshmen- Darren Fernandez, Aaron Maines, Matt Janusz and James Twellman- have appeared in at least nine of the 12 games. Sophomore Mike Wilson was the only newcomer to play last season.
Levesque Leading The Charge
Junior Roger Levesque notched the first hat-trick of his career on Sept. 28 against Dartmouth. For his efforts, Levesque was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Sept. 24-Oct. 1 and was also selected to the Soccer America Team of the Week. The forward, who was fourth on the team in goals scored last season with seven, is leading the team in that category this season with eight. He is the team-leader in assists (6), points (22), shots (35) and shots on goal (17).
They Came, They Saw, They.....
The Cardinal continue to rewrite home attendance records, with last week's 4-0 win over California the latest entry. The crowd of 2,212 was the largest of the season to watch a game at Maloney Field, inlcuding women's matches. 1,773 fans were in attendance for this year's home opener on Sept. 28 against Dartmouth, compared to the 412 that witnessed last year's opener against San Francisco. The crowds were larger than both of last year's home NCAA Tournament matches (1,150 vs. Cal State Fullerton in the 1st Round) and (1,553 vs. Illinois-Chicago in the 2nd Round). However, last season's NCAA Quarterfinal contest against SMU played before 2,854 fans on a cool, damp evening in December remains the top draw in Cardinal soccer history.
Hermann Watch is in Effect
Senior Lee Morrison was announced as a men's candidate for the 2001 Hermann Trophy, college soccer's oldest and most prestigious player of the year award. Morrison was a finalist for the Hermann award last season and finished third in the voting for the Missouri Athletic Club in 2000. The 2000 All Pac-10 First Team selection started all 22 matches for the Cardinal men last season and helped anchor the nation's stingiest defense. Morrison, a Second Team NSCAA/adidas All-American, tallied three goals and four assists last year.
10/21 at Santa Clara: Morrison started the game at defender and while he failed to register any statistics, he helped preserve the seventh shutout of the season for the Cardinal.
10/19 vs. California: Morrison started the game at defender and while he didn't register any statistics, he was a force defensively in Stanford's 4-0 blanking of the Golden Bears.
Noteworthy: Morrison's consecutive games started streak is now at 78 games...Morrison made the All-Tournament Team at the adidas Cal Legacy Classic...2001 collegesoccer.com Preseason First Team All-American ... Morrison has recorded three goals and an assist for the Cardinal this year, and is tied for fifth on the team with seven points.