No. 3 Stanford Hosts No. 5 North Carolina, No. 15 Santa Clara, and UNC Greensboro in Stanford/Nike Invitational

Sept. 9, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 3 Stanford women's soccer team will face No. 3 North Carolina and UNC Greensboro as part of the Stanford/Nike Invitational at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium this weekend. The Cardinal take on the Tar Heels Friday at 7 p.m. and the Spartans Sunday at 2:30 p.m. 

Cardinal Undefeated On The Season
The No. 3 Stanford women's soccer team remained undefeated at 5-0-0 following a successful weekend at the Georgia/Nike Invitational in Athens, Ga., the team's first road trip of the year.  The Cardinal defeated Auburn 3-0 on Friday (9/5) with three second half goals.  Sophomore Christen Press (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Chadwick HS) notched her fourth of the year for the game winner, while classmate Morgan Redman (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central HS) added her first of the season and freshman Lindsay Taylor (Los Altos, Calif./Castilleja School) scored one of her own and assisted on Redman's tally.  In Sunday's tournament finale (9/7), Taylor did all the damage in a 2-0 victory over host No. 22 Georgia, scoring two goals with a helping hand from Press on the first score in a five minute span in the first half.

Putting Up Big Numbers
Stanford has outscored its opponents 16-1 so far this season, posts a resepctful .151 shot percentage, holds a stingy 0.20 goals-against-average and has earned four shutouts.  The Cardinal has also outshot its opponents 106-27 (63-5 on goal), averaging 21.2 (12.6 on goal) shots a game.  The last time Stanford has scored 16 or more goals in the first five games of the season was in 1994, when the Cardinal notched 18 goals in victories over San Diego State (2-1), Hartford (1-0), Yale (9-0), Santa Clara (3-1), and Pacific (3-1).  The last time the Cardinal gave up one goal or less in the first five games was in 2002, when the team shuout Santa Clara (3-0), Texas A&M (1-0), Texas (1-0), Oklahoma (4-0), and gave up one to St. mary's in a 3-1 win.

And...Raking In The Honors
Stanford started the season with junior Kelley O'Hara (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill HS) being selected as a Preseason All-American by Soccer America, and each week the Cardinal has played, at least one player has been named to a national team of the week.  Christen Press was named the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week and to the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week following Stanford's home opener against Pacific (8/24) in which she scored twice and added an assist in a span of four minutes.  Freshman Teresa Noyola earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors and was selected to both the Soccer America and Soccer Buzz teams of the week for a three-goal performance in which she scored twice against Navy (8/29) and once against No. 15 Boston College (8/31).  Most recently, Lindsay Taylor was the second consecutive Cardinal freshman to receive Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season, and was also named the Soccer America National Player of the Week and to the Top Drawer Soccer Collegiate Women's Team of the Week for her play during the week of Sept. 1-7.  She tore through the Georgia/Nike Invitational, scoring once and adding an assist against Auburn (9/5) and scoring both Stanford goals in a 2-0 defeat of host No. 22 Georgia (9/7).

Stanford Blitzkrieg
The Cardinal offense has been scoring often and ealy, and has scored at least one set of back-to-back goals within five minutes in four of its games this season.  Against Pacific (8/24), Stanford scored all five of its goals in the shutout victory in a 19 minute segment in the first half.  One week later, the Cardinal scored two of its three goals in a 2-0 victory over No. 15 Boston College (8/31) in the 4th and 8th minutes.  At the Georgia/Nike Invitational, Stanford scored its final two goals in a 3-0 defeat of Auburn (9/5) just one minute and seven seconds apart, while against No. 22 Georgia (9/7), the Cardinal notched both of its goals in the 16th and 21st minutes to win the game.

Solid Defense

Stanford's back line of captains junior Ali Riley (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS), Marisa Abegg (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge), and Allison Falk (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley HS), along with junior Alicia Jenkins (Diamond Springs, Calif./Union Mine HS) and freshman Camille Levin (who have split time in the back) have made things easy for sophomore goalkeeper Kira Maker (Potomac, Md./Thomas S. Wootton HS), who has only had to  make four saves in five games, recording four shuouts and a 0.20 goals-against-average.

New Kids On The Block
Of the 16 goals Stanford has recorded so far this year, freshmen Lindsay Taylor (5) and Teresa Noyola (3) have contributed eight. Taylor, this week's Pac-10 Player of the Week, scored three goals at the Georgia/Nike Invitational.  The speedster leads the team in goals (5) and points (12).  Noyola was last week's Pac-10 Player of the Week, and has added one assist to her three goals for seven points, good enough for a tie for third on the team with Kelley O'Hara.  Fellow rookie Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif./Tabut V' Torah) has helped the defense to a 0.20 goals-against-average so far and checks in at fifth in most minutes played for the Cardinal.

Sister Act
Freshman midfielder Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair HS) will be squaring off agianst her sister, Yael, a senior defender for North Carolina in Friday's game. Shira has been coming off the bench for the Cardinal in her rookie campaign to provide solid minutes in the middle of the field, while Yael has one goal and three assists as a starter for the Tar Heels.  The sisters are well known for their ability to pummel goalkeepers with a hard, long range shot.

Scouting No. 5 North Carolina
The Tar Heels, one of the most storied programs in NCAA Women's Soccer with 18 national titles in 26 years of the championship existing, comes into the Stanford/Nike Invitational with a 4-1-0 record.  UNC suffered its only loss at the hands of No. 2 Notre Dame, who defeated the Heels 1-0 in their own tournament last weekend (9/5).  UNC has beaten two top-25 teams so far this season, No. 10 Texas A&M (3-2) and No. 23 Tennessee (1-0), each by one goal.  The Heels last played Kentucky on Sunday (9/7), who they crushed 4-0.  The last time the Cardinal faced North Carolina was in 2005 in San Francisco at the USF Tournament.  Stanford has never defeated the Tar Heels and posts a 0-7-1 record against them.

Scouting UNC Greensboro
The Spartans head to California with a 4-2-0 record and are coming off two wins at North Carolina State's tournament.  Two of their wins this season have been by three goals, including a 6-3 win over George Mason at home (8/29) and a 4-1 defeat of Stetson (9/5) at NC State last weekend.  UNCG's offense is led by Kristin Player, who has the team high in goals (4) and points (10).  Five other players have two goals each.  The Spartans have conceded 10 goals in six games and narrowly fell to No. 12 Duke, 1-0 in Durham, N.C. (8/31).  Sunday's match will be the first ever matchup between the two teams.

Cardinal Notes
Stanford moved up four places to a tie for No. 3 with USC in the NSCAA National Rankings, earning 694 points in the poll ... The Cardinal was selected as the preseason favorite to take the Pac-10 title in the conference coaches' poll, ahead of 2007 National Champion USC and College Cup participant UCLA ... Stanford is returning 18 letterwinners, seven of which were starters from last season's roster, and add seven newcomers that make up the No. 6 ranked Soccer Buzz recruiting class ... every home Cardinal soccer game this season will be webcast live on All-Access, providing there is no TV conflict, and as always, live stats will be available on CBS College Sports' GameTracker.

Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe
Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe enters his sixth year at the helm of the Cardinal program in 2008. Ratcliffe has accumulated a 68-31-15 record on The Farm and ranks second in the Stanford history books in career wins (68), and needs 9 more wins to tie Berhane Andeberhan. Ratcliffe has piloted the Cardinal to an NCAA Tournament appearance each year he has been in charge, capped off by two consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2006 and 2007.

Get There Early!

Fans are advised to arrive early both days at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, as only the first 1,500 to arrive will be admitted to the seating area, while any additional attendees will be directed to the standing room only area along the south goal line.  The north goal line area will be fenced off because of parking safety concerns.  Tickets, which are good for both matches on a single day, are available at the Stanford ticket office adjacent to Stanford Stadium, online at, or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.

Busy Weekend On The Farm
The Stanford athletic campus will be bustling this weekend as the No. 7 Cardinal volleyball team will be hosting its own tournament from Thursday, Sept. 11 - Saturday, Sept. 13 at Maples Pavilion.  Due to construction affecting part of the Maples lot and all of the Serra lot located next to Maples Pavilion, fans attending Friday's soccer matches are being advised to park in Varsity lot off Nelson Drive between Stanford Stadium, Klein Field at Sunken Diamond and Cagan Stadium.  Additional parking will be available in the grove between El Camino Real and Stanford Stadium, the Track House lot, and Galvez Field.  For a complete map of parking, please visit

Looking Ahead
Stanford will remain in the Bay Area following this weekend's tournament, traveling south to Santa Clara University to take part in the Santa Clara/adidas Classic at Buck Shaw Stadium.  The Cardinal will play Yale at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19 in the first game of the day's doubleheader and Cal Poly at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21.

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