Sixth-ranked Stanford Travels To Santa Clara On Friday For Bay Area Showdown
Sept. 30, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The sixth-ranked and undefeated Stanford women's soccer team will play in its final non-conference match-up against Santa Clara at 7 p.m. on Friday night at the Mission Campus' Buck Shaw Stadium before beginning it's Pac-10 schedule at home against the Oregon schools on Oct. 10.
Cardinal Undefeated On The Season
The No. 6 Stanford women's soccer team remained undefeated with one tie at 9-0-1 after defeating Saint Mary's 3-0 on Sept. 26 in it's only match of the weekend. The Cardinal offense proved to be a triple-threat in the victory, as each of the three starting forwards notched a goal. Junior Kelley O'Hara (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill HS), along with scoring Stanford's second goal, earned the assist on the game-winner. Also, sophomore goalkeeper Kira Maker (Potomac, Md./Thomas S. Wootton) and the Cardinal defense picked up its seventh shutout of the year.
Putting Up Big Numbers
Stanford has outscored its opponents 29-3 so far this season and the goal-scoring is widely distributed amongst the roster with five players having multiple goals and three with a single tally. The Cardinal has also out shot its opponents 209-65 (116-15 on goal), averaging 20.9 (11.6 on goal) shots per game. Stanford has been scoring early on as well, putting in 19 of its 29 goals in the first half. On the national scale, the Cardinal is ranked in the top 10 of three and in the top 25 of one of the six team categories the NCAA keeps a record of in Division I competition, tying for 2nd in won-lost-tied percentage (0.95) and 6th in shutout percentage (0.7), and solely holding 3rd in goals-against-average (0.293), 16th in scoring offense (2.9 goals per game). Individually, Kira Maker checks in at 4th in goals-against-average with 0.293. Sophomore Christen Press (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Chadwick HS) (No. 36), Kelley O'Hara (No. 44), and freshman Lindsay Taylor (Los Altos, Calif./Castilleja School) (no. 92) cracked the top-100 in points-per-game with 1.8, 1.7, and 1.4 respectively, and goals per game (Press is ranked 40th with 0.7, and O'Hara and Taylor are tied at 75th with 0.6), while O'Hara also checked in at No. 49 in assists-per game with 0.5.
Stanford Players Earn National Recognition
Since Kelley O'Hara's Preseason All-American selection by Soccer America at the start of the year, Stanford has had two national and conference players of the week, and six different players 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 (Palo Alto, Calif/Palo Alto HS) 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). Lindsay Taylor was the second Cardinal freshman to receive Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season, and was also named the Soccer America and NSCAA National Player of the Week and to the Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer Buzz Collegiate Women's Teams 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). O'Hara and freshman Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif./Tarbut V'Torah) both earned team of the week honors for the week of 9/15-21, after helping the team capture the Santa Clara/adidas Classic title. O'Hara was selected to Top Drawer Soccer's team after she scored once in each game right before halftime (with one ending up to be the eventual game-winner) and earned one assist in victories over Yale (9/19) and Cal Poly (9/21). Levin, the tournament's MVP, was selected to Soccer America's team after earning a goal and an assist, and drawing the foul that led to Noyola's game-winning penalty kick early in the first half against the Mustangs. Most recently, senior Marisa Abegg (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge HS) was selected to Top Drawer Soccer's list for the week of 9/22-28 for her superb playmaking out of the back against Saint Mary's (9/26) in which she earned an assist on Taylor's game-winner.
Don't Blink ... Or You Might Miss A Stanford Goal
The Cardinal offense has been scoring often and early, and has scored at least one set of back-to-back goals within five minutes in half 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. Most recently, in a 4-1 victory over Yale (9/19) at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic, Camille Levin and Christen Press scored Stanford's third and fourth goals just 1:11 apart.
Hard To Beat
Stanford's back line of captains junior Ali Riley (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS), Marisa Abegg, and senior Allison Falk (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley HS), along with junior Alicia Jenkins (Diamond Springs, Calif./Union Mine HS) and Camille Levin (who have split time in the back) have made things easy for goalkeeper Kira Maker, who has only had to make 12 saves in 10 games, recording seven shutouts and a 0.293 goals-against-average.
Coming Through In The Clutch
Kelley O'Hara has turned out to be the Cardinal's clutch player as of late, scoring three important goals and earning two assists in the last three games. Each of her tallies has come within five minutes of the halftime whistle, effectively killing any momentum Stanford's opponents may have conjured in the first half. Against Yale on Sept. 19, O'Hara helped revive the Cardinal after it started flat and conceded the lead early in the first half, perfectly setting up sophomore Allison McCann's (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) first career and game-tying goal. O'Hara then got the eventual game-winner with 30 seconds left in the half, paving the way for Stanford to notch two more before it was all over. Two days later against Cal Poly, O'Hara finished off an excellent defense-to-offense transition play with 2:21 left to give the Cardinal a 2-0 lead heading into halftime of a 3-0 victory. Against Saint Mary's on Sept. 26, O'Hara capitalized on a loose ball in the Gaels' box with 38 seconds left to again give Stanford a 2-0 lead heading into the midpoint of a 3-0 triumph. O'Hara is also the one who scored the game-tying goal against then-ranked No. 5 North Carolina with 3:30 left in the game, forcing two overtime periods in which the Cardinal went on the offensive, firing six shots to the Tar Heels' two in the first extra segment.
New Kids On The Block
Of the 29 goals the Cardinal has recorded so far this year, freshmen Lindsay Taylor (6), Teresa Noyola (4), and Camille Levin (1) have contributed 11. Taylor, scored once in the season opener against Pacific (8/24), added another against No. 15 Boston College (8/31), and notched three goals at the Georgia/Nike Invitational (9/5-7). She tacked on her sixth goal (and third game-winner) against Saint Mary's on Sept. 26. The speedster is tied for second on the team in scoring with Kelley O'Hara and is third in points (14). Noyola has added two assists to her four goals for 10 points, good enough for fourth best on the team. Fellow newcomer Levin has helped the defense to a 0.30 goals-against-average so far and earned her first collegiate assist on Press' game-winner against UNC Greensboro (9/14). Levin tacked on another assist and scored her first collegiate goal at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic (9/19-21) and was named the tournament's MVP. Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair HS) has also contributed an assist, aiding Kristin Stannard's insurance goal against UNC Greensboro (9/14).
Scouting Santa Clara
Santa Clara heads into the match with a 18-7-5 all-time advantage over Stanford, but is currently having an off year by the Broncos' standards. Santa Clara is 3-6-2 and is unranked at the moment, but traditionally has been powerhouse in collegiate women's soccer and regardless of the rankings, is always a dangerous opponent. A healthy rivalry exists between the Cardinal and the Broncos and the match between the two Bay Area sides always seems to be hard-fought and extremely competitive, and will no doubt be a midseason test for both squads as they head into their respective conference schedules. For the team who wins, it will be an important victory, as Stanford will be playing to keep its record unblemished by a loss, while Santa Clara is fighting to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Currently, sophomore Kendra Perry is the Broncos' leading scorer with three goals and senior goalkeeper Megan McCray has seen the most action in net for Santa Clara, and has played valiantly to help keep her team in several games over the season. The last time the two teams met was last year at The Farm in a game that ended in a double-overtime 0-0 draw. The Cardinal out shot the Broncos 26-5 in the match.
Stanford remained at No. 6 in the NSCAA National Rankings this week despite a tie against fifth-ranked North Carolina, remaining undefeated on the season (one of only four teams in the top ten to have done so), and topping many of the conference statistical charts ... Upcoming Pac-10 contests against UCLA and USC will be important matches for the Cardinal, who will need to get positive results in order to move up in the rankings ... Stanford is the second-ranked selection in Soccer Times, Soccer America, and Soccer Buzz ... 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 returns 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 GoStanford.com 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 entered his sixth year at the helm of the Cardinal program in 2008. Ratcliffe has accumulated a 72-31-19 record on The Farm and ranks second in the Stanford history books in career wins (72), and needs 5 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.
Cardinal Women's Soccer On Stanford Athletics' You Tube
Each Tuesday, GoStanford.com will be posting a few highlights from the weekend's matches for Cardinal fans to view. Currently on Stanford Athletics' You Tube channel are goals from Christen Press, Teresa Noyola, and Lindsay Taylor, along with highlights from the North Carolina game, among others. Please visit http://www.youtube.com/stanfordathletics to catch up on the latest clips!
Lindsay Taylor's Winning Strike Against Saint Mary's
The Cardinal will begin the Pac-10 table on Oct. 10 with a set of home matches against the Oregon schools.