Stanford Faces Crucial Pac-10 Stretch

Oct. 7, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford Soccer Teams Join for Homecoming Doubleheaders

The Stanford men's and women's soccer teams combine for a pair of Pacific-10 Conference doubleheaders, on Friday and Sunday. The men opens Stanford's homecoming weekend with a 4:30 p.m. match against San Diego State, followed by the women against Oregon at 7 p.m. Both are conference home openers.

On Sunday, the Stanford women open with a noon match against Oregon State, followed by a men's showdown between the Cardinal and UCLA at 2:30 p.m.

On the Air

Both Stanford's men's matches this weekend can be seen and heard live, on streaming video and on Internet-only broadcasts.

• The free webcasts can be found on

• The broadcast on KZSU-2, the Stanford radio station's Internet-only site, can be found at

• Stats can be followed live on's Gametracker. The link can be found on the men's soccer home page.

Important Stretch Approaches

Despite ending its four-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Oregon State on Sunday, the Cardinal's five-match winless streak continues. However, Stanford can jump into the Pac-10 race with good showings over the weekend. Stanford's consecutive losses were each by one goal, with each winner scored in the second half. Each match has been even and hard fought, but Stanford has had trouble putting the ball in the net, with only one multi-goal performance thus far.

Last Week

The Cardinal opened Pac-10 play with a Northwest trip, going 0-1-1. Stanford surrendered a 77th-minute goal on a rainy Seattle Friday night to lose to Washington, 1-0. On Sunday, Bobby Warshaw converted a 34th-minute penalty kick to even the score in what ended as a 1-1 double-overtime draw at Oregon State.

Scouting San Diego State

The Aztecs are mired in a four-match winless streak, though they salvaged a 3-3 draw at UCLA on Sunday despite playing shorthanded the final 37 minutes and two down for the final 12 because of ejections. The red cards mean freshman Daniel Steres and junior Jamal Wallace are automatically suspended for the Stanford match. Five players have at least two goals, with Steres, Joe Corona and Matt McManus tied for the team lead with three apiece. McManus, who scored two goals within a four-minute span against UCLA, is the current Pac-10 player of the week. Lev Kirshner is in his eighth season at San Diego State, having formerly coached at Mountain View High as well as his alma mater, Mission San Jose High in Fremont.

The Stanford-San Diego State Series

The teams split last season with each squad winning at home. The Aztecs handed Stanford its first conference loss last season, 2-0, during a stretch of four consecutive scoreless performances by the Cardinal. Stanford, however, got two goals from Kyle Hency to beat the Aztecs at home, 3-0, in the second meeting. San Diego State leads, 7-4-5, in a series that began in 1976. The programs have shared conference affiliation since 2005, going 2-2-2 against each other since.

Scouting UCLA

UCLA began the season ranked No. 14 by the NSCAA, but dropped out of the rankings after winning only one of its first four matches. All three losses came against top-20 teams. Since then, the Bruins have embarked on a five-match unbeaten streak, with a current string of four consecutive draws. The two extra 10-minute time periods each match mean UCLA has played 80 additional minutes in the past two weeks and 107 minutes in six overtime matches altogether. The Bruins' leading scorers for the past two years -- Maxwell Griffin and David Estrada -- have had differing success this season. Griffin, who scored nine goals in 2007, has five already, one off the conference lead. Estrada, a freshman sensation in 2006 with 12 goals out of Alisal High in Salinas, has one so far.

The Stanford-UCLA Series

Stanford broke UCLA's 15-match unbeaten streak last year during a 2-1 victory Nov. 2 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, in their most recent meeting. Bobby Warshaw opened the scoring for the Cardinal by knocking in a deflected shot in the 43rd minute. Stanford actually holds a four-match unbeaten streak in the series, going 1-0-3 over the past two years. That is surprising because UCLA holds a 34-3-7 all-time series lead, the most one-sided series of any involving the Cardinal. Stanford's triumphs came in 1987, 2000, and 2007, all at home. Their most notable meeting came in 2002, with Stanford losing to the Bruins in the NCAA final in Dallas, 1-0.

Defense, Moore Among Conference Leaders

Stanford is second in the Pac-10 in goals-against average and goals allowed. The defense has allowed more than one goal only twice this season, and has given up only nine altogether. The goals-against average of 0.95 ranks the Cardinal No. 62 in the country.

Goalkeeper John Moore is No. 2 in the Pac-10 in goals-against average (0.95), among those with enough minutes, and save percentage (0.77).

Quick Strikes

• Seniors Ryan Imamura. Tim Jones, and goalkeeper John Moore have started every match in defense. Sophomore Ryan Thomas also has nine starts, mostly in defense, but also in midfield. Kevin Huang (five), Shaun Culver (three) and Tommy Ryan (one) have earned the remainder of the defensive starts.

• Stanford has been without senior co-captains T.J. Novak (the past three games) and Evan Morgan (all season) with injuries. Both hope to return in the coming weeks.

• Sophomore forward Bobby Warshaw scored his team-leading third goal of the year against Oregon State, giving him eight for his career. The rest of the team has combined for 17 collegiate goals.

• Senior defender Tim Jones extended his streak of consecutive starts to 55, dating back to the ninth match of his freshman season.

• Shaun Culver returned to the starting lineup in central defense against Oregon State and performed well in his first start since since the season's opening two contests.

• Goalkeeper John Moore, a recent Pac-10 player of the week, has played every minute of the season. He made a crucial save against Oregon State in overtime, diving backward to deflect a ball that appeared to be dropping behind him, preserving the draw.

• Redshirt freshman midfielder Garrett Gunther earned his first two collegiate starts on the Northwest trip.

• True freshman forward Cullen Wilson is getting an opportunity to show what he can do. Wilson, who has one goal this year, has come off the bench the past two matches, allowing Tom Montgomery to return to midfield.

• Coach Bret Simon's career victory total stands at 245, which places him at No. 21 among active Division I coaches, and No. 52 all-time.

• Men's soccer is in its 95th season as a varsity sport at Stanford. The team has reached the NCAA tournament 10 times and the NCAA final twice.

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