Stanford Travels To The Pacific Northwest For A Set Of Pac-10 Matches
Oct. 14, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford women's soccer team continues its undefeated campaign with two games in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, taking on Washington Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. and No. 24 Washington State Sunday, Oct. 19 at noon. The Cardinal will need to bring its A-game to battle against two tough Pac-10 opponents and possibly inclement weather to keep its record unblemished by a loss as the regular season heads down the home stretch.
Cardinal Undefeated On The Season
The fifth-ranked Stanford women's soccer team cruised to victory in its first two Pac-10 matches, dispatching both Oregon (10/10) and Oregon State (10/12) 3-0 at The Farm. Junior Kristin Stannard (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill HS) and freshmen Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif./Tarbut V'Torah) each recorded two-goal games. Stannard scored the game-winner as well as the second goal against the Ducks, while Levin recorded the final two goals against the Beavers. Levin also assisted on Stannard's second goal in the Oregon game. Sophomore Morgan Redman (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central HS) found the net for her second goal of the season on Friday, while freshman Lindsay Taylor (Los Altos, Calif./Castilleja School) scored her conference-leading tenth goal and fifth-game winner on Sunday. Kira Maker (Potomac, Md./Thomas S. Wooton HS) made yet another huge save when the occasion arose against Oregon State to preserve the team's tenth shutout. The Cardinal boast an undefeated record of 12-0-1, with its only tie coming against then fifth-ranked North Carolina (9/12).
The Huskies (9-4-0) started out hot, winning seven straight games and outscoring their opponents 16-3 to open the season before suffering their first loss at the hands of Illinois, 3-0, in Champaign, Ill. Washington is currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak, falling in two overtime heartbreakers to third-ranked Portland, 1-0 (10/3), and then fifth-ranked USC 3-2 (10/10), before getting crushed 4-0 at fourth-ranked UCLA (10/12). Junior Veronica Perez has been the Huskies' dominant force, racking up eight goals and four assists, while senior Melissa Beal posts five goals and junior Alex Kirk has five assists with two goals. Junior goalkeeper Alex Phillips has four shutouts in 12 games and sports a 1.00 GAA and 8-3-1 record.
Scouting Washington State
No. 24 Washington State heads into the weekend with a 6-3-4 record and is coming off a tie and a loss after also spending the weekend on the road in Los Angeles. Last Friday, the Cougars gave fourth-ranked UCLA a scare, taking the early 1-0 lead in the fourth minute and holding on to the lead for most of the game. Playing with much desperation, UCLA tied it up with 57 seconds left, forcing the game to overtime. The Bruins then spoiled Washington State's evening by scoring the go-ahead goal in the second overtime to end the game. The result didn't deter the Cougars though, who stepped on then fifth-ranked USC's campus a day and a half later and played them to a nil-nil double-overtime draw. Junior Elysse Van Leer leads the offense with five goals and one assist, while junior Kiersten Dallstream has earned three goals and assists apiece. Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsay Parlee has played in 12 games and brings three shutouts, nine goals against, a 0.81 GAA, and .870 save percentage to the weekend.
In The Rankings
Stanford resumed its position in the top five in the NSCAA national rankings, checking in at No. 5 after spending 29 days at No. 6, despite having the NCAA's second-best won-lost-tied percentage throughout the month and remaining one of the few unbeaten teams in the top 25. Stanford has been consistently noted as the second-best team in the country on three of the other national polls and has been making its mark on the NCAA and Pac-10 statistical charts.In all NCAA Division I competition, the Cardinal is ranked in the top 25 of all five team categories, holding second place in both won-lost-tied percentage (0.962) and goals-against-average (0.227), third in shutout percentage (0.769), 25th in save percentage (0.864), and is tied for eighth in scoring offense (3.08 goals-per-game) with Pac-10 rival Southern California. Individually, Kira Maker ranks second in the country with a GAA of 0.232. Lindsay Taylor is tied for 21st in goals-per-game with 0.769 and junior Kelley O'Hara (Fayettevile, Ga./Starr's Mill HS) is tied for the 18th best assists-per-game stat with 0.62.On the Pac-10 side of things, Stanford leads the conference in points (121), goals (40), goals-per-game (3.08), assists (41), and assists-per-game (3.15), is second in goals allowed (3), GAA (0.23), and shutouts (10), and third in shots (259). Individually, along with Taylor leading in goals and game-winning strikes, sophomore Christen Press (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Chadwick HS) and Taylor share the top spot in points (22), while Press is tied for the lead in shots (54). O'Hara has the league-leading assists mark (8) and is fourth in points (20) Maker is second in GAA only to UCLA's Ashley Thompson, who has allowed one fewer goal in the same amount of games (13), and leads the conference with 8 shutouts.
Stanford Players Earn National Recognition
The Cardinal has had two national and Pac-10 players of the week, and seven different players named to a national team of the week this season. 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). Taylor again earned national honors, being selected to Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America's teams after scoring her first career hat trick in a 5-0 win over Santa Clara (10/3).Kelley O'Hara, a Soccer America Preseason All-American, and Camille Levin 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 for scoring once in each game right before halftime (with one counting as the 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.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.Most recently, Kristin Stannard was named to Top Drawer's squad for the week of 10/6-12 for her two-goal performance against Oregon.
Stanford has outscored its opponents 40-3 so far this season and the scoring is widely distributed amongst the roster with seven players having multiple goals and one with a single tally. The Cardinal has also out shot its opponents 259-78 (143-22 on goal), averaging 19.9 (11 on goal) shots per game. The three starting top-liners and Morgan Redman have been responsible for 26 goals, and when defenses are trying to shut them down, the midfield has stepped up and knocked in 13 of their own. Three midfielders, Camille Levin, Kristin Stannard and Teresa Noyola, have all recorded multi-goal performances in a single game. Forwards sophomore Christen Press and Lindsay Taylor have also accomplished the feat, with Taylor putting in multiple goals on two separate occasions.
The Cardinal offense has been scoring often and early, putting in 24 of its 40 goals in the first half and scoring at least one set of back-to-back goals within five minutes in seven of its 13 games this season. Against Pacific (8/24), Stanford recorded 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 notched 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 posted both of its goals in the 16th and 21st minutes to win the game. 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. Against Santa Clara (10/3), Press put in the Cardinal's third goal of the game just under five minutes into the second half, and four minutes later Lindsay Taylor completed her hat trick with Stanford's fourth goal. Most recently, against Oregon State, Levin helped put the Beavers away early, scoring the team's second goal at 12:14, just 2:44 after Taylor's eventual game-winner.
Rock Solid Defense
Stanford's back line of captains junior Ali Riley (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS), Marissa 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 relatively easy for goalkeeper Kira Maker, who has only had to make 18 saves in 13 games, recording eight shutouts and a 0.232 GAA. Maker, despite idling in the back for most games, has had to step up and make game-changing big saves in games against Santa Clara (10/3) and Oregon State (10/12).
Of the 40 goals the Cardinal has recorded so far this year, freshmen Lindsay Taylor (10), Teresa Noyola (4), and Camille Levin (3) have contributed 17. 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 against Saint Mary's (9/26), and recorded her first career hat trick against Santa Clara (10/3) before adding her tenth against Oregon State. Noyola has added four assists to her four goals for 12 points, good enough for fourth best on the team. Fellow newcomer Levin has helped the stingy defense to a 0.227 GAA so far and has earned a pair of assists to go with her three goals. Shira Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair HS) has also contributed two assists, aiding Kristin Stannard's insurance goal against UNC Greensboro (9/14) and Morgan Redman's second goal of the season against Oregon (10/10).
O'Hara A Double-Edged Sword
Kelley O'Hara, last season's leading scorer with nine goals, has turned out to be the Cardinal's main setup gal this season and has a team-leading eight assists, while also scoring six goals of her own, and has scored four goals and notched five assists in the last eight games. Three of her four goals have come within the important five minute periods both at the beginning or end of a half, and each time increased her team's momentum in the game. Against Yale (9/19), 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 (9/26), 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. In a 5-0 defeat of Santa Clara (10/3) O'Hara assisted on Christen Press' goal and provided the through ball to Lindsay Taylor for her third goal of the game. 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 (9/12).
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 returned 18 letterwinners this season, seven of which were starters from last season's roster, and added seven newcomers that made 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 75-31-19 record on The Farm and ranks second in the Stanford history books in career wins (75), and needs 2 more wins to tie Berhane Andeberhan, the current leader. 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.
Stanford's Pac-10 and regular season finale against No. 18 California on Nov. 8, which was originally scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in Berkeley, has been moved up an hour and will now begin at 2 p.m. The Golden Bears' Edwards Stadium is not equipped with lights and the decision was made to move the game up an hour so that the game could be completed in ample daylight, should it need to go to double-overtime.
Stanford will return home from Washington to prepare for its final two home games of the regular season, taking on Arizona on Friday, October 24 and Arizona State on Sunday, October 26. Following those two games, the Cardinal will face a tough challenge, playing No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 USC, and No. 18 California all on the road to finish out the regular season. All five games are must-wins for Stanford if it hopes to have a chance to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, set to take place 11/14-16, and increase its position on the national rankings.