Conference Bye Offers No Break
Oct. 21, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
The Stretch Run
At the midway point of the Pacific-10 season, Stanford heads into its final nonconference match before closing out conference play with five more matches. Stanford has won only one of its past eight contests, including one draw and six one-goal losses.
The Cardinal (1-3-1) is tied for fifth in the six-team Pac-10 with four points, with Washington and UCLA on top with 10 apiece. The most Stanford can hope for is 19 points (three for a win, one for a draw). But the Cardinal still can conceivably earn an NCAA berth by earning a share of the Pac-10 title, accomplished by winning its remaining conference matches and hoping the leaders drop at least two each. Or, with an at-large berth, possible with a second-place conference finish and a winning overall record, which would be enhanced with a victory over New Mexico.
Though a postseason longshot at this point, Stanford still has something to play for, but must improve its goal production. At 0.67 goals per match, the Cardinal stands at No. 182 in scoring among 204 NCAA Division I schools.
On the Air
The Stanford-New Mexico match can be seen live on streaming video at golobos.com, but on a pay-per-view basis. Click on Lobos All-Access.
Stats can be followed live on gostanford.com's Gametracker. The link can be found on the men's soccer home page.
Stanford is in the midst of playing only one Pac-10 match in a stretch of 18 days, the exception being its match against Cal on Saturday. The Cardinal resumes Pac-10 competition Oct. 31 at San Diego State and completes its Southern California swing at UCLA on Nov. 2.
Stanford's 1-0 loss to visiting Cal on Saturday was another in a series of late losses that have plagued the Cardinal. Six of Stanford's seven losses have come by one goal, all scored in the second half or later to break a tie. However, Stanford has managed to outscore opponents, 5-4, in the second half, registering an 82-61 shot advantage during that period.
In Search of ... Goals
Stanford has allowed only 12 goals this season, placing the Cardinal among the national leaders on defensr. but has scored only eight, among the fewest in the country.
However, Stanford's offense is comparable in other statistical categories. The Cardinal has only been outshot overall 152-146, and has more corner kicks (50-47) than its opponents. Stanford also has more corner kicks, by a 31-25 margin, in the second half and overtime.
After beating UCLA a week earlier, Stanford was unable to carry the momentum of that victory against visiting Cal in a 1-0 loss on Saturday. In the first half, Stanford goalkeeper John Moore stifled several Cal scoring opportunities, playing perhaps his best overall match of the season, while earning a career-high nine saves.
However, Stanford never seriously threatened Cal goalkeeper Stefan Frei and the match remained scoreless heading into overtime. Cal broke the tie in the 92nd minute on a tap-in by Servando Carrasco.
Stanford is 0-2 in overtime matches this season, and the loss was its first at home against Cal since 2005.
Scouting New Mexico
The Lobos streak of four consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles is in jeopardy following their 2-1 loss at Nevada-Las Vegas on Friday night. UNLV scored two second-half goals one minute apart to take an insurmountable 2-0 lead. The loss dropped New Mexico into a second-place tie with UNLV at 3-2 (6-5-2 overall), trailing Denver at 5-0.
The loss broke a season-long three-match winning streak. New Mexico has typically gotten off to strong starts, outscoring opponents 11-3 in the first half.
Seven players have scored at least two goals, with Sacramento native Chris Wright, a senior forward, leading the way with four. In comparison, only two Stanford players have scored more than one goal.
The Stanford-New Mexico Series
The teams have played only once before, with Stanford winning 3-2 in Albuquerque on Sept. 7, 1992. Stanford's Jason Vanacour, who would go on to earn first-team All-MPSF honors before embarking on a seven-year pro indoor career, scored twice in the game, including the winner.
Stanford vs. Top 25
Last week's match against Cal (No. 9 NSCAA, No. 15 Soccer America) was Stanford's second against a team currently among the top 25 in the two major rankings. The Cardinal is 0-2. The other was a 1-0 loss to Creighton (No. 3 NSCAA, No. 2 Soccer America) on Sept. 19. Stanford is 1-2 against Santa Clara, SMU and UCLA -- teams ranked in the preseason.
Moore Among National Leaders
Stanford junior goalkeeper John Moore is ranked No. 53 in the nation in saves percentage at .803, after making 53 saves with 12 goals allowed. Moore, who has played every minute of the season so far, is No. 62 in goals-against average (0.96) and No. 78 in saves (4.08).
Stanford has exceeded 1,000 in attendance three times this season, more than all of 2007 and matching the total of 2006.
Six Cardinal players have started every match this season: defender Ryan Imamura, defender Tim Jones, goalkeeper John Moore, midfielder/forward Tom Montgomery, defender-midfielder Ryan Thomas, and forward Bobby Warshaw.
Sophomore forward Bobby Warshaw leads the team in scoring, with three goals. They have come against Cornell, USF and Oregon State (penalty kick).
Bobby Warshaw leads the team in shots, with 32, getting 12 on goal, with three scores.
Tom Montgomery leads the team with 13 shots on goal, and has 30 shots overall and two goals.
Senior defender Tim Jones extended his streak of consecutive starts to 58, dating back to the ninth match of his freshman season.
Stanford went 3-2 over the last half of the 2007 Pac-10 season and is 5-4-1 over the past two years in the second halves.
Coach Bret Simon's career victory total stands at 246, which places him at No. 21 among active Division I coaches, and No. 52 all-time. No one who has ever coached at Stanford has more.
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. There have been 54 winning seasons, compared to 28 losing seasons.
The Last Time ...
... a Stanford player registered a hat trick was Nov. 25, 2001 when Matt Janusz scored every Cardinal goal in a 3-1 victory over Santa Clara.
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