Stanford to Play Home Opener Sunday

Aug. 26, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - Coming off a 6-2 season-opening victory at Hawaii on Sunday, the No. 4 Stanford women's soccer team resumes its nonconference season with a match at Cal Poly on Friday night, followed by the Cardinal's home opener on Sunday afternoon against San Diego State. Despite the convincing victory, Stanford dropped two spots in the NSCAA coaches' poll, though it remains No. 2 in the Soccer America and Soccer Times rankings.

On the Air
There will be no live stats or streaming video for the Cal Poly match. However, there will be live stats and a webcast for the San Diego State match. Both the Gametracker live stats and webcast links can be found at, on the Calendar of Events on the home page or on the schedule on the women's soccer home page.

Friday's Opponent: Cal Poly
Cal Poly is coming off a 10-9-1 season and a third-place finish in the Big West Conference. The Mustangs are predicted to finish third once again, in a poll of conference coaches. Morgan Miller, a junior forward from La Selva Beach in Santa Cruz County, tied for the team's goal-scoring lead last season with five, and is one of four returning starters. This will be Cal Poly's season opener, which will be played at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

The Cal Poly Series
This will be the seventh matchup in the series, with Stanford holding a 6-0 lead. Three meetings came in the NCAA Tournament, with two (2002, 2004) in the first round and one (1999) in the second. Stanford outscored the Mustangs 9-1 in NCAA play and holds 19-1 scoring advantage in all games, including a 3-0 win at the Santa Clara tournament last season. This will be Stanford's first trip to San Luis Obispo.

Sunday's Opponent: San Diego State
San Diego State is 1-1 after a season-opening 1-0 victory over Fresno State and a 3-1 loss to Cal State Northridge, both at home. The Aztecs return nine starters from a 6-10-3 team and were predicted to finish fourth in the Mountain West Conference by coaches. The Aztecs are led by junior midfielder Cat Walker, a 2008 first-team All-MWC selection.

The San Diego State Series
Stanford is 6-0-1 against San Diego State with five of the contests decided by a goal or less. The Aztecs played Stanford's NCAA semifinal team to a 0-0 draw in 1993, but lost 4-0 in their most recent meeting, at Stanford in 2006.

Last Week
Stanford opened its 25th season with a 6-2 victory at Hawaii on Sunday, getting two goals apiece from forwards Kelley O'Hara and Christen Press, who also had an assist. Coach Paul Ratcliffe started two freshmen, central defender Alina Garciamendez and right outside back Rachel Quon. In addition, Courtney Verloo came off the bench and had a goal and two assists in her collegiate debut. Six freshmen received their first collegiate action for the Cardinal.

Pac-10 Player of the Week
Stanford junior forward Christen Press earned the first Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week honor of the season after her two-goal, one-assist performance in a 6-2 victory at Hawaii on Sunday. Press split the defense with a pass that found Kelley O'Hara on a fifth-minute breakaway to open the scoring. After Hawaii closed within 3-1, Press scored twice during a Stanford three-goal flurry in a five-minute span to open up a 6-1 lead in the second half. Press moved up to No. 9 on the school's all-time goal-scoring list with 26, passing Natalie Spilger (2000-03, 25 goals). Her assist moved her into a tie with Kelsey Carlson (1999-2001) for No. 8 on Stanford's career list, with 18.

O'Hara Moves Up
Kelley O'Hara's two goals Sunday allowed the senior forward to move up to No. 6 on Stanford's all-time scoring list (85 points) and to No. 7 in career goals (33), passing Jennifer Rowland (82) and Carmel Murphy (32), respectively. Sarah Rafanelli (1990-93) leads both lists with 152 points and 59 goals.

Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Defender Ali Riley and forward Kelley O'Hara each were among 30 candidates selected for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which honors one senior in each collegiate sport who excels both on and off the field. Ten finalists will be determined at the end of September. Those players will then be placed on a ballot for a nationwide vote that will take place between Oct. 5-Nov. 13. The winner will be announced at the College Cup in College Station, Texas, Dec. 4-6.


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