Dec. 9, 2011
The two will join Penn State sophomore Maya Hayes at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis where the winner will be announced at a ceremony on Jan. 6, after a vote of college coaches.
"Maybe LT and Teresa should arm-wrestle for it," Stanford coach Paul Ratclciffe said. "They're both deserving. LT and Teresa together are a fantastic combination.
"Teresa Noyola has been our playmaker and provider for four years. LT has been a great goal scorer. Together, they have helped Stanford win a national championship and become one of the premier programs in college soccer."
Stanford, which went 25-0-1 this season, could have its third consecutive winner after Kelley O'Hara in 2009 and Christen Press in 2010. No school has had three consecutive winners since North Carolina from 1991-94 (Kristine Lilly '91, Mia Hamm '92-93, Tisha Venturini '94).
Noyola, the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the College Cup's Most Outstanding Offensive Player, had 9 goals and had 15 assists. She also scored the only goal in Stanford's 1-0 victory over Duke in the College Cup final on Sunday in Kennesaw, Ga., with a 53rd minute header. The skillful Noyola was the quarterback to the Cardinal's attack since her arrival on The Farm in 2008.
Taylor, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, scored 20 goals and had 7 assists and provided a key pass that led to that championship-winning goal. Her ability to score from any distance with either foot, as well as with her head, made her a constant threat. And her ability to persevere from a serious hip injury that limited her the past two seasons added to her story.
The two, along with fellow seniors Camille Levin and Kristy Zurmuhlen, went 95-4-4 in their four seasons, including 53-0-1 at home, and assembled three consecutive undefeated regular seasons. They reached the College Cup four times, the championship final three times, and captured one title.
Even more remarkable is that both are local, having gone to high school in Palo Alto. Noyola went to Palo Alto High School, across the street from Stanford's practice field, and was the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Taylor went to Castilleja, two blocks down Embarcadero Road from the Stanford campus, where she played basketball rather than soccer.
Both have been teammates since their youth club days with the Mountain View-Los Altos Mercury under current U.S. women's U-17 coach Albertin Montoya.
"Albertin deserves so much credit," Ratcliffe said. "He developed them."
Hayes led the nation with 31 goals and had 8 assists for the Nittany Lions and was the Big Ten's Forward of the Year, but was held without a shot when Penn State visited Stanford for the season opener on Aug. 19, in a 4-0 Stanford victory. Noyola and Taylor each scored in the match.