Dec. 15, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford senior forward Lindsay Taylor was named Women's Player of the Year by Soccer America, becoming the third Cardinal in as many years to be awarded the honor.
Taylor, who scored 20 goals and led Stanford to its first national championship, follows Christen Press (2010) and Kelley O'Hara (2009), as well as Julie Foudy (1991), among Cardinal players to receive the honor, which has been awarded since 1985.
Therefore, Stanford becomes the first school to have three different winners in consecutive years. North Carolina twice won three consecutive Soccer America Player of the Year awards, in 1988-90 and 1992-94, but with only two players each time.
Taylor also is among three finalists - along with teammate Teresa Noyola and Penn State sophomore Maya Hayes -- for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, which will be awarded on Jan. 6. Press and O'Hara were Hermann Trophy winners.
If Noyola wins the Hermann, it would mark the second time that different winners from the same team received women's soccer's two major awards. The only other time was in 2003, when North Carolina's Lindsay Tarpley won the Soccer America honor and Catherine Reddick won the Hermann Trophy.
Taylor is a native of nearby Los Altos and a graduate of Palo Alto's Castilleja School, which is only two blocks from the Stanford campus. After a first-team All-America season as a freshman, Taylor continued to play through painful sophomore and junior seasons with a hip injury. Even so, she still performed well enough to total 17 goals and 17 assists and help the Cardinal into the NCAA College Cup final each season.
Even though her training was limited to some extent as a senior, she regained her past form and exceeded it, leading the Pac-12 in scoring (20 goals, seven assists, 47 points) and was named the conference Player of the Year.
Taylor scored from short range and long, with her head and with her feet, both her left and her right. Though she excelled throughout the season, she was at her best as the matches grew in importance, scoring 12 goals in the final 13 matches of the season for the 25-0-1 Cardinal.
Twice over the course of the season Stanford trailed in the second half and rallied to win each time, against Notre Dame and Oregon State, with 2-1 victories. Taylor scored three of Stanford's four goals in those matches.
Against Notre Dame in a rematch of the 2010 NCAA final, Taylor tied the match in the 81st minute with a curving 25-yard shot. Against Oregon State, she scored twice in a 10-minute span of the second half to allow Stanford to clinch its third consecutive Pac-12 title.
And in the NCAA tournament, Taylor snuck a 25-yard free kick around the defensive wall and inside the near post for the clincher in a 2-0 third-round victory over Boston College, and knocked in the overtime winner with a sliding first touch to beat Oklahoma State 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Taylor, who had a team-high seven game-winning goals, had a goal or assist in all but one postseason match. And, in the one without a point, in the NCAA final, she provided a key pass in the buildup that led to Stanford's only goal in a 1-0 victory over Duke.
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Taylor was one of three Stanford players to receive first-team honors among Soccer America's MVPs, the publication's All-America team.
Joining Taylor are fellow seniors Noyola (9 goals, 15 assists), an attacking midfielder and Palo Alto native, and outside back Camille Levin (4 goals, 7 assists).
Noyola scored the winner in the NCAA final from Levin's unforgettable assist. Levin was tackled twice on her run, being knocked down on the second, but still supplied the ball that Noyola headed in at the back post in the 53rd minute.
Junior central defender Alina Garciamendez was named to the second team.
This is the first Soccer America All-America honor for Levin and Garciamendez, a starter on Mexico's 2011 World Cup team.
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Stanford forward Chioma Ubogagu was named to Soccer America's All-Freshman first team. Ubogagu, out of Coppell, Texas, scored 10 goals and had 10 assists.
Ubogagu was Stanford's second-leading goal-scorer and sparked Stanford's 3-0 NCAA semifinal victory over Florida State with a first-half goal and assist.
Kendall Romine, a redshirt freshman who was unable to play the past two years because of injury, excelled at central defender and was named to the All-Freshman second team.
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