Aug. 20, 2009
Stanford begins its 25th season on Sunday after completing one of the best seasons in school history. Stanford went 22-2-1, scored a school-record 71 goals and reached the NCAA College Cup semifinals for the second time in its history. The Cardinal returns three NSCAA All-Americans, nine starters and 17 letterwinners, and return 69 of those 71 goals. Stanford, ranked No. 2 in national preseason rankings compiled by the NSCAA and Soccer America, opens against Hawaii at Honolulu’s Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium at 8 p.m. PDT (5 p.m. local time). The event is part of the OHANA Hotels & Resorts No Ka ‘Oi, which includes Hawaii’s season-opener against visiting BYU on Friday.
On the Air
There is no live webcast and there are no live stats from Hawaii, though the match will be broadcast live in the islands by Honolulu’s KFVE-TV.
Sunday’s Opponent: Hawaii
The Rainbow Wahine were picked to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference by a vote of conference coaches. Last season, Hawaii finished third in the WAC and had an 8-7-4 overall record. The team has three preseason all-WAC honorees -- senior Ambree Ako and juniors Chelsea Deptula and Mari Punzal -- and returns five starters. Ako, the 2007 WAC Offensive Player of the Year, is among the top scorers in school history. Hawaii is 6-7-2 in season openers, including a loss to then-No. 5 Stanford in the 1996 opener.
Stanford and Hawaii have met twice, both at Hawaii, though at different venues from the Rainbow Wahine’s Waipio Stadium. Stanford is 2-0 in the series, beating Hawaii 1-0 in 1996 and 3-1 in 1999. In their most recent meeting, Stanford broke a scoreless tie with three second-half goals, including two from freshman Callie Withers.
Stanford has won its past two season openers, including a 5-0 victory against Pacific last season in a match that marked the collegiate debut of Lindsay Taylor, who scored the season’s first goal and went on to earn first-team All-America honors. However, the Cardinal has lost its past two season openers played away from home and is looking for its first opening victory on the road since a 3-0 victory at Santa Clara in 2002. Overall, Stanford is 18-6-1 in season openers, and 4-6-1 in openers played away from home.
The opening date of Aug. 23 marks the earliest regular-season match Stanford has ever played. It also marks the first regular-season competition for any Stanford team for the 2009-10 academic year. The earliest season-opening date before this year was Aug. 24, 2008, when Stanford beat visiting Pacific.
2008 Season Highlights
• NCAA College Cup semifinalists
• No. 4 national ranking (NSCAA)
• NSCAA National Coach of the Year: Paul Ratcliffe
• School record, most wins in a season: 22
• School record, longest season-opening unbeaten streak: 18
• School record, most goals in a season: 71
• Three NSCAA All-Americans, including two first team
• Three Soccer America Freshman All-Americans
• Six NSCAA All-West Region selections, including four first team
• Seven All-Pac-10 selections, including three first team
• Eleven Pac-10 All-Academic selections
• Three 35-point scorers, each with 13 or more goals
• Second in nation, team goals-against average: 0.32
• Eleventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance
Head Coach: Paul Ratcliffe
Paul Ratcliffe begins his seventh season, which makes him the longest-tenured head coach in Stanford women’s soccer history, and his 85-33-16 record makes him the winningest as well. Ratcliffe has never had a losing season at Stanford, or anywhere else since his first collegiate head-coaching season, at Saint Mary’s in 1998. He also has brought the Cardinal to the NCAA Tournament each season. His career record is 140-67-23 and his winning percentage of .659 ranks 30th on the all-time NCAA list of Division I coaches. No other active coach has 140 victories in 11 or fewer seasons.
Teresa Noyola: First team (NSCAA)
Kelley O’Hara: Second team (NSCAA)
Christen Press: Second team (Top Drawer Soccer)
Lindsay Taylor: First team (NSCAA); Freshman of the Year (Soccer America)