STANFORD OPENS 2013 AGAINST COLLEGE CUP PARTICIPANTS
Stanford men’s soccer opens the 2013 campaign, the second under head coach Jeremy Gunn, with a pair of tough assignments this weekend at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The weekend opens Friday night with a 7 p.m. kickoff against No. 2 Maryland, followed by a 4 p.m. match Sunday against 2012 national finalist and third-ranked Georgetown.
The Cardinal returns seven starters from a unit that went 9-8-1 overall and finished third on the Pac-12 table with a 5-4-1 record in 2012. Heading up the returners will be All-Pac-12 honorable mention senior midfielder JJ Koval, who assumes the captain’s armband for Stanford, senior goalie Drew Hutchins and reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Aaron Kovar in the midfield.
All-Pac-12 honorable mention forward Zach Batteer, the team’s top returning scorer with six goals in 2012, also returns to help form the core of the Cardinal returners. That core is joined by an eight-man freshman class that features speedy forward USSDA Player of the Year Jordan Morris and back-liner Brian Nana-Sinkam, among others.
Hutchins anchors the Cardinal defense as its No. 1 goalkeeper for the second straight season, and will marshal a back line that returns three starters in senior Tyler Conklin, junior Jimmy Callinan and sophomore Brandon Vincent. Hutchins recorded five shutouts a season ago, his first between the posts full-time, while as a whole the Cardinal kept six clean sheets in 2012.
MATCHDAY WEEKEND #1 IS KIDS FREE WEEKEND
This weekend of men’s soccer matches is also a Kids Free Weekend. Fans can click on the link above to the men’s soccer promotions calendar and enter the promo code KIDSFREE1 for Friday’s match and KIDSFREE2 for Sunday’s match to receive a free General Admission youth ticket (ages 14 and under).
100TH SEASON OF STANFORD MEN’S SOCCER COMMENCES
This weekend marks the start of the 100th season of Stanford Men’s Soccer, and the Cardinal will recognize the historic occasion Sunday against Georgetown.
CARDINAL TO BE FEATURED EIGHT TIMES ON PAC-12 NETWORK
Stanford will enjoy unprecedented television exposure in 2013 as eight of its 18 matches are scheduled to broadcast live on Pac-12 Network. The Cardinal’s TV slate begins Sunday against Georgetown at 4 p.m. PT, and also includes matches against Colgate (Sept. 22), Washington (Oct. 3), Oregon State (Oct. 6), at UCLA (Oct. 10), at California (Oct. 20), UCLA (Nov. 1) and California (Nov. 13).
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Stanford’s 2013 schedule includes eight matches on Pac-12 Network and six against teams ranked in the NSCAA Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll. The Cardinal’s schedule also offers a unique twist in that the team will play all but two of its 18 regular-season matches in California, only leaving the state to visit Pac-12 foes Washington (Nov. 8) and Oregon State (Nov. 10).
|Aug. 30 vs. No. 2 Maryland||Stanford opens the campaign against 2012 College Cup participant.|
|Sept. 1 vs. No. 3 Georgetown||2012 national finalist comes to Cagan for clash on Pac-12 Network.|
|Sept. 7 at Santa Clara||Stanford looks to avenge last year’s 2-1 defeat against Bay Area Classic rival.|
|Sept. 20 vs. Charleston||Charleston defeated Stanford 2-1 in overtime last year in South Carolina.|
|Sept. 22 vs. Colgate||The Cardinal and Raiders clash in a Pac-12 Network broadcast.|
|Oct. 3 vs. No. 23 Washington||Stanford opens Pac-12 play against ranked Huskies on Pac-12 Network.|
|Oct. 20 at California||Stanford routed California 6-1 in Berkeley to end 2012 campaign.|
|Nov. 1 vs. No. 9 UCLA||Stanford hosts defending Pac-12 champion on Pac-12 Network.|
|Nov. 13 vs. California||2013 finale as Cardinal could deal another season sweep to Golden Bears.|
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Who replaces Jahn’s scoring?
Stanford lost four experienced starters from a year ago in forward Adam Jahn and defenders Dersu Abolfathi, Eric Anderson and Hunter Gorskie. In the attacking third the Cardinal will look to a myriad of players to replace the production of Jahn, a first-team All-Pac-12 pick and current MLS rookie with the San Jose Earthquakes who led Stanford with a career-high 13 goals and 30 points last year. Top candidates to fill that hole on the attack are junior Zach Batteer (six goals in 2012), midfielder Aaron Kovar (three goals) and freshman forward Jordan Morris, the latter having netted the match-winner in a 1-0 exhibition victory over Sonoma State Aug. 21.
A Strong Start Will Go Far
Despite ending the 2012 campaign on a 6-3-1 tear and finishing third on the Pac-12 table, the Cardinal missed out on its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2009. This could be attributed to the Cardinal’s up-and-down start to the season in which it went 3-5-0 and missed key opportunities for important non-conference wins. While Stanford’s early-season non-conference performance was highlighted by a 2-0 win at then-No. 11 UC Irvine, the Cardinal missed prime opportunities for quality wins in a 2-0 loss to No. 22 Furman, a 2-1 home loss to Santa Clara and overtime losses to College of Charleston and Loyola Marymount. With a quality non-conference slate once more in 2013, including an opening weekend against two of the top three teams in the nation, Stanford could put itself in the driver’s seat for NCAA Tournament consideration with strong results in September.
OPENING WEEKEND CAN SET THE TONE
Facing off against No. 2 Maryland and No. 3 Georgetown to start 2013 can serve as a major springboard to a great campaign. Garnering a result over the weekend would show the nation that Stanford is a team to be taken very seriously and would go far in getting the Cardinal back into the national Top 25. Currently Stanford has two points in the NSCAA Coaches’ Preseason Poll and a result against both Maryland and Georgetown, or either one, would go a long way towards moving the Cardinal up the rankings.
WILL STANFORD ESTABLISH BAY AREA SUPREMACY?
Stanford faced off against three of its Bay Area rivals in 2012, going 3-1-0 with its only setback coming at home against Santa Clara. The Cardinal started the campaign with a 1-0 win at San Francisco and dealt California a sweep of the two conference matchups between the schools, outscoring the Golden Bears 8-1 on aggregate. This season the Cardinal will again face all three teams, beginning with Santa Clara on Sept. 7 at Buck Shaw Stadium, and has the chance to firmly establish its dominance of the Bay Area college soccer scene.