STANFORD, Calif. -- The No. 17 Stanford women’s soccer team opens the NCAA tournament with a first-round match against visiting Cal State Fullerton on Friday at 7 p.m.. Stanford (13-5-1) was selected as an at-large team after finishing fourth in the Pac-12 Conference. Cal State Fullerton (8-6-7) earned an automatic berth as the Big West tournament champion, after finishing fourth in the regular season.
The following is a closer look at the match:
Who: Cal State Fullerton (8-6-7) at No. 17 Stanford (13-5-1)
When: Thursday, 7 p.m. PT
Where: Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, Stanford
Storyline: Stanford hopes to return to a sixth consecutive College Cup
All-Time Series Record: Stanford leads, 1-0
Webcast: The match will be shown live on streaming video with Kevin Danna and Tim Swartz on the call. Look for links on gostanford.com.
Follow: For live stats, look for links on gostanford.com.
Tickets: Reserved tickets are $17; general admission tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, youths, and seniors. Call 1-800-STANFORD, go to gostanford.com, or visit the Stanford Stadium ticket office to order.
Friday’s Opponent, Cal State Fullerton: The Titans are making their fifth NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2007, the first year of current coach Demian Brown. CSUF is 3-4 all-time in the NCAA’s and advanced the furthest in 2005, when the Titans reached the third round before losing to Virginia, 2-1.
The Titans (3-3-2) placed fourth in the Big West, but played host to the conference tournament because it won the 2012 regular-season title. CSUF eliminated 2013 regular-season champ Cal Poly (and shut out 21-goal scorer Elise Krieghoff) and beat UC Riverside in the final, both on penalty kicks after 1-1 draws.
The Titans have scored only 18 goals -- Erica Mazeau leads the team with four -- but has allowed only 16. Lindsey Maricic (0.72 GAA) is the Big West Goalkeeper of the Year and Mazeau is the Midfielder of the Year.
Fullerton is unranked and its RPI is No. 103 out of 327 Division I programs.
The Stanford-CSUF Series: Stanford leads the all-time series, 1-0. The teams met on Sept. 17, 2004, with Marcie Ward scoring twice to lead the Cardinal to a 2-0 victory at the Stanford Nike Invitational.
Beyond the First Round: The Stanford-CSUF winner plays the Furman-South Carolina winner in the next round. UCLA, a possible third-round opponent, is seeded to host the next two rounds. However, a Stanford victory combined with first-round losses by UCLA and South Carolina would bring those rounds to Stanford.
Stanford’s NCAA History: The Cardinal has qualified for 16 consecutive NCAA tournaments and 23 overall. Except for the College Cup, Stanford hasn’t had to travel during the playoffs since 2006, when it played its first two rounds in Santa Clara. The Cardinal has won its past 20 home NCAA tournament matches, has advanced past the first round the past seven seasons, and has reached the past five NCAA College Cups. Stanford’s all-time NCAA tournament record is 39-18-5 (.669).
Stanford’s Situational Records:
• When scoring first: 12-0
• When opponents score first: 1-5-1
• When scoring in the first 25 minutes: 6-0
• When leading at halftime: 9-0
• When tied at halftime: 4-4
• When trailing at halftime: 0-1-1
• When trailing at any time: 2-5-1
• At Home: 6-4-1
• At Opponent: 7-1
Finding the Right Combination: Stanford has used 13 different lineups in 18 regular-season matches. Some facts about the lineups:
• Six freshmen have started, with Maddie Bauer the most frequent (17).
• Three players have started every match: outside back Laura Liedle, midfielder Alex Doll, and forward Courtney Verloo.
• Twenty-one players have started at least once.
• Four is the most matches for any particular lineup, used Oct. 25-Nov. 3. But that lineup (the names are later in this release) never has been used at home. The team went 3-1 in that span.
Overtime: Stanford has played six overtime matches, with four going into double overtime. Stanford’s overtime record is 3-2-1, including 2-1-1 in double overtime. Here’s how Stanford’s overtime matches ended:
• Alex Doll scored on a rebound in the 108th minute to give Stanford a 2-1 season-opening victory at Boston College (Aug. 23).
• Haley Rosen’s goal in the 67th minute tied the match, but Stanford was held to a 1-1 double-OT draw against visiting Portland (Aug. 31).
• Courtney Verloo completed a hat trick by scoring on a 22-yard free kick in the 108th minute to beat host Santa Clara, 3-2, in double OT (Sept. 22).
• Taylor Uhl scored with eight seconds left in the first overtime to give Stanford a 2-1 victory over visiting Arizona in the Cardinal’s Pac-12 home opener (Oct. 4).
• Lo’eau LaBonta tied the Pac-12 showdown with visiting UCLA in the 89th minute, but Bruins’ OT sub Lauren Kaskie scored on a counterattack in the 106th for a 2-1 double OT UCLA victory (Oct. 10).
• In the regular-season finale, Stanford allowed a header by Rachel Mercik in the 99th minute to give Cal a 1-0 victory (Nov. 6).
Most Common Lineup:
• Goalkeeper: Jane Campbell, fr. Replaced sr. Emily Oliver, who was forced to retire.
• Left back: Laura Liedle, so. Leads back line that has started together for 14 games.
• Center back: Maddie Bauer, fr. Leadership role is expanding for freshman.
• Center back: Kendall Romine, RS jr. Most experienced defender.
• Right back: Natalie Griffen, sr. Ex-forward has speed, skill and strong marking.
• Midfield: Alex Doll, jr. A true blue-collar player with great stamina.
• Midfield: Lo’eau LaBonta, jr. Provides playmaking abilities and attacking mindset.
• Midfield: Stephanie Amack, fr. Played on the U20 World Cup winning U.S. side.
• Forward: Courtney Verloo, RS sr. Has six set-piece goals this season.
• Forward: Chioma Ubogagu, jr. Great at combination play and is shooting more.
• Forward: Sydney Payne, jr. Provides speed and ability to get to the end line.
Set-Piece Goals: Stanford has scored 14 times either directly or indirectly off set pieces, resulting in 40 percent of the team’s 35 goals. Of those 14, six have been converted directly off spot kicks, all by Courtney Verloo, including two penalties.
Seniors: This match will most likely be the last at home for these seven seniors:
• Aly Gleason, GK, Atwater, Calif.: Will likely play on the U.S. national rugby team, and will be a Space Operations Officer in the Air Force after earning her master’s.
• Natalie Griffen, D, Pleasanton, Calif.: Played forward her first three seasons, but has transitioned into a top outside back in the Ali Riley mold.
• Taylor McCann, M, Burlingame, Calif.: The international relations major has yet to play this season because of injury, but has scored timely goals in the past.
• Emily Oliver, GK, Flossmoor, Ill.: Stanford’s all-time leader in GAA (0.36) and the 2011 College Cup defensive MVP has retired because of concussions.
• Shelby Payne, F, Bradenton, Fla.: Type 1 diabetic has been inspiring on and off the field in encouraging young diabetics to live active lifestyles.
• Sydney Payne, F, Bradenton, Fla.: Twin of Shelby has one of the hardest shots on the team, and good speed.
• Courtney Verloo, F, Tualatin, Ore.: Has led Stanford in scoring the past two years, and has 23 goals and 25 assists in her career.
Stanford at Home: Stanford is 12-0 all-time in NCAA first-round matches at home. This is the seventh consecutive season that the Cardinal has opened the tournament at Cagan Stadium.