STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford was ranked No. 6 in the NSCAA preseason women’s soccer poll released Wednesday marking the eighth consecutive season the Cardinal has been in the preseason Top 10.
In addition, two Stanford players were named to the Hermann Trophy watch list – seniors Lo’eau LaBonta and Taylor Uhl. The award is presented by the Missouri Athletic Club to the nation’s top player. Stanford has won three times: Kelley O’Hara in 2009, Christen Press in 2010, and Teresa Noyola in 2011.
LaBonta, an attacking midfielder, and Uhl, a striker, are among 35 players on the women’s list. Stanford sophomore forward Jordan Morris was among 32 players on the men’s list.
LaBonta, a product design major, was a team captain and All-Pacific Region first-team selection last year. She scored four goals, including a dramatic tying score late in a regular-season match against UCLA.
Uhl, a biomechanical engineering major who carries a 3.79 cumulative GPA, tied for the Pac-12 goal-scoring lead last season with 12. She was an NSCAA third-team All-America in 2012 while scoring a national-leading 21 goals for Minnesota.
The list will be pared to 15 near the end of the regular season. Three will be named finalists and will be in attendance Jan. 9 at a ceremony in St. Louis where the winner will be announced.
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Stanford opened training with the first of two training sessions Wednesday. The morning session began with 120’s – a fitness test some players describe as the hardest they will face during a week that also includes 150’s and the beep test.
Players must run the length of the field (120 yards) in 18 seconds, and then have 42 seconds to return. Each minute brings another sprint downfield. The goal was 10.
As expected, freshman Sarah Robinson, who won the California state high school 1,600-meter title two months ago while running for Palo Alto’s Gunn High, was among the leaders. So was senior Alex Doll, annually the most fit player on the team.
Afterward, the players split into small-sided scrimmages. Typically, the morning sessions consist of conditioning and the afternoon workouts placed more emphasis on soccer and technique. The two-a-days will last through the first two weeks of training, and will continue on selected days after that until mid-September.
The first match is Aug. 22 at North Carolina, the home opener is Sept. 4 against UC Santa Barbara (7:30 p.m.), classes begin Sept. 22, and Pac-12 play opens Sept. 26 at Utah.
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Three Stanford players are part of the United States team that opened the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on with a 2-0 loss to Germany on Tuesday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Sophomore Stephanie Amack started at right outside back and freshman Andi Sullivan started as the holding midfielder. Sophomore goalkeeper Jane Campbell was in reserve. Stanford has more players on the U-20 team than any other school.
The U.S. resumes Group B play Friday at 5 p.m. PT (ESPNU, WatchESPN) in Edmonton against Brazil, which drew with China, 1-1.
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The annual NCAA women’s soccer record book was released this week and Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe is included on several lists.
Among active women’s Division I coaches, Ratcliffe is No. 7 in winning percentage (.743, 249-77-28) and No. 31 in victories (249 in 16 seasons, including five at Saint Mary’s). Among all-time women’s Division I coaches, Ratcliffe is No. 9 in winning percentage and No. 38 in victories.