Heading toward the determination of the winner of the 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, gostanford.com will provide a progression of each of Stanford’s 19 consecutive victories. Here is the fifth, in 1998-99:
Directors' Cup No. 5 (1998-99) | 1998-99 Season In Photos
WITH 100 SEASONS of history, men's soccer is one of Stanford’s oldest sports. But despite its tradition, Stanford had never won an NCAA tournament match until 1998.
That first victory was a 3-2 triple-overtime thriller over San Jose State, and it was just the beginning. The Cardinal won three more to advance to its first NCAA final, before losing to Indiana, 3-1.
In an academic year in which Stanford was limited to one NCAA title – six runner-up finishes picked up the slack and enabled the Cardinal to capture its fifth consecutive Directors’ Cup trophy.
Perhaps the most notable achievement was in men’s soccer.
Despite giving up an early goal nine seconds into the first-round match, the Cardinal rebounded to score the winner in the 126th minute, thanks to an own goal off the knee of a Spartan defender. Stanford got the school-record 14th and 15th shutouts of the season from goalkeeper Adam Zapala, to reach the final.
Stanford’s NCAA championship in women’s tennis was earned through a series of hard-fought road victories, especially in the final.
The Cardinal secured road victories over two top-15 teams, UCLA and USC, on the final regular-season weekend to secure its 12th consecutive Pac-10 final. But the biggest test came in the NCAA final, played in Gainesville, Fla., against the home team, Florida. The Gators owned a 61-match home dual win streak and were the top-seeded and No. 1-ranked team.
But Stanford took a 4-2 lead after the singles competition and clinched the victory using a doubles tandem that had never played together before, but Marissa Irvin and Keiko Tokuda won the first six games on the way to an 8-4 victory that clinched the doubles point and the team crown.
The men’s basketball team captured its first conference championship since 1962-63 by winning the Pac-10 title with a 15-3 record. The Cardinal, coming off a Final Four season, sold out all 15 games at Maples Pavilion.
Stanford advanced to the NCAA tournament, only to lose to upstart Gonzaga in the second round in Seattle. The Cardinal went 26-7 and finished with a No. 7 national ranking by The Associated Press, and Mike Montgomery was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
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More highlights from 1998-99:
• Two-sport star Tracye Lawyer was named Pac-10 women’s soccer player of the year in the fall and won the NCAA heptathlon title in track and field in the spring. It was her third consecutive NCAA top-three finish.
• Catherine Fox set an American record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 52.47. She also captured her third consecutive NCAA title in the 50 freestyle and finished her Stanford career with nine NCAA championships and 28 All-America honors.
• The Cardinal baseball team, led by the hitting of Joe Borchard (.372), won 23 of 24 late-season games and advanced to the College World Series, only to fall one game short of the championship game after a 13-inning loss to Florida State.
• Nathan Nutter’s 10,000-meter NCAA outdoor title was the second straight for Stanford in that event, following Brad Hauser’s victory in 1998.
• Kerri Walsh was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and earned her third consecutive AVCA first-team All-America honor after leading Stanford to its fifth consecutive conference title and into the third round of the NCAA tournament.
• Larissa Fontaine earned her second consecutive first-team All-America honor on vault. In 1998, she became Stanford's first women's gymnastics national champion.
The Final Count:
1) Stanford, 970
2) Georgia, 720
3) Penn State, 660
4) Florida, 580
5) UCLA, 570
Stanford’s Top Scoring Teams:
1, Women’s tennis, 100 points; 2 (tie), men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s soccer, men’s swimming and diving, women’s swimming and diving, men’s track and field, each 80.
Directors' Cup No. 1: 1994-95
Directors' Cup No. 2: 1995-96
Directors' Cup No. 3: 1996-97
Directors' Cup No. 4: 1997-98