STANFORD, Calif. – No. 20 Stanford begins its men’s soccer season in America’s Heartland this weekend, matching up with Creighton on Friday before making the short three-mile trip west to play Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday.
* * *
Friday Match Details:
Who: No. 20 Stanford (10-7-3 in 2013) vs. Creighton (9-9-2)
When: Friday, 5 p.m. PT
Where: Morrison Stadium, Omaha, Neb.
All-Time Series: Creighton leads, 3-2-0
Live Stream: GoCreighton.com (Fee)
Live Stats: GoCreighton.com
Sunday Match Details:
Who: No. 20 Stanford (10-7-3) vs. Nebraska-Omaha (6-9-1)
When: Sunday, 5 p.m. PT
Where: Caniglia Field, Omaha, Neb.
All-Time Series: First Meeting
Live Stream: omavs.com
Live Stats: omavs.com
* * *
Friday’s Opponent, Creighton: Creighton finished last season unranked with a 9-9-2 overall mark following an NCAA Tournament First Round setback against Seattle. Each of the Jays’ nine losses came by a single goal. The Bluejays completed their first season in the BIG EAST Conference with a 4-4-1 mark and a fifth-place finish. CU was 7-2-1 at Morrison Stadium. Fourth-year head coach Elmar Bolowich leads the Jays in their quest for the program’s 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 23 seasons this fall. Creighton returns 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's team. The Bluejays welcome 11 newcomers to the squad but lose the services of 2014 MLS Draft selections Eric Miller and Zach Barnes.
The Stanford-Creighton Series: Stanford is seeking to even the all-time series, which began in 1995, at three wins apiece. The last meeting, a 1-0 Bluejay win, came at the Stanford Nike Classic on Sept. 19, 2008. The Cardinal defeated Creighton at the 2002 NCAA Semifinals, 2-1, on a Chad Marshall header in the 107th minute. That double-overtime victory sent Stanford to its second appearance in the NCAA Championship (1998) and was played in Dallas in front of a crowd of 7,025, the fourth-largest to witness a Stanford men’s soccer match. This will be the Cardinal’s second-ever trip to Creighton. Their previous journey to Omaha resulted in a 4-0 defeat to open the 1996 season.
* * *
Sunday’s Opponent, Nebraska-Omaha: The Mavs are entering their fourth year as a men’s soccer program and have improved each season, increasing its record from 1-11-1 (2011) to 5-10-1 (2012) to 6-9-1 (2013). Three returning Mavericks were honored in last season’s Summit League postseason awards. Center back Felipe da Silva was named to the All-Summit League First Team, becoming the first Maverick men’s soccer player to achieve all-conference first-team honors. Forward Christian Garcia was named Newcomer of the Year and an All-Summit League second-team selection after scoring four goals and two assists. Garcia and fellow classmate Mark Moulton were named to the All-Newcomer Team as well. Moulton had two goals and two assists for six points in his first season at UNO.
The Stanford-Nebraska-Omaha Series: This will be the first meeting between the two schools. In fact, this will be Stanford’s second-ever trip to the state of Nebraska, with its only other visit coming in aforementioned match at Creighton in 1996.
* * *
Season in Review: Stanford is coming off of a breakout 2013 season, finishing 10-7-4 overall and reaching the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal’s first postseason appearance since 2009. Under head coach Jeremy Gunn, Stanford defeated Loyola Marymount and No. 15 Cal State Northridge in the NCAA Tournament before falling 1-0 on a late goal at No. 2 Washington.
* * *
#USAvCZE: On Thursday, Jordan Morris was among 22 players called into camp by U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming friendly against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague. The match is the first of the 2018 FIFA World Cup cycle and Klinsmann is taking the opportunity to look at young talent. Morris is the first active college player to be included on a roster under Klinsmann. He will suit up for the Cardinal on Friday before heading to join the U.S. squad in preparation for its meeting with the Czechs.
* * *
National Polls: Stanford finds itself among the nation’s best in each of the major polls. The Cardinal is No. 20 in the NSCAA Preseason Top 25, No. 13 in the Soccer America poll and No. 12 in the Top Drawer Soccer national rankings.
* * *
Pac-12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll: Stanford was picked to finish third in this year's Pac-12 preseason coaches’ poll, garnering 18 votes and one first-place vote behind favorite UCLA (24 votes, 1 first-place vote) and Washington (19 votes, 1 first-place vote).
* * *
No. 6 Freshman Class Joins All-Conference Returners: Stanford may have lost four-year starter and 2013 first team All-Pac-12 MF JJ Koval, but the Cardinal bring back leading goal scorer and fellow All-Pac-12 first teamer Zach Batteer in addition to MAC Hermann Trophy Watch Lister Jordan Morris. Additionally, the Cardinal welcome in the nation’s sixth-ranked recruiting class according to College Soccer News. Defensively, Stanford brings back second team All-Pac-12 honoree Brandon Vincent to anchor the back line. Junior midfielder Ty Thompson was also an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention selection in 2013.
* * *
Hermann Trophy Watch List: In early August, Jordan Morris was named to the 2014 MAC Hermann Watch List, the most prestigious individual award in NCAA soccer that presented annually to one male and one female athlete.
* * *
Top Drawer Soccer: Stanford was honored with three selections among the TopDrawerSoccer.com Preseason Best XI, with sophomore Jordan Morris, junior Brandon Vincent and freshman Corey Baird earning recognition. Morris was one of three forwards named to the First Team, Brandon Vincent was one of four defenders earning a spot on the Third Team while Corey Baird was one of five midfielders tabbed to the Freshman Team.
Three Cardinal were also picked as part of Top Drawer Soccer’s preseason list of the top 100 men’s college players. Jordan Morris checked in at No. 2 and was joined by teammates Brandon Vincent (No. 25) and Zach Batteer (No. 62).