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 seventh, in 2000-01:
Directors' Cup No. 7 (2000-01) | 2000-01 Season In Photos
THE MOST NOTABLE aspect of Stanford’s seventh consecutive Directors’ Cup season was the presence of three players who, one could argue, were the school’s best ever in their sports: softball’s Jessica Mendoza, soccer’s Ryan Nelsen, and tennis’ Laura Granville.
Mendoza was at her best in 2001, cracking 14 home runs, carrying a .405 batting average and leading Stanford’s softball team into its first College World Series.
The Cardinal, in its first season with newly-constructed permanent seating at the Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium, assembled a 54-15-1 record and for the first time played host to an NCAA regional, which the Cardinal shot through with a 4-1 record.
Mendoza, a junior, was the catalyst. She earned the third of her four first-team All-America selections. Besides her hitting, Mendoza robbed opponents of home runs and made game-saving diving catches from center field. Her run-scoring double in the eighth inning gave Stanford a 2-1 victory over LSU in the CWS, and the Cardinal went 2-2 in Oklahoma City to finish tied for third place.
In Directors’ Cup terms, the softball team’s efforts added 75 points to Stanford’s total in securing its seventh consecutive Waterford crystal trophy.
Stanford had one national championship team, in women’s tennis, and 13 among the nation’s top five, and 15 in the top 10.
Top-10 Stanford teams were in women's swimming and diving (2nd), men's swimming and diving (2nd), women's water polo (2nd), baseball (2nd), women's cross country (3rd), softball (3rd), men's cross country (4th), fencing (4th), men's outdoor track and field (4th), men's tennis (5th), men's basketball (5th), men's soccer (5th), women's gymnastics (7th), women's outdoor track and field (8th) and women's golf (9th). The Cardinal recorded points in the maximum of 10 women's and 10 men's sports.
The national title was the 12th for women’s tennis and spearheaded by Laura Granville, who won her second consecutive NCAA singles title.
During her two seasons at Stanford, Granville set a still-standing NCAA record of 58 consecutive singles victories. Though she turned pro early, Granville returned to Stanford in 2012 to earn her history degree and now is head coach at Princeton.
From a world perspective, there are few Stanford athletes with the recognition factor of Nelsen. The New Zealand native played two seasons of soccer at Stanford, helping the Cardinal into a pair of NCAA tournaments, including the 2000 quarterfinals.
Nelsen was a first-team All-America as a defensive midfielder and was named NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. There never has been anyone better at Stanford, and that fact has been hammered home by the accomplishments of his professional career.
Nelsen played nine seasons in the English Premier League, serving as captain of the Bladkburn Rovers for six of them. He also captained New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup, as the All Whites earned their first-ever points in the competition.
* * *
More highlights from 2000-01:
• The Stanford baseball team, powered by the bats of future major leaguers Ryan Garko and Carlos Quentin, and the arm of Jeremy Guthrie, went 51-17 and advanced to the College World Series championship game for the second consecutive season.
• Misty Hyman followed up on her 2000 Olympic gold medal by winning the 200-yard butterfly at the NCAA Championships, helping the Cardinal to a second-place team finish, and winning the Al Masters Award, Stanford Athletics’ top honor.
• Adam Messner won the 200 fly and Anthony Robinson captured the 50 freestyle to lead Stanford to second in the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships.
• Shannon Montague won her second consecutive solo national title in synchronized swimming.
• Jonathon Riley won two NCAA titles in track and field, as part of the Cardinal’s indoor distance medley relay team, and as the outdoor 5,000 champion.
The Final Count:
1) Stanford, 1,359
2) UCLA, 1,138
3) Georgia, 890.5
4) Michigan, 864.5
5) Arizona, 863
Stanford’s Top Scoring Teams:
1, Women’s tennis, 100 points; 2 (tie), Baseball, men’s swimming and diving, women’s swimming and diving, each 90; 5 (tie), women’s cross country, 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
Directors' Cup No. 5: 1998-99
Directors' Cup No. 6: 1999-2000