Aug. 27, 1997
Stanford Kicks Off 1997 Season
For Openers: The Stanford University men's soccer team opens the
1997 campaign on Tuesday, September 2 when they travel to San Jose State to take
on the Spartans. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. The Cardinal will then head to
Las Vegas to participate in the UNLV Tournament. Stanford opens the tourney
against Cal State Northridge on Sept. 5 and then closes with host UNLV on Sept.
7. Game times are set for 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m., respectively.
Looking Back: Stanford is coming off a successful 10-4-4 (1-2-1
MPSF) season, the first under head coach Bobby Clark. Up and down throught the
first 11 games of the season, posting a 5-4-2 mark, the Cardinal reeled off five
consecutive victories to close the season, including a 1-0 victory over Santa
Clara in the season finale. The Cardinal defense shined during the streak,
allowing just three goals over the five games. Sophomores Jamie Clark (10
goals, 1 assist), who transferred to The Farm from North Carolina to join his
father, and A.J. Sauer (9 goals, 3 assists) led the Cardinal attack with 21
point perfomances. Clark earned regional All-America honors while Sauer was an
honorable mention All-MPSF Mountain Division selection. For directing the
program to its first winning season in four years and one which went just 5-12-4
the year prior to his arrival, Clark garnered MPSF Mountain Division
Looking Ahead: A young but experienced team, Stanford returns eight
starters, including the top six scorers, from last year's squad. All six of the
top scoring leaders returning are still underclassmen and just two of the 11
starters are seniors. Joining Clark and Sauer among the top returnees are Adam
Siegman (5 goals, 3 assists), Erik Morrison (3 goals, 4 assists), Shan Gaw (4
goals) and Aaron Jones (4 assists). The Cardinal's schedule features pre-season
NSCAA/Umbro Top 20 picks Indiana (#5), Washington (#6) and Harvard (#17), as
well perennially talented squads from California, USF and Santa Clara.
The Newcomers: Complementing the returners is a highly touted group
of newcomers which includes one college transfer and five freshmen.
Highlighting the list of newcomers is 5-11 midfielder Simon Elliott. A transfer
from Victoria University in New Zealand, Elliott is a member of the New Zealand
Olympic team and a former player of Clark's on the Kiwi National team. He
scored the winning goal against Australia in a 1996 Olympic qualifying match.
The freshmen class includes forwards Corey Woolfolk, Scott Leber and Luke Rust,
and midfielders Matt Moses and Sean Sylvis. One of the most highly touted
recruits in Cardinal history, Woolfolk comes to The Farm from Ann Arbor, Mich.
where he was the state's "Mr. Soccer". He also claimed NSCAA/Umbro All-America
and Gatorade Regional Player-of-the-Year honors and was named one of the top two
recruits in Region II by Soccer America. Leber comes from Tucson, Ariz. where
he was a two-time State Player-of-the-Year.
The Opponents: Stanford leads the all-time series with San Jose
State 13-10-1 and is 6-3 at San Jose. The Cardinal defeated the Spartans 2-0
in their lone meeting last year. Siegman and former Cardinal Brad Davies
tallied goals in the win. San Jose State returns 10 letterwinners, including
seven starters, from last year's 10-6-3 (4-2-2 WAC) squad which finished fourth
in the Western Athletic Conference. The Spartans are led by junior forward Aman
Kebreab. Kebreab led the team in goals (13) and points (32) and tied for the
lead in assists with six. The meeting with Cal State Northridge will be just
the third ever between the two schools and the first since 1991, a 2-1 Cardinal
win which tied the series at one game apiece. The Matadors, a member of the
MPSF Southern Division, return nine starters from last year's 4-10-2 squad.
Sophomore forward Michael Preis led the Matador's offense, chipping in seven
goals and 20 points en route to All-MPSF Southern Division honors. Stanford
will be looking for their first-ever win at UNLV when they take the field
against the Rebels. The Cardinal are 0-3 at UNLV and trail the overall series
1-5. The Rebels are also coming off a losing season, posting a 5-11-4 (1-5-2
WAC) mark in '96. Junior forward Michael Griego is the Rebels' top returning
scoring threat, recording five goals and 12 points last season. Both numbers
ranked second on the squad.
Head Coach Bobby Clark: Clark enters his second year at the helm of
the Cardinal. After tallying a 10-4-4 mark his inaugural season, Clark improved
his collegiate coaching record to 92-46-17 (10 years). His background as both a
coach and a player is very impressive. Prior to arriving at The Farm, Clark
spent two years as head coach of the New Zealand National team. Before that, he
spent nine seasons as head coach at Dartmouth College where he compiled a career
82-42-13 record. He led the Big Green to three Ivy League titles and two NCAA
quarterfinal appearances. He was twice named NCAA Region I Coach-of-the-Year.
Prior to coaching, Clark was a professional player in Scotland from 1962-82 and
competed on three (1970, '74 and '78) of Scotland's World Cup teams.
Cardinal Notes: In tuning up for the season, Stanford scrimmaged
College of Notre Dame-Belmont and Westmont and were victorious against both ...
The Cardinal defeated Notre Dame-Belmont 6-0 and Westmont 2-1 ... Seven
different players scored during the pre-season, including all five of the
freshman ... Clark added two new members to his staff this season, assistant
coach Geoffrey Wheeler and volunteer coach Bill Scott ... Wheeler was a former
player of Clark's at Dartmouth, helping lead the Big Green to two NCAA
Tournament appearances during his career ... The soccer team will open its home
season at its new facility "New Maloney Field", on September 15 when it plays
host to Chico State at 5:00 p.m. ... The Cardinal were ranked eighth in the Far
West Region by the NSCAA/Umbro Select final 1996 poll.