STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford/Nike Classic Doubleheader Boasts Three Ranked Teams
The 12th annual Stanford/Nike Classic takes on the look of an NCAA tournament preview, with three ranked teams coming to Stanford for a blockbuster Friday doubleheader at Cagan Stadium: California (No. 5 Soccer America, No. 6 NSCAA), Creighton (No. 11 Soccer America, No. 12 NSCAA) and Drake (No. 19 Soccer America). In addition, Stanford is coming off two consecutive shutout victories and has high hopes for a postseason berth as well.
On the Air
The Stanford-Creighton match will be televised live nationally on Fox Soccer Channel. In addition, there will be live streaming video and stats on gostanford.com.
Simon Takes on Mentor
Coach Bret Simon plays his former team for the second time since he left Creighton for Stanford in 2001. The first was in the 2002 NCAA semifinals, a 2-1 Stanford double-overtime victory. Creighton coach Bob Warming hired Simon as his assistant twice, at Berry College in 1979 and at Creighton in 1993. Simon succeeded Warming and coached Creighton to a 96-26-8 record from 1995-2000, reaching the NCAA Tournament each season. Both coaches are among the winningest in NCAA Division I history. Warming's 363 career victories rank him No. 6 among active Division I coaches. Simon's 245 rank him No. 21.
Drake Perfect So Far
No team in the country has opened the season with six consecutive shutouts, as Drake has done. The Bulldogs are 6-0-0 and matched only by Penn as the only teams in the country that have not allowed a goal. However, Drake is the only one among the 204 Division I schools to be undefeated, untied and unscored upon. Drake's scoreless streak stands at 569 minutes dating back to last season.
About the Stanford/Nike Classic
This will be the 12th season of the four-team event, which is being played with two matches each on Friday and Sunday. Three of the matches will be held at Stanford, with California's contest with Creighton on Sunday to be held at Berkeley's Edwards Stadium. Stanford and Cal each went 2-0-0 last season, against Princeton and Davidson. Stanford, however, won on goal-differential. Stanford has a 15-4-3 record in the event, including 5-1 over the past three years. The Cardinal has won at least one match in every tournament except 2004.
Stanford earned its second consecutive shutout victory by beating USF, 1-0, on Bobby Warshaw's 58th minute goal at USF's Negoesco Stadium on Sunday. It was the sophomore Warshaw's second game-winning goal of the season and fourth of his young career.
Athlete of the Week
John Moore is the reigning Pacific-10 Conference's Player of the Week after his second consecutive shutout, against USF. Moore, who has nine career shutouts, has a streak of 266 consecutive scoreless minutes.
The Bluejays were ranked No. 2 (by Soccer America; No. 3 NSCAA) last week before losing to visiting Missouri-Kansas City, 1-0, on Saturday. The Stanford match will be Creighton's first road contest. Junior forward Jeff Thayer leads the team in scoring (two goals, six points), but six different players have scored. With only three seniors and 12 freshmen among the Bluejays' 26 players, this is Creighton's youngest team in years. Still, the Bluejays are one of the most consistently successful programs in the country, with 16 consecutive NCAA tournament berths. Creighton has won three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference regular-season or tournament championships.
The teams have split their meetings, 2-2, with their most recent coming in Stanford's 2-1 double-overtime victory in the 2002 NCAA semifinals in Dallas. Bret Simon brought Creighton to the Stanford/Nike Classic in 1998, beating Cal in overtime 2-1, and losing to the Stanford team of Ryan Nelsen and Simon Elliott, 2-0. Simon has coached in all four matches. He was 2-1 against Stanford, and is 1-0 against Creighton.
Friday's match against Cal will be the Bulldogs' first against a team that's currently ranked by either Soccer America or the NSCAA. Also, the tournament will mark the program's first trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. Last year's leading scorer, Garrett Webb, again leads Drake. The junior forward has three goals and three assists for nine points. Last year, Webb scored seven goals and had 19 points. Freshman forward Hunter Kennedy also has three goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Drozd has five shutouts and, of course, a 0.00 goals against average.
The teams have met only once, with Stanford winning at Drake, 4-2, in 1996.
T.J. Novak is expected to start his second match at forward, after beginning the season as a midfielder and spending last season as a defender.
Goalkeeper John Moore leads the Pac-10 in save percentage (.864), saves (19), saves per game (4.75) and is second in goals-against average (0.71).
Senior defenders Tim Jones and Ryan Imamura are having All-America-caliber seasons in the eyes of Simon. Jones has made 50 consecutive starts.
Tommy Ryan became the first true freshman to start, getting the assignment Sunday against USF in defense.
Sophomore forward Bobby Warshaw has scored in two consecutive matches and leads the team in scoring (two goals), as he did last season.