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Oct. 15, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
The State of the Cardinal
Saturday's match marks the halfway point of the Pacific-10 Conference season for Stanford and will bring its postseason chances into clearer focus. A 1-2-1 conference start has forced Stanford into something of a must-win mode, considering that its 2-4-1 nonconference mark and current RPI rating of 140 would not be enough to earn an NCAA berth. However, a conference title would be Stanford's vehicle to the postseason and such an achievement remains a possibility with Cardinal trailing first-place Washington by three points in the standings, though the Huskies have a game in hand. Stanford would need some help to reach first place, but the Cardinal can start the process with a strong performance on Saturday.
Cal's position isn't as dire -- the Bears are a strong possibility for an at-large berth regardless of their conference finish -- but a winless weekend has placed the Bears in catch-up mode as well. Five teams, including Stanford and Cal, are within three points (three for a win, one for a draw) of the Pac-10 lead.
On the Air
The Stanford-Cal match can be seen and heard live, on streaming video and on an Internet-only broadcast.
The free webcast can be found on gostanford.cstv.com/allaccess.
The broadcast on KZSU-2, the Stanford radio station's Internet-only site, can be found at kzsulive.stanford.edu.
Stats can be followed live on gostanford.com's Gametracker. The link can be found on the men's soccer home page.
Schedule Slows for Stanford
After playing a pair of matches on each of the past two weekends, the Cal contest will be Stanford's only one in Pac-10 play over a stretch of 18 days. The Cardinal has a bye next week, though it plays a nonconference match at New Mexico on Oct. 24, before resuming Pac-10 competition Oct. 31 at San Diego State.
Stanford broke a winless stretch of six matches with a 2-1 victory over visiting UCLA on Sunday. Freshman reserve Clayton Holz volleyed in a 75th-minute cross from Michael Alexander for the winner. It was the first collegiate goal for Holz, and it marked the Cardinal's second two-goal performance of the season. Before Sunday, only three players had totaled the team's six goals. Against UCLA, defender Shaun Culver also scored for the first time this season. The team's inability to put the ball in the net had taken away from the fact that the Cardinal had not been definitively outplayed in any match this season, with the exception of a 2-0 loss to SMU.
In Search of ... The Pellas Trophy
In 1921, Silvio F. Pellas, the captain of Stanford's first varsity team (1911), donated a trophy to be awarded to the winner of the soccer series between Stanford and Cal. The full-sized sterling silver soccer ball was christened the Pellas Intercollegiate Soccer Trophy. According to a New York Times story from Dec. 4, 1921, "it will be awarded to the team that wins the majority of ten games, two games to be played each year." In time, the trophy was awarded annually, much like the Axe, which goes to the Stanford-Cal football winner each year.
However, the trophy has disappeared and apparently has not been awarded since the 1960s or `70s. During his coaching era, Nelson Lodge (1976-83) remembers a golden boot awarded to the winner of each Stanford-Cal game. Today, the location of either trophy is unknown. If it can be found, the Stanford soccer community would love to continue the Pellas Trophy tradition.
Two-time defending Pac-10 champion Cal enters Saturday's contest ranked No. 13 in the nation by the NSCAA (No. 2 in the Far West), and No. 18 by Soccer America. In both polls, Cal is ranked highest among Pac-10 schools.
The Bears were among the nation's top 10 until a 0-1-1 weekend. On Friday, Cal lost to UCLA, 3-2, on an overtime penalty kick after the Bears rallied from a 2-0 second-half deficit to tie the match. On Sunday, Cal allowed another penalty kick, which allowed San Diego State to tie the Bears, 1-1.
Sophomore forward Andrew Wiedeman leads the Pac-10 in scoring with six goals and four assists (16 points), and sophomore midfielder Hector Jimenez is the conference assists leader (six). Junior goalkeeper Stefan Frei is the Pac-10 leader in save percentage (.796), saves (43), and shutouts (four). He is also No. 1 in goals-against average (0.86) for those with the minimum number of minutes by NCAA standards.
The Stanford-Cal Series
As in many sports, the Stanford-Cal programs are intertwined, having played each other since their formative years and grown together because of their rivalry. Stanford's game-by-game records go back only to 1972, but in those years, Stanford holds a 21-15-8 series edge.
The first four years of Stanford soccer (1911-14) were made up entirely of games against Cal. Stanford went a combined 5-0-1 during the first two years to gain something called the Williamson Trophy, which was retired in 1914.
In more recent times, Stanford finished with a winning overall record in 2007 by beating conference-champion Cal in the regular-season finale, 1-0, on a 62nd-minute goal by sophomore Thiago Sa Freire.
In the earlier match in Berkeley, Cal won 1-0. The teams have split their meetings the past two years.
Moore Moves Into All-Time List
Stanford junior goalkeeper John Moore has collected enough minutes this season to qualify for the school's list in career goals-against average. His GAA of 0.97 places him third all-time, behind only Adam Zapala (1997-2000, 0.63) and Robby Fulton (2001-03, 0.88).
The Stanford minimum is 2,500 minutes and Moore entered the season with 2,288. He has played every minute of every match (1,035 minutes). His season GAA of 0.96 is 69th in the nation.
Stanford ranks No. 2 in the Pac-10 and No. 59 in the NCAA in team goals-against average, at 0.96.
Midfielder Clayton Holz scored his first collegiate goal with his game-winning volley off the bench to beat UCLA, 2-1, on Sunday.
Shaun Culver has started the past three matches in defense for his first starts since the opening two matches. Culver scored his first goal of the season and second overall with a first-half header against UCLA.
Only three players had scored a total of six goals going into the UCLA match, before Culver and Holz scored their first of the season.
Stanford has been without senior co-captains T.J. Novak (the past five games) and Evan Morgan (all season) with injuries. Both hope to return in the coming weeks.
Sophomore forward Bobby Warshaw leads the team in scoring, with three goals. They have come against Cornell, USF and Oregon State (penalty kick).
Senior defender Tim Jones extended his streak of consecutive starts to 57, dating back to the ninth match of his freshman season.
Freshman forward Alexander Binnie, now back from injury, received his first collegiate action, playing 20 minutes against San Diego State.
Senior defender Enrique Allen made his first start and first season appearance, vs. UCLA, and performed well.