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Nov. 20, 2001
This Week's Action
NCAA Tournament First Round (Friday, Nov. 23):
Santa Clara (11-8-0, 5-1-0 WCC) vs. California (10-8-1, 3-5-0 Pac-10)- 4 p.m.
NCAA Tournament Second Round (Sunday, Nov. 25):
Santa Clara/California vs. No. 3 STANFORD (16-1-1, 6-1-1 Pac-10)- 1 p.m.
And it's that time of year again! The postseason begins this Friday, Nov. 23, with first round contests taking place at various sites around the country. Stanford (16-1-1 overall, 6-1-1 Pac-10) is one of eight schools that was awarded a first round bye and will play host to the winner of a first-round game. The 2001 Pac-10 Champion Cardinal are seeded third in the tournament and will await the winner of Friday's Santa Clara/California opening round tilt. Stanford would play the winner on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m. in the friendly confines of Maloney Field. Friday night's match is a 4 p.m. start, with Santa Clara as the visitors and California the home team.
Stanford in the Polls
The Cardinal are ranked No.3 in this week's Soccer America national poll after holding down the No.4 spot last week.Stanford is ranked No. 2 in the collegesoccer.com national rankings. Undefeated SMU holds down the top spot in both polls, and St.Louis, Virginia and Clemson appear in the top-5 for both, as well. Stanford is the top-ranked team in the Far West Region.
Stanford was awarded a berth in the 2001 NCAA Division 1 Men's Soccer Tournament on Monday afternoon. This year's bracket is the largest draw in the history of the Division 1 men's soccer tournament, since expansion of the bracket from 32 to 48 teams last summer. The Cardinal are the No. 3 seed in the tournament after concluding the regular season with an overall 16-1-1 record and capturing the 2001 Pac-10 title. SMU, the only undefeated team at 19-0, is the No. 1 seed. Virginia is No. 2, followed by Stanford, Indiana, Clemson, St. Louis, North Carolina and St. John's in the top-8. Each of the top eight seeds will play host to a first-round game and then compete against the winner in the second round on their own campus. First-round games are scheduled for Nov. 23, with second-round matches slated for Nov. 25. Twenty conferences were awarded automatic bids and the remaining 28 teams were selected at-large. The teams will be vying for the right to compete at the Men's College Cup on December 14 and 16 in Columbus, Ohio.
Pac-10 Is In The Mix
Four of the five Pac-10 schools will represent the conference in the tourney
draw. Stanford leads the pack with a No.3 seed, while Washington also earned a first-round bye and will face the winner of Portland/Gonzaga. UCLA, which finished second in the Pac-10 and was the only team to defeat the Cardinal in 2001, faces Loyola Marymount in a first-round game in San Diego. California, the fourth-place finisher in the conference, plays Santa Clara on Friday at Maloney Field in the first round. The Big East led all conferences with six teams in the draw, while the WCC and the ACC each had five teams make the field of 48. The Big Ten, along with the Pac-10, has four entrants in this year's postseason challenge.
Scouting the Golden Bears
California (10-8-1, 3-5-0 Pac-10) is an at-large selection in this year's tourney. The Golden Bears finished strong, recording four wins in their final seven games (the losses came to Stanford, UCLA and Washington- all tourney teams). It has been an up-and-down year for the Golden Bears, as the team has pieced together just enough winning streaks to merit tourney consideration. California is near the middle of the pack in most conference statistical categories despite their below-.500 conference mark. Cal has posted some impressive victories in 2001: a season-opening 4-0 shutout of Loyola (Md.) and a 1-0 home win against Washington stand out. Cal also dropped a 2-1 decision to Clemson, the tournament's No. 5 seed. Senior forward Austin Ripmaster leads the charge for the Bears, and is tops on the team in goals scored, total points, shots and shots on goal. Head coach Kevin Grimes is in his second season at the helm of the program.
Scouting the Broncos
The Santa Clara Broncos (11-8-0, 5-1-0 WCC) come into the tournament as the 2001 WCC Champions. The Broncos clearly win with defense and prefer to keep the action at a slow pace, as Santa Clara has scored just 19 goals this season and have allowed 15. Santa Clara has defeated James Madison 2-0, San Diego 2-1 and Gonzaga 3-1. The Broncos won five of their final six matches and reached the College Cup final just two years ago. Always a threat, Santa Clara is led by senior Anthony Chimienti (four goals, nine points) and Jamil Walker (17 games started, 3 goals, 52 shots) lead the offensive attack for the Broncos. Goalkeepers Steve Cronin and Rusty Johson have combined efforts between the posts and are limiting opponents to a 0.75 GAA (goals against average). Head coach Mitch Murray is currently in his 11th season with the club and has a career overall mark of 142-58-17 as Santa Clara's all-time winningest skipper.
All three schools competing this weekend have faced one another this year. The Cardinal has shutout California twice this season: 4-0 at home on Oct. 19 and 2-0 on the road on Nov. 11. Stanford also blanked Santa Clara 1-0 on the road on Oct. 21. The Cardinal are 23-7-5 against the Golden Bears, and have won six in a row in the series. Stanford is 13-13-5 against Santa Clara in the all-time series, and has won the last four meetings. The Golden Bears edged Santa Clara 1-0 in overtime at home back on Oct. 7.
The Simon File
Head Coach Bret Simon has had a great first season as head coach of the Stanford men, earning 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. Simon, a 1980 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, came to The Farm in February of 2001 after serving as the men's head coach at Creighton University for the past six seasons. Simon guided Creighton to its most successful season in school history last year, as the Bluejays (22-4-0) earned a trip to the College Cup for the second time in five years before falling to Connecticut in the championship match. A four-time Coach of the Year honoree, Simon compiled a 96-26-9 overall record in six seasons at Creighton and his 96 wins are the most victories ever by a Bluejay soccer head coach. Simon also led the Bluejays to four Missouri Valley Conference championships, a pair of MVC regular-season titles and six NCAA Tournament appearances. The Cardinal head coach notched his 100th career victory earlier this season in Stanford's 3-1 victory against Cal State Fullerton in the adidas Cal Legacy Classic on Sept. 9.
Cardinal vs. Tourney Teams
Stanford has faced seven opponents in the 48-team field and holds an 8-1-1 record against those teams. The Cardinal swept the season series with Pac-10 foes California (4-0, 2-0) and Washington (4-1, 1-0 in 2OT), and blanked Gonzaga 3-0, Portland 1-0, Loyola Marymount 1-0 and Santa Clara 1-0. UCLA was the only team to defeat Stanford (2-1 in Los Angeles back on Oct. 14) and the two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the other match.
Quest For The Cup
Stanford is making its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and eighth overall. The Cardinal has a 6-6-1 mark in previous tournaments, with four of the wins coming in its march to the 1998 National Championship game. The Cardinal advanced to the quarterfinal round in 2000, blanking Cal State Fullerton 4-0 and Illinois-Chicago 6-0 along the way before dropping a 2-1 decision to SMU in the third round. In 1978, 1991, 1992, 1997 and 1999, Stanford was eliminated in the first round, with the '91 and '97 teams falling in overtime.
Leaders of the Pac
Last weekend's 3-1 road victory against Oregon State assured the Cardinal of the 2001 Pac-10 Championship. Stanford, competing in its second year of Pac-10 play, finished with a 6-1-1 conference mark and 19 total points. The Cardinal outscored its opponents 19-4 in Pac-10 play and had several players earn conference honors. Roger Levesque was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and was awarded First Team All-Pac-10 honors along with Todd Dunivant, Lee Morrison and Derek Shanahan. All-Pac-10- Second Team selections included Abe Geiger and Johanes Maliza. Three men were tabbed Honorable Mention candidates: Aaron Biddle, Taylor Graham and Andrew Terris.
Regular Season Wrap-Up
Stanford matched its best regular season in program history, finishing with 16 victories in 2001. Last year's squad and the 1978 team also tallied 16 wins. The Cardinal began the season with a nine-game winning streak before its only loss at UCLA, and finished 14-0 when scoring first.
Meet Me At Maloney
Just how good has the Cardinal been on its home turf? Since 1997, Stanford has posted a 38-3-4 mark in the facility, and finished 9-2 at home last year. Stanford has been dominant at home against conference opponents (three years in the MPSF and two seasons in the Pac-10), posting a 14-1-2 record in such contests. Maloney Field has also been the site for NCAA Tournament matches in 1998-2000, with the Cardinal holding a 4-2 record in home playoff games.
Cardinal D is Grade A
Stanford's defense this season has been just as impressive as the offense. The Cardinal is limiting opponents to a 0.43 GAA (goals against average) and allowed just eight goals through 18 regular season contests. The men have recorded 11 shutouts to date, and have not allowed more than two goals in one game. If Stanford has the lead at halftime, forget it...the Cardinal has allowed just three goals in the second half.
The shot output for the Cardinal so far this year has been both balanced and consistent. Stanford has tallied 261 shots to date, compared to the 152 total shots produced by its opponents. The Cardinal remains balanced in its attack, with 124 of those occuring in the first half, 127 in the final 45 minutes and 10 in overtime. And while Stanford is currently ranked third among Pac-10 schools in that category, the Cardinal are tops in goals scored (47), assists (43) and overall points (137).
Getting In On The Action
Stanford is 16-1-1 mainly due to its offensive depth. There have now been four different instances in 2001 when at least four different Stanford men recorded at least one goal:
10-4-01 vs. San Jose State:Mike Wilson, Derek Shanahan, Aaron Maines, Lee Morrison
10-19-01 vs. California: Darren Fernandez, Todd Dunivant, Matt Janusz, Johanes Maliza
10-26-01 vs. Oregon State: Johanes Maliza, Taylor Graham, Derek Shanahan, Todd Dunivant
10-28-01 vs. Washignton: Derek Shanahan, Darren Fernandez, Roger Levesque, Johanes Maliza
In addition, three different players have found the net on at least six separate occasions this year.
Four Score and...
...the Cardinal are likely to win the match. Stanford's offense has been explosive in seven of the eight home games at Maloney Field this year, as the Cardinal has scored four goals in each match except for a 0-0 (2OT) draw against UCLA. Four of the seven victories have been 4-0 shutouts, while the other three wins have been by 4-1 scores.
Giving Out Minutes
One of first-year head coach Bret Simon's trademarks this season has been a willingness to get everyone involved in the game. 27 of the original 29 players on the roster have played in at least one game, and a season-high 24 Cardinal men saw action in a game twice this year. Five freshmen- Seyi Abolaji, Darren Fernandez, Aaron Maines, Matt Janusz and James Twellman- have appeared in at least 11 of the 18 games. Sophomore Mike Wilson was the only newcomer to play last season.
Tough To Squeak One Through
Following the loss of Adam Zapala last year to graduation, the goalkeeping department seemed like a question mark. However, Stanford has posted 11 shutouts. Junior Andrew Terris has started 17 matches and played 1286:35 in goal. The 2001 Pac-10 Honorable Mention selection has recorded 44 saves and is limiting opponents to a 0.49 GAA (goals against average). Freshman Robby Fulton has also been impressive, notching 12 saves in 377:12 over nine games. The numbers are a contrast to last season, when Zapala played all but 71 minutes in goal.
Roger This- Levesque Leads The Cardinal
Junior Roger Levesque is the second consecutive Cardinal to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year. He leads the conference and team with in goals scored (10), points (29) and assists (9), and is first on the team in shots (55) and shots on goal (21). He notched the first hat-trick of his career on Sept. 28 against Dartmouth. For his efforts, Levesque was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Sept. 24-Oct. 1, and was also selected to the Soccer America Team of the Week. However, Levesque will not be available in Stanford's second round match on Sunday due to a red card he received in the regular season finale against Oregon State.
Second Place Sounds Good...For Now
Senior Lee Morrison continues to inch closer to becoming Stanford's all-time leader in career games started. The defender has now started in 84 consecutive career games since his freshman season, and is all alone in second place on the all-time list behind goalkeeper Adam Zapala.
1- Adam Zapala (1997-2000).....86
2- Lee Morrison (1998- ).....84
Morrison is also currently in second place on the all-time career games played list with 84. He must play in three postseason matches to claim either record.
Hermann Watch is in Effect
Senior Lee Morrison has been announced as a men's candidate for both the 2001 Hermann Trophy and 2001 Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year award. Morrison was a finalist for the Hermann award last season and finished third in the voting for the Missouri Athletic Club in 2000. He has been named to the 2001 All Pac-10 First Team and started all 22 matches for the Cardinal men last season as part of the nation's stingiest defense. Morrison, a Second Team NSCAA/adidas All-American, tallied three goals and four assists last year.
11/18 at Oregon State: Morrison started the game at defender and took one shot in Stanford's 3-1 win over the Beavers.
11/16 at Washington: Morrison started the game at defender and helped guide the Cardinal to its 11th shutout of the year.
Noteworthy: Morrison's consecutive games started streak is now at 84 games...2001 All Pac-10 First Team Selection...Morrison made the All-Tournament Team at the adidas Cal Legacy Classic...2001 collegesoccer.com Preseason First Team All-American ... Morrison has recorded three goals and an assist for the Cardinal this year, totaling seven points.
They Came, They Saw, They...
The Cardinal continue to rewrite home attendance records, as the crowd of 2,212 against California on Oct. 19 was the largest of the season to watch a game at Maloney Field, inlcuding women's matches. 2,115 braved the elements for a Nov. 2 showdown with UCLA, and 1,773 fans were in attendance for this year's home opener on Sept. 28 against Dartmouth. All three crowds were larger than both of last year's home NCAA Tournament matches (1,150 vs. Cal State Fullerton in the 1st Round) and (1,553 vs. Illinois-Chicago in the 2nd Round). However, last season's NCAA Quarterfinal contest against SMU played before 2,854 fans on a cool, damp evening in December remains the top draw in Cardinal soccer history.
Preseason Poll Projection
Stanford was picked to finish third in this year's preseason Pac-10 coaches' poll, tallying 17 points and one first place vote. Defending champion Washington edged UCLA by one point (22-21) to claim the No. 1 spot in the poll. (points 5-4-3-2-1, first place votes in parantheses)
1. Washington (2) 22
2. UCLA (2) 21
3. Stanford (1) 17
4. Oregon State 8
5. California 7