Oct. 20, 2009
Media Guide | Soza Says | Statistics | What's Left?
STANFORD, Calif.- No. 12 Stanford (12-2, 4-1 NorPac) and California (5-9, 3-1 NorPac) square off on Friday, Oct. 23, at the Varsity Turf in a match that carries huge implications in league play.
No. 12 Stanford is enjoying one of its best seasons in school history and is two wins shy of matching the school record of 14 established back in 1997. The Cardinal has been a fixture in the top-20 poll now for six straight weeks, relying primarily on a powerful offense that ranks among the best in the country in almost every category.
After putting together one of its best years in school history in 2008, California has struggled mightily outside of conference (2-8) and on the road (0-7).
But California is also one of just two schools to defeat Stanford so far this year. Because the Golden Bears notched a 4-3 upset of previously unbeaten Stanford in Berkeley last month, they have a key win on their resumé.
So here's the deal: Stanford can remove all the guesswork with a victory on Friday, capturing the NorPac's West Division title and earning the West's No. 1 seed in the NorPac Championship two weeks from now at the Varsity Turf. The Cardinal would then avenge its September loss to the Golden Bears and continue its dominance in the overall series (Stanford has won three of the last five games- two of which resulted in NorPac Tournament crowns).
On the flipside, California would improve to 4-1 in conference play with a victory and own the tiebreaker against Stanford thanks to a season sweep. The Golden Bears would still have one final hurdle left to clear on Sunday at UC Davis, but the Aggies pose little threat at 3-11 overall and 0-4 in NorPac play. In that situation, California would enter the NorPac Championship as the West's champion and No. 1 seed.
Other storylines to keep in mind leading up to Friday's game:
Seniors Rachel Bush, Jennifer Luther, Rachel Mozenter, Marlana Shile, Nora Soza and Midori Uehara will be honored in a ceremony prior to the game. The six-member class has transformed Stanford into a winning program, claiming back-to-back NorPac Tournament championships and reaching the postseason for the first time in eight years with a 2007 NCAA Tournament appearance.
Approximately 30 Stanford field hockey alums will be honored in a halftime tribute, as Homecoming Weekend festivities get underway on The Farm.
This is the third night game of the year to be played at the Varsity Turf, which welcomed the addition of lights to the facility for the first time in school history. The first two night games have featured large, energetic crowds, and the atmosphere should be heightened on Friday considering the game's importance and presence of two local teams.
Junior Xanthe Travlos was named NorPac Offensive Player of the Week for Oct. 13-19, adding to Stanford's impressive haul in 2009. Travlos registered the second hat trick of her career with three goals in Stanford's 11-1 dismantling of UC Davis last weekend. The Cardinal has now captured nine NorPac Player of the Week honors in 2009. Freshman Becky Dru and sophomore Alessandra Moss have been recognized twice, while junior Jaimee Erickson, freshman Kelsey Lloyd, senior Rachel Mozenter and senior Midori Uehara have also received weekly accolades.