Oct. 25, 2011
at Michigan State Spartans (7-10, 1-4 Big Ten)
Date: Friday, Oct. 28
Time: 12 p.m. PT
Site: East Lansing, MI
at No. 7 Michigan (12-4, 4-1 Big Ten)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 30
Time: 9 a.m. PT
Site: Ann Arbor, MI
McCawley Is NorPac's Top Rookie (Again)
STANFORD, Calif.- The final week of the regular season features a two-game road trip for No. 9 Stanford, which is looking to enhance its postseason resumé with NCAA Tournament selections less than two weeks away.
Stanford (13-2, 6-0 NorPac) has performed so well that an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament is very much in play.
The Cardinal ranks No. 4 in the RPI, owns a 5-2 record against top-20 teams and has already wrapped up the NorPac's regular season title and No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament to be played on The Farm.
After blasting UC Davis 5-0 last Friday to remain undefeated at home in 2011, Stanford now concludes its season on the road. The Cardinal should not be intimidated by the travel, having posted a 7-2 record in games played away from the Varsity Turf.
Needing five more victories to break the school record of 17 wins in 2009, Stanford opens its road trip on Friday, Oct. 28, against Michigan State (7-10, 1-4 Big Ten). It's been a tough year for the Spartans, who finished 15-6 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament one year ago.
An 0-4 start put Michigan State in an early hole, and the Spartans have won back-to-back games only twice this year. Stanford and Michigan State have faced four common opponents so far in California, Northeastern, New Hampshire and Indiana. The Cardinal is 3-1 against that quartet while the Spartans are 0-4.
Two days later, Stanford prepares for an even bigger challenge in No. 7 Michigan (12-4, 4-1 Big Ten) in a rare late-season matchup between a pair of top-10 programs. The Wolverines, who will face Indiana on Friday before hosting Stanford, are coming off a heart-breaking 4-3 double-overtime loss at No. 2 North Carolina.
Simply having Michigan (which is No. 8 in the RPI) on the schedule should boost Stanford's RPI regardless of the outcome, but a road victory over the Wolverines would greatly enhance the Cardinal's chances for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. Stanford and Michigan have played only one common opponent to date (Yale), with the Cardinal winning 3-1 on the road and the Wolverines winning 7-1 at a neutral site.
This week's top-10 is as follows: No. 1 Old Dominion (17-1), No. 2 North Carolina (17-1), No. 3 Maryland (13-3), No. 4 Connecticut (15-1), No. 5 Syracuse (14-3), No. 6 Duke (11-5), No. 7 Michigan (12-4), No. 8 Penn State (11-5), No. 9 Stanford (13-2) and No. 10 New Hampshire (14-3).