Nov. 5, 2012
Stanford's NCAA Play-In History: 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
No. 14 Stanford Cardinal (15-6, 6-0 NorPac)
vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks (12-9, 4-1 MAC)
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 6
Time: 10 a.m. PT
Site: Farmville, VA
STANFORD, Calif.- No. 14 Stanford looks to clear its final hurdle on the way to a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, squaring off against Miami (OH) on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m. PT in an NCAA Play-In game.
Riding a season-high six-game winning streak, Stanford is coming off its fifth conference tournament crown in six years after blanking Liberty 3-0 over the weekend in Farmville, Va.
The next step is familiar territory for the Cardinal. Because the NorPac Championship winner is not awarded an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, Stanford must participate in an NCAA Play-In game. This year's designated opponent is the tournament champion from MAC, so Miami (OH) gets that opportunity after defeating Kent State 2-1 in the conference final.
While the NorPac champion was originally tabbed as the host, the schools received clearance from the NCAA to play the contest in Farmville, Va., in an effort to minimize travel and expenses. It's a neutral site, but also the same field in which Stanford just outscored opponents 11-2 over a dominating three-day stretch during the NorPac Championship.
Tuesday's contest is a rematch from earlier this year, when Stanford defeated Miami (OH) 3-0 back on Sept. 1 in a neutral-site game played in East Lansing, Mich. In that game, Katie Mitchell scored a pair of goals while the Cardinal tallied a commanding 22-4 advantage in shot attempts.
Stanford is 3-1 all-time in NCAA Play-In games. In its most recent contest, the Cardinal edged Massachusetts 2-1 on the road in 2010.
Fresh off its first tournament championship in school history, Miami (OH) enters Tuesday's game on a season-best three-game winning streak. The RedHawks are 0-2 at neutral sites and 1-5 against top-25 teams, with a 2-1 victory over No. 23 Ohio State serving as their signature win of the year. Bea Dechant and Olivia Miller share the team lead with nine goals.
Stanford and Miami (OH) share three common opponents: Northwestern, Michigan State and Central Michigan. Both teams lost to Northwestern and Michigan State, while picking up wins over Central Michigan.
It's possible Stanford can qualify for the NCAA Tournament even with a loss on Tuesday, but it's also highly unlikely. The Cardinal, which is 2-5 against top-25 teams, has navigated through an extremely challenging schedule that has featured three games played against the nation's No. 1-ranked team at the time. Stanford's best victories have come against No. 10 Iowa (3-2) and No. 18 Drexel (2-1). The Cardinal checked in at No. 18 in the most recent edition of the RPI and has been nationally-ranked for every week of the year.
The Cardinal is seeking its 12th NCAA Tournament appearance.