Aug. 15, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
The No. 1 Stanford women's soccer team begins defense of its NCAA title with a season-opening match against No. 17 Santa Clara on Friday in a Pac-12 Networks live-event premiere at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
Who: No. 17 Santa Clara at No. 1 Stanford
Where: Laird Q. Cagan Stadium
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
What: Opening Night for Cardinal women's soccer and the first live event on the new Pac-12 Networks.
Tickets: 1-800-STANFORD or gostanford.com
Follow the Action
TV: Pac-12 Networks
This is the first live broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks, which launched Wednesday. Check with your cable provider for availability or search on pac-12.org. Mark Rogondino and Krista Blunk provide the call, and gold-medal winner Kelley O'Hara is the sideline reporter. The Networks will air 12 live Stanford matches this season.
Watch: Live Online
Radio: KZSU-2 (online)
Live stats: Gametracker
Look for the links on the schedule pages of gostanford.com.
Where We Left Off: Stanford hoisted its first NCAA College Cup championship trophy on Dec. 4, 2011, in Kennesaw, Ga., after a 1-0 victory over Duke. After losses in the previous two NCAA finals by 1-0 scores, Stanford reversed its fortunes when Teresa Noyola headed in a cross to the far post by Camille Levin in the 53rd minute. The victory capped the careers of seniors Noyola, Levin, Pac-12 Player of the Year Lindsay Taylor, and Kristy Zurmuhlen, who went 95-4-4 over four years and never lost at home.
Stanford returns seven starters and 21 letterwinners from last year's 25-0-1 team. Included are six all-conference selections and three All-Americans: goalkeeper Emily Oliver
, midfielder Mariah Nogueira
, and forward Courtney Verloo
, who earned the honor in 2010 while playing defense. However, the team returns only 34 of last year's 73 goals (47 percent). That's the lowest percentage since Paul Ratcliffe
took over as coach in 2003.
No. 1: Stanford is ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire preseason coaches' poll, marking the fourth consecutive season that the Cardinal will be ranked in the top spot at some point. Stanford also is No. 1 by Top Drawer Soccer and No. 2 by Soccer America.
No. 400: Stanford's all-time record since starting the varsity program in 1984 is 399-139-44 for an all-time winning percentage of .724. That means the next Stanford victory will be No. 400 in the program's history.
Earliest Opener: This will be the earliest match on the calendar in Stanford program history. The Aug. 17 date beats by two days the Aug. 19, 2011, opening date against Penn State at Cagan Stadium when Stanford won 4-0 in a match showcasing all three finalists for the Hermann Trophy -- winner Noyola, runner-up Taylor, and Penn State's Maya Hayes.
Friday's Opponent: Santa Clara
The No. 17 Broncos (13-2-6 in 2011) are the most frequent opponent in Stanford history, playing annually since Stanford established its program in 1984. Santa Clara holds an 18-13-5 series lead, but Stanford has won the past six in the series, beginning in 2008, outscoring the Broncos, 18-3, in that span. Stanford has not lost to SCU since Sept. 30, 2006 (2-0 SCU) and hasn't lost at home to Santa Clara since Oct. 3, 2003 (2-0 SCU).
Looking Forward: With its top two scorers graduated -- Taylor (20 goals, 47 points) and Noyola (9 goals, 33 points) -- sophomore Chioma Ubogagu (10 goals, 30 points) takes the mantle as top returning scorer. However, Ubogagu is away with the U.S. Under-20 national team at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan, which begins Aug. 19. Marjani Hing-Glover, out with an injury, would be next. That leaves Sydney Payne (5 goals, 3 assists, 18 points), seventh on the 2011 Stanford season scoring list, as the top returning scorer for the Cardinal on Friday.
Olympic Representation: Three former Stanford players -- Nicole Barnhart '04, co-captain Rachel Buehler '07, and O'Hara '10 were on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in London 2012. Plus, Christen Press '11 was an alternate, and Ali Riley '10 played for New Zealand. No other school had the representation of Stanford in the Olympic soccer tournament.
Current streaks: Stanford is involved in several long streaks. Here are some:
* 62-match regular-season unbeaten streak (began 2008)
* 54-match home unbeaten streak (began 2008)
* 50-match home winning streak (began 2008)
* 26-match unbeaten streak (began 2011)
* 23-match winning streak (began 2011)