Aug. 29, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 4 Stanford women’s soccer team renews a bicoastal rivalry when the Cardinal plays host to No. 7 Boston College on Friday at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
Who: No. 7 Boston College (3-0) at No. 4 Stanford (2-1)
When: Friday, 4 p.m. PT
Where: Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, Stanford, Calif.
What: A rematch from the past three NCAA tournaments
Watch: Pac-12 Network Bay Area (Allen Hopkins and Krista Blunk on the call)
Listen: KZSU-2 online
Follow: Gametracker live stats (gostanford.com)
Tickets: 1-800-STANFORD; gostanford.com; Stanford Stadium ticket office (Gate 2).
Parking Advisory: Normal parking will not be available because of the Stanford-San Jose State football at Stanford Stadium at 7 p.m. Lot 9 (Lasuen Grove on Palm Drive) will be available free for soccer parking until 4 p.m. After that, parking there is $15. Lot 11 (Maples Pavilion) and Lot 12 (the parking structure across Maples Pavilion on Campus Drive) will be open all day for soccer parking, based on availability.
Last Week: Stanford was ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Coaches’ Poll going into the Penn State Invitational, but experienced mixed results in Happy Valley. On Friday, Mariah Nogueira headed in the winning goal in the 88th minute to give Stanford a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Penn State in a dramatic contest that featured a Nittany Lion lead, a Stanford comeback and a late Penn State penalty kick to tie.
On Sunday, Stanford finished the tournament with a 1-0 loss to unranked West Virginia, which scored on a 20-yard shot in the 83rd minute. The loss ended Stanford’s 25-match winning streak, 28-match unbeaten streak, and 64-match regular-season unbeaten streak.
Clutch Player: Mariah Nogueira has made a habit of scoring clutch goals for Stanford. She scored the late winner against Penn State and the second-half tying goal in the season-opener against Santa Clara. Last year, she headed in the 88th minute winner to beat Notre Dame.
Of Nogueira’s team-high 16 career goals, 12 have tied the score or put Stanford ahead. She also has nine game-winning goals. And, technically, she’s not an offensive player, but rather a holding midfielder. Most of her goals are headers off corner kicks, which was the case both times this season.
Scoring by Committee: Through graduation or injury, Stanford has had to make do without its top six scorers from last year. However, the Cardinal is averaging a healthy 3.0 goals per match, ahead of last year’s final average of 2.8. Stanford has gotten goals from six different scorers, including a team-high two apiece from Natalie Griffen, Mariah Nogueira, and Sydney Payne.
From Behind: Stanford has trailed in all three matches, equaling last year’s total for the entire season. Stanford rallied to win all three in 2011 and two of the three this year. Also, Stanford’s four goals allowed is nearly half of last season’s total of nine allowed.
Friday’s Opponent, Boston College: The Eagles are annually among the top teams in the nation, having reached the NCAA tournament the past nine seasons. Boston College returns seven starters from a team that reached the third round in 2011 and finished 17-6. The team is led by senior captain Kristen Mewis, a two-time All-America midfielder.
The Stanford-Boston College Series: Stanford has eliminated Boston College in each of the past three NCAA tournaments. They met in the quarterfinals in 2009 at Stanford (a 3-1 score), the semifinals in 2010 in Cary, N.C. (2-0), and the third round in 2011 at Stanford (3-0). Including three regular season matches, this will be their sixth meeting in five years. Stanford holds a 4-0-1 series lead, including 3-0 at home.
U-20 Update: Stanford sophomore forward Chioma Ubogagu is with the United States Under-20 national team in Japan where it is competing in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The U.S. has advanced to the quarterfinals and will play North Korea on Friday (3:30 a.m. PT; ESPNU, ESPN3) in Saitama. Ubogagu, the 2011 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Stanford’s leading returning scorer has not yet played for Stanford this season. Depending on how far the U.S. advances, she could miss as many as six Stanford matches.
Rankings: Stanford dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Coaches’ Poll after its’ loss to West Virginia on Sunday. In other rankings, Stanford remains No. 1 by Our Game Magazine, is No. 2 by Top Drawer Soccer, No. 3 by Soccer Times, and No. 5 by Soccer America.
Returning Players: Stanford returns seven starters and 21 letterwinners from last year’s NCAA championship team. Among those are six all-conference players and three NSCAA All-Americans – goalkeeper Emily Oliver (2011 third team), midfielder Mariah Nogueira (2009 third team), and forward Courtney Verloo (2010 third team as a defender). Stanford returns 34 of last year’s 73 goals (47 percent), its lowest percentage since 2004, with Chioma Ubogagu the team’s top returning scorer (10 goals, 10 assists, 30 points).
Tough Schedule: Stanford’s first five matches all are against 2011 NCAA tournament teams. In order, Santa Clara reached the first round, Penn State the third round, West Virginia the first round, Boston College the third round, and Boston University the second round. In all, Stanford plays nine teams that reached the postseason last year.
Freshman Impact: Of the five freshmen in this year’s class, two have started each of the first three matches. Kate Bettinger started as an attacking midfielder and Laura Liedle at left outside back. Liedle supplied two assists. Also, central defender Maya Theuer and midfielder Katie Donahue made their collegiate debuts in the season opener off the bench. Sarah Cox is a backup goalkeeper.
Senior Class: Stanford has three players – tri-captains central defender Alina Garciamendez, outside right back Rachel Quon, and holding midfielder Mariah Nogueira – who are now four-year starters, with College Cup finals appearances in each of their previous three seasons. Stanford has 10 members of the class of 2013, including three who will still have eligibility after this year. Five members of the class started the opener: Garciamendez, Quon, Nogueira, goalkeeper Lindsay Dickerson, and forward Courtney Verloo.
Historic Pace: Junior goalkeeper Emily Oliver, who did not play in the first three matches because of injury, has a career goals-against average of 0.27. She has allowed only 11 goals in 44 matches. Her GAA, if maintained, would rank No. 1 in Stanford history for a career. U.S. national teamer Nicole Barnhart has the Stanford record of 0.45.
Coach of the Year: Paul Ratcliffe, in his 10th season at Stanford, is the reigning NSCAA National Coach of the Year, an honor he has received three times in four years. He also has been named Pac-12 Coach of the Year the past four seasons. Ratcliffe’s Stanford record is 160-36-19. Over his career, now in his 14th year as a Division I head coach, Ratcliffe is 215-70-26.
Hermann Trophy Winners: Before last year, no other school has had three different players win the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy in three successive years. Stanford became the first in the 24 years of collegiate soccer’s most prestigious honor when Kelley O’Hara (2009), Christen Press (2010) and Teresa Noyola captured the honor. In addition, Lindsay Taylor, the runner-up to Noyola, was named Soccer America’s National Player of the Year. This year, goalkeeper Emily Oliver has been named to the Hermann Trophy watch list.
Preseason All-Americans: Central defender Alina Garciamendez and goalkeeper Emily Oliver were named to Soccer America’s Preseason All-America team.
• Four consecutive College Cup appearances
• Three consecutive College Cup finals appearances
• Three consecutive Pac-12 conference titles
• 131-match unbeaten streak when scoring a goal
(the last time Stanford scored and lost was Aug. 27, 2006; 2-1 to Wake Forest)
• 88-match home unbeaten streak (85-0-3) when scoring a goal
(Stanford hasn’t scored at home and lost since Oct. 5, 2003; 2-1 to Loyola Marymount)
• 55-match home unbeaten streak (53-0-1)
(last non-victory, Sept. 12, 2008, 1-1 vs. North Carolina)
• 51-match home winning streak
(last loss, Nov. 23, 2007, 2-0 vs. Connecticut; this is the second-longest streak in NCAA history)