Oct. 3, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
The No. 2 Stanford women's soccer team opens its conference road schedule when the Cardinal plays at Utah and Colorado this weekend. This will be Stanford's first Pac-12 trip to the schools, which joined the conference last year. The Friday match pits Pac-12-leading Stanford against third-place Utah, which owns a six-match home winning streak.
The following is a closer look at Stanford's matches this weekend:
Who: No. 2 Stanford (9-1-1, 3-0) at Utah (7-2-2, 2-1-0) When:
Friday, 1 p.m. PT Where:
Ute Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah What:
A matchup of teams among the top three in the Pac-12 standings Watch:
Pac-12 Networks (JB Long and Leslie Osborne on the call) Listen:
Utah Internet radio linked to gostanford.comFollow:
Gametracker live stats (gostanford.com)
Who: Stanford at Colorado (6-3-3, 0-2-1)
When: Sunday, noon PT
Where: Prentup Field, Boulder, Colo.
What: Stanford's first Pac-12 match at Colorado
CURRENT STANFORD STREAKS
Four consecutive College Cup appearances
Three consecutive College Cup finals appearances
Three consecutive Pac-10/12 Conference titles
140-match unbeaten streak (134-0-6) when scoring a goal
(the last time Stanford scored and lost was Aug. 27, 2006; 2-1 to Wake Forest)
96-match home unbeaten streak (92-0-4) when scoring a goal
(Stanford hasn't scored at home and lost since Oct. 5, 2003; 2-1 to Loyola Marymount)
61-match home unbeaten streak (59-0-2)
(last loss, Nov. 23, 2007; 2-0 to Connecticut in an NCAA third-round match)
34-match Pac-10/12 winning streak
(last loss, Oct. 31, 2008; 1-0 at UCLA)
24-match Pac-10/12 home winning streak
(last loss, Oct. 19, 2007; 2-0 vs. UCLA)
7-match winning streak
(last non-victory, Aug. 31, 2012; 1-1 vs. Boston College)
RECENT STREAKS BROKEN:
Stanford's 25-match winning streak was broken on August 26 during a 1-0 loss to West Virginia at the Penn State Invitational.
Stanford's 51-match home winning streak was broken on August 31 during a 1-1 draw against Boston College.
PAC-12 SUCCESS: Stanford is coming off three consecutive perfect seasons in Pac-10/12 play and carries a 34-match conference winning streak into Friday's match at Utah. Stanford has won three consecutive conference championships and eight overall, and has claimed the past three players of the year: Kelley O'Hara (2009), Christen Press (2010), and Lindsay Taylor (2011). The same three players also have given Stanford three consecutive individual scoring titles. In addition, coach Paul Ratcliffe has won the past four Pac-10/12 Coach of the Year awards. Stanford hasn't lost in conference play since Oct. 31, 2008, at UCLA, 1-0.
SECOND-HALF DOMINANCE: The Cardinal has outscored opponents, 21-4, in the second half this season, following a trend that has been impressive over the past five years. Since 2008, Stanford has outscored opponents in the second half by a combined, 187-33. However, the first half hasn't been bad either, by a 138-18 count. The last time Stanford has been outscored in the second half was in 2007, 20-15. One reason could be because of the possession style that Stanford plays. Opponents tend to chase the ball for much of the match and wear down in the latter stages.
FIRST-HALF DEFENSE: An Oregon goal 30 seconds before halftime on Sunday ended Stanford's first-half scoreless streak of 430 minutes, 57 seconds. The Cardinal had not allowed a first-half goal since Aug. 24 - a streak of eight matches. In its past 19 matches dating back to last season, Stanford has shut out opponents in the opening half 16 times.
EMILY'S BACK: Junior goalkeeper Emily Oliver, who did not play in the first eight matches because of injury, has started the past two. Oliver has a career goals-against average of 0.28. She has allowed only 12 goals in 47 career matches. Her GAA, if maintained, would rank No. 1 in Stanford career history. U.S. national teamer Nicole Barnhart, a Stanford volunteer assistant coach, has the Stanford record of 0.45. Barnhart, a member of the U.S. national team, also holds the career shutout record of 35. Oliver is fifth, with 22.
LAST WEEK: In a match between two of the conference powerhouses of the past two years, Stanford routed No. 23 Oregon State on Thursday, 5-1. In each of the past two seasons, Stanford and Oregon State were first and second at the time of their late-season meeting. Each time, Stanford clinched the conference title with a victory. This time, a third-minute goal by Chioma Ubobagu helped Stanford bolt to a 3-0 halftime lead. Stanford got goals from five different players in the victory, including Courtney Verloo, who scored for the fourth consecutive match.
Against Oregon on Sunday, the Cardinal took 34 shots, but needed a 58th minute goal from Alex Doll to win the match, 2-1. Haley Rosen scored for the second consecutive match, giving the Cardinal a 1-0 lead.
VERLOO'S GOALS: Redshirt junior Courtney Verloo, playing forward for the first time since 2009, has scored in four of her past five matches. She leads the team in points, with 15 (4 goals, 7 assists), despite going scoreless over the first six matches of the season. Verloo was a backup forward as a true freshman in 2009 (4 goals, 6 assists, 14 points) and filled a need at central defender as a sophomore, earning third-team All-America honors in 2010. Last year, she suffered an injury the week before the season began and redshirted.
WORLD CUP WINNER: Stanford's leading returning scorer, sophomore forward Chioma Ubogagu, scored her first goal of the season on Thursday and now has played five matches for Stanford after helping the United States capture the FIFA Under-20 World Cup title in Japan. The U.S. beat Germany in the final, 1-0, on Sept. 8, but may not have gotten there without Ubogagu's overtime header that beat North Korea, 2-1, in the quarterfinals.
Ubogagu scored 10 goals and had 10 assists for Stanford's national championship team last season as a freshman and was named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team. FORWARD RETURNS: Also back is forward Marjani Hing-Glover, a senior who missed the team's first seven matches with an injury she suffered last spring. Hing-Glover came off the bench in Stanford's past four matches, making her season debut in a 4-0 victory over UNC Greensboro on Sept. 16. Hing-Glover started 12 times last season, mostly down the stretch and in the NCAA tournament, and was the team's fourth-leading scorer (6 goals, 5 assists, 17 points). Her hard shot is known on the team as the Jani Rocket.
FROM BEHIND: Stanford trailed in its first three matches - against Santa Clara, Penn State, and West Virginia. That equaled last year's total for the entire season. Since then, Stanford hasn't trailed at all, over a span of eight matches.
BEHIND THE CAMERA: This is the seventh of 12 regular-season matches Stanford will play on the Pac-12 Networks this season. The Cardinal is 5-0-1 on the new networks and has outscored its opponents, 22-3, in those matches. Stanford has scored five or more goals in three of those and is averaging 3.7 goals. Including a victory over Penn State on the Big Ten Network, Stanford is 6-0-1 on television this season.
NO SHOTS ALLOWED: On Sept. 16, Stanford held an opponent without a shot for the first time in school history in beating UNC Greensboro, 4-0, at the Santa Clara Classic. Stanford got goals from four different players and earned its fourth consecutive shutout while outshooting the Spartans, 25-0. In a program history that began in 1984, Stanford had held an opponent to one shot eight times, but never to none. UNCG (3-5) also failed to secure a corner kick, meaning Stanford goalkeepers Aly Gleason and Lindsay Dickerson had an uneventful day.
LEADING SCORER: Stanford lost 20-goal scorer Lindsay Taylor, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, to graduation, but has filled her scoring duties by committee. Twelve Stanford players have scored this season and seven of them have multiple goals. Junior forward Natalie Griffen, a first-year starter, and senior captain Mariah Nogueira are tied for the team goal-scoring lead, with five apiece. Courtney Verloo leads the team in points, with 15 (4 goals, 7 assists).
RANKINGS: Stanford remains No. 2 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Coaches' Poll, behind Florida State. In other rankings, Stanford is No. 2 by Soccer America, Top Drawer Soccer, Soccer Times, and Our Game.
FRIDAY'S OPPONENT, UTAH: The Utes (7-2-2 overall) are tied for third in the Pac-12 with California at 2-1. In their first conference season, Utah placed fifth, one spot ahead of NCAA qualifier Cal. The Utes have allowed only seven goals this season and have the second-best goals-against average (0.61) in the Pac-12 and have won six matches by shutout. Utah has allowed only one goal at home. Reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week Lindsey Luke, a transfer from Wake Forest, had a combined 17 saves in victories over Washington State and Washington last weekend, extending Utah's home winning streak to six. Utah's signature victory this season was over current No. 4 BYU, 1-0, on Aug. 25. It remains the only loss for the Cougars (11-1). Sophomore Katie Taylor leads the team in scoring, with 3 goals and 3 assists for 9 points.
THE STANFORD-UTAH SERIES: Stanford leads the all-time series 3-1. The teams have met the past two years, with Stanford winning both by a combined, 10-1. However, this will be the first time Stanford has played at Utah. Stanford's only loss came in the 2006 season-opener, at Santa Clara, 2-1.
SUNDAY'S OPPONENT, COLORADO: The Buffaloes had a strong nonconference season, losing only once in nine matches, but have struggled in Pac-12 play. Colorado (6-3-3, 0-2-1) is tied for 11th in the conference and is searching for its first Pac-12 home victory since joining the conference last year. The Buffs are a combined 0-6-1 going into the weekend. Junior forward Anne Stuller leads Colorado with 7 goals, tying her for the third-most in the conference. Colorado has six shutouts.
THE STANFORD-COLORADO SERIES: Stanford leads the all-time series, 3-0-0, and has outscored the Buffaloes by a combined 8-1, in their past two matches, including a 4-1 result last season at Stanford. This is their second meeting in Boulder, following Stanford's 1-0 victory in 2007.
SHUTOUT STREAK: Earlier this season, Stanford shut out five consecutive opponents - a scoreless streak that was broken after 588 minutes, 30 seconds on Sept. 27 with an 86th minute goal by Oregon State. Stanford's defense allowed five goals in the first four matches before beginning the streak. Also consider that since Paul Ratcliffe and goalkeepers coach Jay Cooney's arrival in 2003, the program's collective goals-against average going into the season was 0.55 and the Cardinal has been below 1.00 each year. The school record for most consecutive shutouts is seven (accomplished four times, including 2011) and the mark for most consecutive scoreless minutes allowed is 774:22 (2002-03).
THE SCHEDULE: Stanford opened with five matches against teams that reached the 2011 NCAA tournament and emerged with a 3-1-1 record - losing to West Virginia and tying Boston College. In all, Stanford plays nine teams that reached the postseason last year. Against ranked teams, Stanford is 5-0-1 this season.
CLUTCH PLAYER: Mariah Nogueira has made a habit of scoring clutch goals for Stanford. She scored the go-ahead goal against Georgetown, after earlier scoring a 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 18 career goals, 13 have tied the score or put Stanford ahead. She also has 10 game-winning goals. And, technically, she's not an offensive player, but rather a holding midfielder. Nearly all her goals are headers, as has been the case on each of her five goals this season.
SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATE: All-America Mariah Nogueira is one of 30 players around the country selected as a candidate for women's soccer's Senior CLASS Award, which honors those who excel in athletics, academics, and community service. Nogueira, a senior captain, carries a 3.63 cumulative GPA. She has been involved with Special Olympics, the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative, weekly tutoring for young students from East Palo Alto, working the Halloween Carnival in East Palo Alto, visiting the elderly, and being involved in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority philanthropy events. Nogueira has also served as a Sunday school teacher and as the single adults co-President at her church. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in October.
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).
FRESHMAN IMPACT: Of the five freshmen in this year's class, four have played and two have been regular starters. Laura Liedle has started every match at left outside back. Kate Bettinger has started four times as an attacking midfielder. Central defender Maya Theuer has started the past two matches in central defense, and midfielder Katie Donahue has played in four matches off the bench. Sarah Cox is a backup goalkeeper.
FOUR-YEAR STARTERS: Stanford has three players - tri-captains central defender Alina Garciamendez, outside right back Rachel Quon, and holding midfielder Mariah Nogueira - who are 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.
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 167-36-20. Over his career, now in his 14th year as a Division I head coach, Ratcliffe is 222-70-27.
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.
Goalkeeper: Emily Oliver
Defenders: Laura Liedle, Alina Garciamendez, Maya Theuer or Madeleine Thompson, Rachel Quon
Midfielders: Mariah Nogueira, Lo'eau LaBonta, Alex Doll
Forwards: Chioma Ubogagu, Natalie Griffen, Courtney Verloo