Nov. 2, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 1 Stanford women's soccer team will attempt to complete its fourth consecutive perfect conference season when it plays at No. 23 Cal on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Berkeley’s Edwards Stadium. The Cardinal clinched its fourth Pac-10/12 title a week earlier with a 2-1 comeback victory over second-place UCLA. However, this will be the final conference match for most of the 10 members of the Stanford class of 2013 and the opportunity to go perfect in conference for their careers. Stanford puts its 41-match conference winning streak on the line against a revitalized Golden Bears team, and then embarks begins defense of its national title when it begins the NCAA tournament next week.
The following is a closer look at the match:
Who: No. 1 Stanford (16-1-1, 10-0) at California (15-4, 8-2)
When: Sunday, 11 a.m. PT
Where: Edwards Stadium, Berkeley, Calif.
Watch: Pac-12 Network Bay Area (Allen Hopkins and Krista Blunk on the call)
Follow: Gametracker live stats (gostanford.com)
Storyline: Stanford seeks to complete a fourth consecutive perfect Pac-12 season.
CURRENT STANFORD STREAKS:
• Four consecutive College Cup appearances
• Four consecutive Pac-10/12 Conference titles
• Three consecutive College Cup finals appearances
• 147-match unbeaten streak (141-0-6) when scoring a goal
(the last time Stanford scored and lost was Aug. 27, 2006; 2-1 to Wake Forest)
• 98-match home unbeaten streak (94-0-4) when scoring a goal
(Stanford hasn’t scored at home and lost since Oct. 5, 2003; 2-1 to LMU)
• 63-match home unbeaten streak (61-0-2), second-longest in NCAA history
(last loss, Nov. 23, 2007; 2-0 to Connecticut in an NCAA third-round match)
• 41-match Pac-10/12 winning streak, No. 3 conference win streak in NCAA history
(last loss, Oct. 31, 2008; 1-0 at UCLA)
• 34-match unbeaten streak (31-0-3) on opponents’ home fields
(last loss, Oct. 31, 2008; 1-0 at UCLA)
• 28-match Pac-10/12 home winning streak
(last loss, Oct. 19, 2007; 2-0 vs. UCLA)
• 14-match winning streak
(last non-victory, Aug. 31, 2012; 1-1 vs. Boston College)
NCAA SELECTION SHOW: Stanford and Cal will find out their NCAA brackets when the 64-team tournament field is announced on Monday at 1:30 p.m. on a selection show airing on ncaa.com. Stanford, the Pac-12 champion, has clinched a spot, but Cal, with an RPI of No. 27, seems assured of an at-large berth. The tournament begins on Friday, Nov. 9. Stanford has placed a bid to host the first round and seems a likely site.
SENIOR STREAK: Stanford’s 10 seniors have never lost or tied a Pac-12 match and would complete their four-year careers with a perfect conference record if the Cardinal can beat California. Stanford has a 41-match conference winning streak -- the third-longest in NCAA Division I history behind only North Carolina (55, 1994-2000) and Florida (49, 1995-2001). Stanford has not lost in conference play since losing at UCLA, 1-0, on Oct. 31, 2008. In their four years, the seniors are 39-0-0 in conference play.
PAC-12 CHAMPS: Stanford clinched its fourth consecutive outright Pac-12 championship when it beat second-place UCLA on Sunday in a matchup between the top-ranked teams in the country. The 2-1 victory gives Stanford (10-0 in the Pac-12) 30 points in the standings. Even with a loss to Cal, the best UCLA (8-1-1) can do is finish with 28 points. Stanford has now won nine Pac-10/12 titles. The others were in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
SUNDAY’S OPPONENT, CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears, ranked No. 23 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Coaches Poll and No. 17 by Soccer America, already have earned their most overall victories in a season since they won 16 in 2005. Freshman forward Ifeoma Onumonu, a Los Osos High School student alongside Stanford sophomore Lo’eau LaBonta, leads the team in scoring with 11 goals and 5 assists for 27 points. Cal lost its Pac-12 opener to visiting Arizona, but rallied to win eight consecutive matches before falling at UCLA on Friday, 3-0.
THE STANFORD-CAL SERIES: Stanford holds a 17-10-4 lead in the series, and has won the past four matchups by a combined 12-1. Stanford’s last non-victory was a 1-1 draw at home in the second round of the 2007 NCAA tournament (Stanford advanced on penalty kicks). Cal’s last victory was by 1-0 in Berkeley on Nov. 5, 2006. Last year, Lindsay Taylor and Kristy Zurmuhlen scored within 40 seconds of each other in the first half to lead No. 1 Stanford to a 2-0 victory in a Pac-12 season finale and allowed the Cardinal to complete its third consecutive unbeaten regular season. It also allowed seniors Taylor, Zurmuhlen, Camille Levin and Teresa Noyola to finish their careers with a 75-1-1 four-year regular-season record.
CLOSING IN ON RECORD: Stanford senior central defender Alina Garciamendez is nearing the Stanford career record for starts. Garciamendez has started every match in her Stanford career and has 96. The record is 98 by Lindsay Taylor from 2008-11). Garciamendez would tie the mark in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Nov. 9.
SENIOR CLASS: The 10-member Stanford class of 2013 -- Annie Case, Lindsay Dickerson, Alina Garciamendez, Aly Gleason, Marjani Hing-Glover, Mariah Nogueira, Rachel Quon, Madeleine Thompson, Courtney Verloo, and Nina Watkins -- has a combined four-year record of 89-3-4, including a 48-0-1 record at home and 39-0 in conference play. This success rivals that of the Stanford class of 2012 that consisted of All-Americans Teresa Noyola, Lindsay Taylor, and Camille Levin, and College Cup All-tournament Kristy Zurmuhlen. That class went 95-4-4.
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.
LAST WEEK: Stanford won two matches in dramatic fashion during a Los Angeles road trip that allowed the Cardinal to clinch its fourth consecutive Pac-12 championship. Against USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Friday, the match went into double overtime before Alina Garciamendez scored in the 103rd minute for a 1-0 victory, after Rachel Quon’s free kick from midfield was flicked forward by the foot of Mariah Nogueira. Against UCLA on Sunday in what was essentially a conference final, Stanford overcame a 1-0 deficit by scoring two goals within 72 seconds late in the second half. Quon scored the winner in the 78th minute from 10 yards to complete the comeback before a UCLA-record crowd of 4,068 at Drake Stadium. It came moments after Chioma Ubogagu tied the match with a left-footed shot from 22 yards.
CLUTCH VICTORIES: Stanford is 9-1 in one-goal games this season and has won its share in the late going. Of those nine victories, Stanford broke ties to score the winners in the second half of seven of them -- five in Pac-12 play. Of the seven second-half winners, Alina Garciamendez scored three of those, Mariah Nogueira two, and Alex Doll and Rachel Quon one apiece. Five of those matches were decided in the final 12 minutes and three in the final four minutes: 3-2 over Penn State (Nogueira, 87th minute), 1-0 over Boston University (Garciamendez, 89th), and 1-0 over USC (Garciamendez, 103rd).
FROM BEHIND: Stanford has trailed in five matches this season, rallying for victories in four of those matches, including Friday by scoring two goals within 72 seconds late in the second half to rally past No. 2 UCLA, 2-1, on the road. It was similar to a 2-1 victory at Colorado on Oct. 7 when the Cardinal scored two goals within 37 seconds in the 79th minute.
PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Stanford swept the Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors this week after its weekend road sweep of the L.A. schools. Rachel Quon was the Offensive Player of the Week after scoring the winning goal against UCLA in the 79th minute after moving up from her outside back position to the midfield to aid in the attack. On Friday, she supplied the free kick that resulted in the winning goal in the second overtime of a 1-0 victory over USC. Quon also played strong defense in a matchup against UCLA’s dangerous Zakiya Bywaters, who was shut out. Oliver posted a shutout against USC and came through with three spectacular saves to help preserve the victory over UCLA. In addition, Quon was named as the nationl Primetime Performer of the Week by collegesoccer360.com.
SECOND-HALF DOMINANCE: The Cardinal has outscored opponents, 30-6, in the second half, following a trend. Since 2008, Stanford has outscored opponents in the second half by 196-35. However, the first half hasn’t been bad either, by a 144-21 count. The last time Stanford has been outscored in the second half was in 2007.
Goalkeeper: Emily Oliver
Carries a 0.56 goals-against average.
Left back: Laura Liedle
Competed on surf team for high school, not soccer.
Center back: Alina Garciamendez
Senior has started every match of her career.
Center back: Madeleine Thompson
Senior has started six games this season.
Right back: Rachel Quon
Reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.
Midfield: Mariah Nogueira
Team goal-scoring leader with seven.
Midfield: Alex Doll
Hard tireless worker.
Midfield: Nina Watkins
Moved into starting lineup on Oct. 11.
Forward: Lo’eau LaBonta
Moved from midfield to forward on Oct. 11.
Forward: Chioma Ubogagu
Returned to team in mid-September from U-20 World Cup.
Forward: Courtney Verloo
Team scoring leader with 21 points (6 goals, 9 assists).
SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST: All-America midfielder Mariah Nogueira is one of 10 finalists for the 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, and weekly tutoring for young students from East Palo Alto, among other community service works. Nogueira has also done charity work with a group called “Kids Alive” in the Dominican Republic. The selection process includes fan voting through November 19th at www.seniorCLASSaward.com.
TWO-SPORT ATHLETES: Stanford has two players who also play another sport for Stanford. Midfielder Hannah Farr was an all-conference lacrosse player. She 23 goals and had four assists for Stanford in the spring and became the first freshman named to the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation first team since 2007. Goalkeeper Aly Gleason played on the Stanford rugby team that reached the women’s national championship game before losing to Penn State.
PAC-12 SUCCESS: Stanford is coming off three consecutive perfect seasons in Pac-10/12 play and has a 41-match winning streak. Stanford has won four consecutive conference titles and nine overall, and has the past three players of the year: Kelley O’Hara (2009), Christen Press (2010), and Lindsay Taylor (2011). Each of those players led the conference in scoring. In addition, Paul Ratcliffe has won the past four Pac-10/12 Coach of the Year awards. Stanford’s conference record since 2008 is 47-1.
RANKINGS: Stanford is in its second week at No. 1 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Coaches’ Poll. Stanford held the spot early in the season before losing and tying consecutive matches. In other rankings, Stanford moved into No. 1 by Soccer America, and remains No. 1 by Top Drawer Soccer, Soccer Times, and Our Game.
SCORING BY COMMITTEE:
• Of Stanford’s conference-leading 48 goals, 24 have been scored by forwards, 24 by midfielders and defenders.
• The team’s four leading goal-scorers are a defender (Alina Garciamendez), midfielder (Mariah Nogueira), and two forwards (Courtney Verloo, Chioma Ubogagu).
• Nine players have scored three or more goals.
• Nogueira is the team goals leader with 7, with all but one coming off her head.
• Verloo is the team points leader (6 goals, 9 assists, 21 points). Four of her goals have been on set pieces -- two penalties, a free kick, and a corner kick.
• Twelve Stanford players have scored goals.
ROAD STRETCH: Stanford is in the final stage of a span in which it played only two home matches during an eight-match stretch to close the regular season. Stanford played only two home matches in a 35-day span. If Stanford plays host to a first-round match, that stretch would be 39 days with only two home matches.
CLUTCH PLAYER: Mariah Nogueira has made a habit of scoring clutch goals for Stanford. She beat Washington State with a 62nd minute header. She tied the score against Colorado with a left-footed shot in the 79th minute. Earlier this season, she scored a late winner at Penn State. Of Nogueira’s team-high 20 career goals, 15 have tied the score or put Stanford ahead. She also has 11 game-winning goals, which is believed to be a school record. And, technically, she’s not an offensive player, but rather a holding midfielder. Her seven goals lead the team, with six scored on headers.
BEHIND THE CAMERA: The Cal match is the 12th regular-season match Stanford will play on the Pac-12 Networks this season. The Cardinal is 10-0-1 on the new network and has outscored its opponents, 35-7, in those matches. Stanford has scored five or more goals in three of those and is averaging 3.2 goals. Including a victory over Penn State on the Big Ten Network, Stanford is 11-0-1 on television this season.
THE SCHEDULE: Stanford opened with five matches against teams that reached the 2011 NCAA tournament and emerged with a 3-1-1 record. In all, Stanford plays nine teams that reached the postseason last year. Against teams ranked at the time of their meeting, Stanford is 5-0-1 this season. Against teams ranked in this week’s NSCAA top 25, Stanford is 4-1-1. Stanford beat current No. 4 Penn State (3-2), No. 6 San Diego State (1-0), No. 14 Georgetown (6-0), and No. 17 Santa Clara (6-1). The Cardinal tied No. 21 Boston College (1-1) and lost to No. 19 West Virginia (1-0). Still to come is No. 2 UCLA on Oct. 28 in Los Angeles and No. 21 California on Nov. 4 in Berkeley.
WORLD CUP WINNER: Stanford’s leading returning scorer, sophomore forward Chioma Ubogagu, rejoined the team Sept. 14 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.