Nov. 7, 2012
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -
Stanford's Paul Ratcliffe was named Pac-12 women's soccer Coach of the Year for the fifth consecutive season, the conference announced Wednesday.
Five Stanford players were named to the All-Pac-12 first team, and two others received all-conference honors. In addition, two Cardinal were named to the All-Freshman team.
For the first time since 2008, a Stanford player did not receive Pac-12 Player of the Year honors. UCLA's Zakiya Bywaters follows Stanford's run of Kelley O'Hara (2009), Christen Press (2010), and Lindsay Taylor (2011). Cal forward Ifeoma Onumonu, a high school teammate of Stanford's Lo'eau LaBonta, was the Freshman of the Year.
Stanford's first-team selections were: senior central defender Alina Garciamendez, senior midfielder Mariah Nogueira, junior goalkeeper Emily Oliver, senior outside back Rachel Quon, and sophomore forward Chioma Ubogagu. The five first-team selections match the most by Stanford, along with teams of 2009 and 2011.
Honorable mention selections were forwards Courtney Verloo, a redshirt junior, and LaBonta, a sophomore who also has played in the midfield.
Named to the All-Freshman team were outside back Laura Liedle and central defender Maya Theuer.
Ratcliffe led Stanford to its fourth consecutive Pac-12 championship - all with a perfect record - and has guided the Cardinal to 42 consecutive conference victories. It's the third-longest conference win streak in NCAA Division I history.
In Ratcliffe's five Coach of the Year seasons, Stanford is a combined 112-5-5 overall, 61-0-2 at home, and 48-1-0 in conference play. Stanford has four NCAA College Cup appearances and has reached the national final the past three seasons, winning it in 2011.
This is the third first-team selection for Quon, a native of Lake Forest, Ill., who also received consideration for Player of the Year. Quon, who has four all-conference honors, has two goals - both winners - and seven assists this year. Her 79th minute left-footed shot beat UCLA, 2-1, in a match between the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the country.
Garciamendez and Nogueira also finish as four-year all-conference players, with two first-team selections each. Nogueira is tied for the team lead in goals with seven and Garciamendez is third with six. Each total represents an individual season high. Also, each player has scored three game-winners.
Oliver repeats as the conference's top goalkeeper. She has a 0.50 goals-against average and four shutouts. She has allowed only five goals in 898 minutes.
Stanford, the defending national champion, opens NCAA tournament play on Friday at 7 p.m. against visiting Idaho State at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.