Nov. 29, 2012
SAN DIEGO - Defending NCAA women’s soccer champion Stanford returns to its fifth consecutive NCAA College Cup and faces 21-time national champion North Carolina in a semifinal match Friday at University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium at approximately 8 p.m. This will be a rematch of the 2009 NCAA final won by North Carolina, 1-0, on a dreary day in College Station, Texas. In fact, Stanford is searching for its first-ever victory over the Tar Heels, as well as its fourth consecutive NCAA final.
NCAA Women’s Soccer College Cup
At Torero Stadium, San Diego
Florida State (20-3-0) vs. Penn State (20-3-2), 5:30 p.m.
(ESPN3.com, tape-delayed, 10 a.m. Sunday)
Stanford (21-1-1) vs. North Carolina (13-5-3), 8 p.m. (approx.)
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m. (ESPNU, ESPN3.com)
Stanford Storyline: Defending champ plays 21-time national champ. Follow: Gametracker live stats (gostanford.com) Watch: ESPNU and ESPN3.com (Beth Mowins, Julie Foudy, Cat Whitehill).
COLLEGE CUP RUN: Stanford’s 10-player senior class has never known anything other than NCAA College Cup berths. This marks the fifth consecutive season the Cardinal has reach soccer’s final four, and Stanford is shooting for its fourth consecutive berth in the final -- a first in school history.
THE STANFORD-NORTH CAROLINA SERIES: Stanford has never beaten the Tar Heels, and one might surmise that the only way the Cardinal can be deemed as one of the great programs of all-time would be to go through the 21-time national champion. North Carolina holds an 8-0-3 series lead, though the past three meetings have included two draws. In fact, Stanford had never led at any point in any match against UNC until their most recent meeting, when Christen Press scored in the 32nd minute (off an assist by current redshirt junior Courtney Verloo) on Aug. 27, 2010 in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels came back twice, including after Teresa Noyola’s goal gave Stanford a 2-1 lead in the 60th minute, to complete a 2-2 draw.
STANFORD VS. THE ACC: Stanford has fared well against the Atlantic Coast Conference. Here’s a breakdown:
Against current ACC schools: 21-14-8
Against North Carolina: 0-8-3
Against current ACC schools other than North Carolina: 21-6-5
Against Florida State: 2-0
Against ACC schools remaining in tournament field: 2-8-3
Against ACC schools in NCAA tournament play: 6-1-1
Against ACC schools this season: 1-0-1
CURRENT STANFORD STREAKS:
• Five consecutive College Cup appearances
• Four consecutive Pac-10/12 Conference titles
• Three consecutive College Cup finals appearances
• 152-match unbeaten streak (146-0-6) when scoring a goal
(the last time Stanford scored and lost was Aug. 27, 2006; 2-1 to Wake Forest)
• 102-match home unbeaten streak (98-0-4) when scoring a goal
(Stanford hasn’t scored at home and lost since Oct. 5, 2003; 2-1 to LMU)
• 67-match home unbeaten streak (65-0-2), second-longest in NCAA history
(last loss, Nov. 23, 2007; 2-0 to Connecticut in an NCAA third-round match)
• 42-match Pac-10/12 winning streak, No. 3 conference win streak in NCAA history
(last loss, Oct. 31, 2008; 1-0 at UCLA)
• 35-match unbeaten streak (32-0-3) 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)
• 20-match NCAA Tournament home winning streak
(last loss, Nov. 23, 2007; 2-0 to Connecticut in an NCAA third-round match)
• 19-match winning streak
(last non-victory, Aug. 31, 2012; 1-1 vs. Boston College)
• 10-match NCAA Tournament winning streak
(last loss, Dec. 5, 2010; 1-0 vs. Notre Dame in NCAA final)
NOTE: Bold applies to this game
SENIOR SUCCESS: Some numbers on the success of Stanford’s 10-player senior class (Annie Case, Lindsay Dickerson, Alina Garciamendez, Aly Gleason, Marjani Hing-Glover, Mariah Nogueira, Rachel Quon, Madeleine Thompson, Courtney Verloo, and Nina Watkins):
• Stanford is 94-3-4 over the past four years
• Stanford finished 52-0-1 at home
• Stanford finished 40-0-0 in Pac-12 play
NOTE: The class of 2013 is one victory from tying the total of last year’s class (Camille Levin, Teresa Noyola, Lindsay Taylor, Kristy Zurmuhlen), which went 95-4-4.
BIG MATCHES IN STANFORD-UNC HISTORY: Stanford and North Carolina have met twice in Nos. 1 vs. 2 matchups, and once in a College Cup final. Here is a list of some of the most important matches in their history:
• Aug. 27, 2010; No. 2 Stanford 2, No. 1 North Carolina 2 (2OT), in Chapel Hill, N.C.: In a rematch of the 2009 NCAA final, Stanford took leads on goals by Christen Press and Teresa Noyola, but failed to hold them. UNC tied the score in the 71st minute on a goal by Amber Brooks and drop Stanford’s all-time series record against the Tar Heels to 0-8-3.
• Dec. 6, 2009: No. 4 North Carolina 1, No. 1 Stanford 0, NCAA College Cup final, College Station, Texas: North Carolina took advantage of a goal by Jessica McDonald only 2:50 into the match and withstood two apparent Stanford goals that were called offside, including a shorthanded long-range shot by Christen Press in the 89th minute on a rainy day at Texas A&M.
• Sept. 12, 2008: No. 3 Stanford 1, No. 5 North Carolina 1 (2OT), in Stanford, Calif.: In a match that launched Stanford as a national contender, Kelley O’Hara tied it on an 87th-minute breakaway before an overflow home crowd of 2,273.
• Oct. 4, 2002: No. 2 North Carolina 1, No. 1 Stanford 0, in Moraga, Calif.: Stanford had just achieved the first No. 1 ranking in its history, and got six saves from Nicole Barnhart, but fell on a 60th minute goal by Alyssa Ramsey at St. Mary’s College.
MILESTONE: Stanford senior central defender Alina Garciamendez became the first player in Stanford history to reach 100 starts, breaking the mark held by forward Lindsay Taylor (2008-11) in the third round. She now has 101. Garciamendez has started every match at Stanford career and is one of three four-year starters, along with Rachel Quon and Mariah Nogueira.
HERMANN TROPHY TRADITION: Stanford has two players who are among the 15 semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious honor in collegiate soccer. Senior central defender Alina Garciamendez and outside back Rachel Quon were named this week to that list. Here are short bios of each:
Alina Garciamendez: D, Sr., Fairview, Texas
The senior has started every match since she arrived as a freshman in 2009 … the central defender has an ongoing school career record of 101 starts going into the College Cup … is a three-year team captain … has helped Stanford to 11 shutouts and a 0.60 goals-against average this season … after scoring two goals over her first three seasons, she is tied for third on the team with 6 in 2012 … scored two late winners, in the 103rd minute against USC and in the 89th minute against Boston University … first-team All-Pac-12 … four-year all-conference selection, including two on first team … also plays for the Mexican national team, including as a starter in the 2011 World Cup … has appeared in four College Cups.
Rachel Quon: D, Sr., Lake Forest, Ill.
A four-year starter at outside back, with 95 career starts going into the College Cup … has started all 23 matches in 2012 … a team captain for the No. 1-ranked Cardinal … is a force as a one-one-defender and as an offensive catalyst as an overlapping defender … will move up to midfield and even forward when team needs a goal … has 2 goals and 7 assists for a career-high 11 points … shut out Pac-12 scoring leader Zakiya Bywaters of UCLA in two one-on-one matchups … earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 30, after her long free kick set up the winning overtime goal against USC and, two days later, scored the winning goal against UCLA in the 79th minute to clinch the Pac-12 title … first-team All-Pac-12 selection … has appeared in four College Cups … a four-year all-conference player, with three first-team honors.
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 (2011) captured the honor. In addition, Lindsay Taylor was the runner-up to Noyola.
QUARTERFINAL: Lo’eau LaBonta scored two second-half goals to rally Stanford to a 2-1 victory over UCLA before a soldout crowd at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. Just like in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in L.A. for the Pac-12 title on Oct. 28, Stanford overcame a deficit in the second half to win, 2-1. In this one, Stanford extended its winning streak over the Bruins to seven and enabled its seniors to finish their home careers with an unbeaten record (52-0-1).
THIRD ROUND: Goals by Alex Doll, Nina Watkins, and Chioma Ubogagu enabled Stanford to beat Denver, 3-0, in a third round match at Cagan Stadium. Doll opened the scoring in the ninth minute on a first-time shot from 12 yards to give the Cardinal all it needed to extend its home unbeaten streak to 66 and its home NCAA tournament winning streak to 19.
SECOND ROUND: Stanford beat rival Santa Clara, 2-1, on Friday at home with two goals by Courtney Verloo. Verloo scored in the 51st and 60th minutes, first after Chioma Ubogagu cut the ball back from the end line into Verloo’s path. Verloo’s shot in traffic went through the legs of a defender and was similar in creation to her winner at California in the regular-season finale. Verloo’s next goal came on a solo run and a blast off the bottom of the crossbar. Santa Clara cut the deficit in the 77th minute, but the Cardinal hung on and earned its ninth consecutive victory over the Broncos.
FIRST ROUND: Stanford scored three first-half goals on the way to a 3-0 NCAA first-round victory over visiting Idaho State, the Big Sky Conference tournament champion and regular-season co-champ. Alex Doll scored in the seventh minute on a point-blank shot after Nina Watkins chested the ball into her path. Courtney Verloo scored from 12 yards in the 21st minute and Sydney Payne scored on a spectacular volley in the 41st minute into the upper corner. The Cardinal outshot Idaho State, 31-7, and earned its fourth consecutive first-round victory over a Big Sky team.
PAC-12 CHAMPS: Stanford clinched its fourth consecutive outright Pac-12 championship when it beat second-place UCLA on Oct. 28 in a matchup between teams ranked Nos. 1 (Stanford) and No. 2 (UCLA). Stanford rallied for two late goals to win, 2-1, before a record crowd of more than 4,000 at Drake Stadium. Stanford’s goals were scored by Chioma Ubogagu and Rachel Quon within 72 seconds of each other -- the latter in the 79th minute to help complete a ninth conference title. The others were in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
PAC-12 HONOR FOR RATCLIFFE: For the fifth consecutive season, Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe has earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors. Ratcliffe was selected after a vote of conference coaches. Stanford has never failed to make the NCAA tournament under Ratcliffe’s direction and is 27-7-2 in NCAA play under him.
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 appearances each year, and a possible four consecutive NCAA finals.
ALL-CONFERENCE CARDINAL: 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. 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. In addition, Courtney Verloo and Lo’eau LaBonta received honorable mention honors, and Laura Liedle and Maya Theuer were named to the All-Freshman team.
CLUTCH VICTORIES: Stanford is 12-1 in one-goal games this season. Of those 12 victories, Stanford broke ties to score the winners in the second half of eight of them -- five in Pac-12 play. Of the second-half winners, Alina Garciamendez scored three of those, Mariah Nogueira two, and Alex Doll, Rachel Quon, and Lo’eau LaBonta 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 six matches this season -- that’s equal to its total for the past two seasons combined. Stanford has rallied to victories in five of those this year, including both matches against UCLA -- for the Pac-12 title (scoring two goals within 72 seconds late in the second half) and in the NCAA quarterfinals. On Oct. 7, Stanford rallied at Colorado when the Cardinal scored two goals within 37 seconds of the 79th minute in a 2-1 victory.
SECOND-HALF DOMINANCE: The Cardinal has outscored opponents, 36-7, in the second half, following a trend. Since 2008, Stanford has outscored opponents in the second half by 200-35. However, the first half hasn’t been bad either, by a 149-22 count. The last time Stanford has been outscored in the second half for a season was in 2007.
RECORD AGAINST NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS: Stanford is 13-1-1 against NCAA tournament teams, with a combined goal advantage of 37-9. Stanford won seven of those matches by shutout. Here is the list:
Aug. 17: at Stanford 6, Santa Clara 1
Aug. 24: Stanford 3, at Penn State 2
Aug. 26: West Virginia 1, Stanford 0, at Penn State
Aug. 31: at Stanford 1, Boston College 1 (2OT)
Sept. 9: at Stanford 6, Georgetown 0
Sept. 14: Stanford 1, San Diego State 0, at Santa Clara
Sept. 23: at Stanford 3, Arizona State 0
Oct. 18: at Stanford 3, Washington State 2
Oct. 21: at Stanford 3, Washington 0
Oct. 28: Stanford 2, at UCLA 1
Nov. 4: Stanford 1, at California 0
Nov. 9: at Stanford 3, Idaho State 0
Nov. 16: at Stanford 2, Santa Clara 1
Nov. 18: at Stanford 3, Denver 0
Nov. 23: at Stanford 2, UCLA 1
SENIOR GOALS: On Stanford’s Senior Night ceremony, after a 3-0 victory over Washington, the 10 seniors revealed their goals for beyond graduation:
Annie Case: Earn master’s in mgt. science and engineering.
Lindsay Dickerson: Take a year off, then attend medical school.
Alina Garciamendez: First pro soccer, then pediatric dentist.
Aly Gleason: Will serve in the U.S. Air Force.
Marjani Hing-Glover: Audition on Broadway.
Mariah Nogueira: Pro soccer, then master’s in psychology.
Rachel Quon: Professional soccer.
Madeleine Thompson: Master’s in mgt. science & engineering.
Courtney Verloo: Has one more season of eligibility.
Nina Watkins: Master’s in marine biology or ski for a year.
Goalkeeper: Emily Oliver
Carries a 0.51 goals-against average
Left back: Laura Liedle
A Pac-12 All-Freshman team choice back in her hometown
Center back: Alina Garciamendez
World Cup veteran has 101 career starts, most ever at Stanford
Center back: Madeleine Thompson
Senior has started 11 games this season
Right back: Rachel Quon
Four-time all-conference selection; dangerous in attack
Midfield: Mariah Nogueira
Has scored seven goals, six on headers
Midfield: Alex Doll
Work-rate is second to none; has scored two goals in playoffs.
Midfield: Nina Watkins
Moved into starting lineup on Oct. 11; big goal in third round
Forward: Lo’eau LaBonta
Rallied Stanford with two second-half goals in quarterfinal
Forward: Chioma Ubogagu
Returned to team in mid-September from U-20 World Cup
Forward: Courtney Verloo
Team scoring leader with 31 points (10 goals, 11 assists)
RANKINGS: Stanford finished the regular season entrenched at No. 1 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Coaches’ Poll. In other rankings, Stanford is No. 1 by Soccer America, Top Drawer Soccer, Soccer Times, and Our Game.
OLYMPIC REPRESENTATION: At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Stanford was represented by four players -- the biggest representation by any school. Three former Cardinal played for the gold medal-winning United States team: U.S. co-captain and defender Rachel Buehler (class of 2007), starting defender Kelley O’Hara (‘10), and backup goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart (‘04). In addition, outside back Ali Riley (‘10) was fixture for New Zealand. Also, Christen Press (‘12) was an alternate to the U.S. team, and Alina Garciamendez (‘13) and Teresa Noyola (‘12) were on the Mexico team that finished one qualifying victory short of advancing to London.
BEHIND THE CAMERA: Stanford has played 13 matches on TV, 11 on the new Pac-12 Networks, and another on the Big Ten Network. The Cardinal is 12-0-1 on TV and has outscored opponents, 38-9, in those matches.
SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST: All-America midfielder Mariah Nogueira is one of 10 finalists for the women’s soccer 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 last spring. She scored 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 national title game before losing to Penn State.
SCORING BY COMMITTEE:
• Of Stanford’s conference-leading 59 goals, 34 have been scored by forwards, 25 by midfielders and defenders.
• The team’s four leading goal-scorers are a defender (Alina Garciamendez), two midfielders (Mariah Nogueira, Alex Doll), and a forward (Courtney Verloo).
• Ten players have scored three or more goals.
• Verloo is the team goals leader with 10 and points leader (31).
• Of Nogueira’s seven, six have come off her head.
• Twelve Stanford players have scored goals, 11 have two or more.
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. Of her seven goals, six were scored on headers.
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 as a freshman last season. This year, she has five goals and is tied for the team lead with 11 assists.
EMILY’S SEASON: Junior goalkeeper Emily Oliver did not play in the first eight matches because of injury, but has started since. Oliver has a career goals-against average of 0.33. She has allowed only 18 goals in 59 career matches. Her GAA, if maintained until the end of her Stanford career, would rank No. 1 in Stanford history. U.S. national teamer Nicole Barnhart, a Stanford volunteer assistant coach, has the Stanford record of 0.45.