Uploaded: Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 1:07 PM
Stanford teammates become rivals for a few days
|Sophomore Kelsey Harbin and freshman Maddie Secco were key factors in No. 16 Stanford's 3-2 field hockey victory over No. 10 Iowa on Friday, with Harbin notching the game-winner and Secco scoring the Cardinal's opening goal.
With both players scheduled to miss three straight games, it's nice they could leave campus on a positive note.
Stanford will be without the services of Harbin and Secco, for good reason, when Stanford plays at No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 23.
Harbin and Secco have been selected to represent their respective countries at the Junior Pan American Championships, set for Sept. 10-23, in Guadalajara, Mexico. Harbin (Escondido, Calif.) is a member of the USA team while Secco (Victoria, British Columbia) joins Canada's roster.
"It's exciting because Junior Pan Ams only come around every four years," Harbin said. "Usually when we do tours with the U.S. Team, we'll go to England and play their team four times in a series. So, just being in an environment where there are so many countries and cultures in one area, it's an amazing experience. Being able to play against everyone and exchange jerseys. I'm extremely excited and honored just to have made the team."
Secco echoed some of the same sentiments.
"It's unfortunate the tournament is scheduled at this time but at least it's not in November during NCAAs," Secco said. "It will also be nice to have Kelsey there. We probably won't get a chance to talk much, but it's nice to know I have that support system there if I need it. Especially as a freshman, it's hard because I just started and you want to really gel with the team."
Participating in the prestigious two-week event means head coach Tara Danielson will miss two of her squad's most talented players, but the decision is a no-brainer. The Junior Pan American Championships serve as the qualifier for the 2013 Junior World Cup.
"The timing is obviously difficult, but we are extremely supportive and excited for them to participate and represent their country," said Danielson. "It's something we embrace as a program, the willingness to pursue our sport at the highest level. As a staff, we have all played at that level. So we realize the benefits this tournament offers and how valuable this experience will be during their time at Stanford."
Being on the quarter system helps with scheduling, as Harbin and Secco will return in time for the start of classes on Sept. 24 and the first of two meetings against NorPac rival California on Sept. 28.
Four years ago, Camille Gandhi was also forced to miss multiple games when she competed as a member of the USA squad at the event. The experience turned out well for Gandhi, who scored the game-winner against Chile in the gold medal match.
Danielson is looking forward to seeing how her club responds.
"We just beat No. 18 Drexel, which has some top wins," she said. "North Carolina is the top-ranked team right now. But it's also an opportunity for other players to step up and gain experience.
"This is a team game, so we're excited to see what depth we have. Our team will be better for it because we can try players at different positions. So while it's a challenge to lose them, we know that it's not where you are now, but rather at the end of the season."
For the second consecutive year, the Stanford women's athletics program was presented with the Capital One Cup, which is awarded annually to each of the best men's and women's Division I college athletic programs in the country.
Accepting this year's award at last weekend's football game against Duke were the following: Tara VanDerveer (head coach women's basketball), Tara Danielson (head coach field hockey), Paul Ratcliffe (head coach women's soccer), Rachel Quon (women's soccer), Becky Dru (field hockey), Alina Garciamendez (women's soccer), Mariah Nogueira (women's soccer), Emily Henriksson (field hockey) and John Tanner (head coach women's water polo).
On the strength of national championships in soccer and water polo, along with a fifth straight Final Four appearance by the women's basketball team, Stanford compiled 152.5 cumulative points in the standings, outdistancing UCLA, which finished second with 110 points.
Points towards the Capital One Cup are earned throughout the year based in final standings of NCAA Championships and final official coaches' polls.
In addition to its national championships in soccer and water polo, Stanford's women's teams also claimed top-10 finishes in basketball (3), gymnastics (4), swimming and diving (4), tennis (5), outdoor track and field (6), rowing (9), cross country (10), field hockey (10) and fencing (10).
— Brian Risso/Stanford Athletics
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