Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - November 29, 2013

Another NCAA soccer win for men

Cardinal advances to third round to face Washington

by Rick Eymer

Stanford's Matt Taylor converted a diving header into the net in the 21st minute of Sunday's NCAA Tournament second-round soccer match at Cal State Northridge, then went to work on the Cardinal back line that made it hold up for 69 minutes in Stanford's 1-0 victory.

After a Matadors' foul to the right of the penalty area, Ty Thompson lined up a free kick and curled his ball over Northridge goalie Adam Hobbs, leaving an open net into which Taylor powered home his header.

The win made the Cardinal (10-6-4) one of just four unseeded teams in the draw to reach the third round, where it will face a familiar Pac-12 foe in second-seeded Washington.

The Huskies advanced by defeating Seattle University 4-2 on Sunday, and will host the Cardinal this Sunday at 5 p.m. Washington beat the Cardinal twice this season, 3-1 at Stanford and 2-0 in Seattle.

The Cardinal has now reached the Round of 16 in each of its past five NCAA Tournament appearances (2000-02, 2009, 2013) and reached the 10-win mark for the first time since posting 12 victories in 2009.

Women's volleyball

The honors continued to roll in for Stanford senior Rachel Williams as she was named the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Williams, who was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, led Stanford sweeps over then-No. 3 Washington and Washington State last week. She paced the team with 3.67 kills, 4.58 points and 3.33 digs per set in the two matches, all marks above her season averages. She entered the week hitting .219, but recorded a .475 attack percentage in the matches against the Washington schools.

Stanford will host Cal on Friday night for Senior Night at 7 p.m.

Cross country

Stanford junior Aisling Cuffe, the conference individual champion, was named Pac-12 Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year on Tuesday.

Cuffe also was among five Stanford runners, among men and women, named to the All-Pac-12 teams. Cuffe and Jim Rosa received first-team honors, for women and men, respectively. Named to the second team were seniors Michael Atchoo and Erik Olson for the men and Jessica Tonn for the women.

Cuffe becomes the sixth different Cardinal runner to earn the honor, and it's the eighth time the honor has gone to Stanford overall. However, Cuffe is the first since 2007, when Ariana Lambie won the last of her three consecutive Pac-12 awards. Other Stanford winners were Sara Bei (2003), Alicia Craig (2002), Erin Sullivan (1999), and Louise Watson (1992).

Rosa was runner-up to Pac-12 Men's Athlete of the Year Edward Cheserek of Oregon in both the conference and regional meets. Rosa went on to become the top American-born finisher at the NCAA Championships, when he captured fifth.

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