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Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - September 13, 2013

Stanford soccer newcomer is making herself right at home

Taylor Uhl, the nation's leading scorer last season, has picked up where she left off at Minnesota and leads the No. 3 Cardinal women in scoring this season

by Rick Eymer

Stanford junior forward Taylor Uhl, the transfer from Minnesota, has slipped into her role with the Cardinal women's soccer team seamlessly.

Uhl, who led the nation in scoring last year while playing for the Golden Gophers, has assumed the team scoring lead for third-ranked Stanford (4-0-1) with four goals on 17 shots and a success rate of .235, tops among anyone who has taken five or more shots.

That kind of production is reminiscent of the recent Cardinal teams that have reached the Women's College Cup (Final Four) each of the past five seasons.

Stanford hopes to continue refining itself when it hosts Iowa State (4-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Cardinal played without forward Chioma Ubogagu and senior goalkeeper Emily Oliver in last Sunday's 3-0 victory over Maryland. Oliver also missed Stanford's 4-0 victory over Loyola Marymount.

Ubogagu, who has played with the U.S. women's national team program at Under-20 and Under-18, has yet to score on 12 shots but has recorded two assists for the Cardinal.

Freshman Jane Campbell, who became the first high school goalkeeper since Hope Solo to be invited to try out for the U.S. Senior National Team, started the past two games and has played in three. She has yet to allow a goal in over 214 minutes of play, recording nine saves. She came to The Farm as the nation's top prep keeper.

Stanford has outscored its opponents, 11-2, to date. Seniors Courtney Verloo and Sydney Payne, junior Alex Doll, redshirt sophomore Haley Rosen and freshmen Stephanie Amack, Ryan Walker-Hartshorn and Megan Turner have all scored for Stanford.

Eight different players have also recorded an assist, with Verloo and Ubogagu the leaders, each with two.

Stanford has three nonconference matches, including Iowa State, before the Pac-12 Conference season opens over the final weekend of September. Stanford hosts St. Mary's next Thursday and visits Bay Area rival Santa Clara on Sunday, Sept. 22.

The Cardinal plays an 11-match, single round-robin conference schedule. Stanford travels to Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. Its home schedule is impressive, with fifth-ranked UCLA coming the second week of October.

Women's volleyball

Stanford is approaching its visit to Washington D.C. with more than competition on its collective mind.

"It's more than just getting to go there and play," Cardinal coach John Dunning said. "It's what we get to do while we're back there. It's an experience we will never forget. It's a worldly experience for all of us."

It will also serve to help the eighth-ranked Cardinal (2-2) get back on track after getting swept at the Big Four Challenge in Austin (Texas) over the weekend. Stanford dropped matches to No. 5 Florida, despite 21 kills from Rachel Williams, and to No. 2 Texas, the defending national champion.

Sacred Heart Prep grad Jesse Ebner and Castilleja grad Lucy Tashman play for Yale, which Stanford plays on Friday morning at the Pentagon.

Stanford and Yale each had Pentagon connections, which is why they were invited to participate.

Stanford's student radio station, KZSU, will not be allowed to broadcast from the Pentagon for national security reasons.

Williams leads the team with 3.57 kills per set, followed by Brittany Howard at 3.50 and Carly Wopat at 3.00. Wopat leads the team with a .439 hitting percentage. Inky Ajanaku follows at .419.

Defensively, Stanford is holding opponents to an overall .152 hitting percentage while hitting .284 itself.

Men's golf

Stanford opens its fall season with a trip to the Fighting Illini Invitational at The Olypmia Fields in Illinois.

The three-day tournament opens Friday. Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers is coming off a successful summer of amateur golf, most recently concluding with helping the United States regaining the Walker Cup from Great Britain-Ireland.

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