Sports

Stanford's O'Hara makes national team debut in soccer

She'll play again on Wednesday in another exhibition match against Mexico

Stanford senior Kelley O'Hara certainly deserved a break after leading the Cardinal women's soccer into the national championship match this season and later being named the winner of the Hermann Trophy as best female college player in the nation.

O'Hara, however, hasn't slowed down much since then. On Sunday, she made her debut with the U.S. National Team in a 3-0 exhibition victory over Mexico at Torero Stadium on the campus of UC San Diego.

O'Hara entered the match for Heather O'Reilly in the 63rd minute. Her teammates found her wide into space a few times and she was able to create problems for Mexico's defenders with her pace. O'Hara sent in a cross in the 78th minute that veteran Kristine Lilly headed just wide.

O'Hara has been a veteran of U.S. youth national team camps and three U.S. senior national team camps, but this was her first match with the U.S. side. And her first cap.

Also on the field with O'Hara were former Stanford standout Rachel Buehler, in defense for the U.S. team, and her 2009 Stanford teammate Alina Garciamendez, who got the start and played all 90 minutes at centerback for Mexico. Garciamendez is a Stanford freshman.

O'Hara will get an opportunity for her second cap when the U.S. team plays Mexico on Wednesday (6 p.m., ESPN2) in Sandy, Utah. Garciamendez, however, will not be at the match.

O'Hara also is now a member of the Bay Area's FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer. The Gold Pride opens its season April 11 in St. Louis, and plays its home opener April 17 against Sky Blue FC at Castro Valley High School, at 7 p.m.

Basketball

Stanford-bound Sara James of Oak Ridge High (El Dorado Hills) had a starring role as her team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in state history with a 55-42 thumping of Long Beach Poly in the CIF Division I state championship game last weekend in Bakersfield.

James scored 26 points and helped Oak Ridge (32-3) go on an 11-0 run after Poly (32-3) tied the game at 40-40 with 5:08 remaining. Poly, the nation's fourth-ranked team, was trying to be the first girls' team to capture five straight California state titles.

Women's gymnastics

Stanford received a No. 1 seed to the NCAA regionals and is headed to Morgantown, W.Va., to compete in the April 10 meet for the right to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

This marks the 27th consecutive season that Stanford has qualified for NCAA regional competition.

In the Morgantown Regional -- one of six around the country -- Stanford and Michigan are the top two seeds and will be joined by (in order of seeds) Southern Utah, North Carolina State, Kent State, and West Virginia. The top two advance to the NCAA Championships in Gainesville, Fla., April 22-24.

The top 36 teams in the country, based on a Regional Qualifying Score formula calculated through scoring average, advanced to the regionals. The top two all-around competitors and event winners not on qualifying teams advance as well.

Stanford, tied for No. 6 in the national rankings with Michigan, has advanced to the NCAAs the past three years and seven of the past nine. Stanford received a higher seed over the Wolverines because its highest score, not including the six used for the regional qualifying score, advances.

The Cardinal has won four regional team titles and 34 from individuals in its 33-year history. Of Stanford's three 2009 winners, Carly Janiga (all-around) and Allyse Ishino (uneven bars) return as part of this year's team. Janiga's victory marked the sixth time since 2001 that Stanford has captured the all-around.

Men's tennis

Stanford will be out to improve upon its four-match winning when the Cardinal (11-3) plays host to Baylor (15-3) in the fourth annual HP Cup, a home-and-home series, on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

The Cardinal is coming off an impressive stretch that featured three wins over a span of five days. Included in that span were hard-fought back-to-back victories over No. 11 Illinois and No. 28 Michigan during a Midwest road swing. Stanford is arguably playing its best tennis of the year.

Stanford will be looking for its first-ever win over Baylor, which owns a 9-0 lead in the all-time series dating to 1999. Hewlett Packard Company's CEO, Mark Hurd, was a letterwinner on the Baylor men's tennis team during the 1970's.

Baylor defeated Stanford on its home court in 2008 by a 5-2 count. Previously, the Bears also bounced the Cardinal during the second round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament at Stanford. Last season, the then-No. 10 Bears got away with a 4-3 upset of No. 4 Stanford.

Stanford, however, enters Tuesday's match in prime position to break through against Baylor. Aside from its current four-match winning streak, Stanford has won eight of its past 10. The only losses during that stretch were 4-3 defeats to California and USC in matches the Cardinal led. Stanford's only other loss, a 4-0 setback against Texas at the National Team Indoor Championships.

Women's gymnastics

Stanford received a No. 1 seed into the NCAA championships and will participate in the Morgantown regional in West Virginia on April 10 meet for a berth in the finals.

Michigan is the No. 2 seed. Others in the regional are (in order of seeds) Southern Utah, North Carolina State, Kent State, and West Virginia. The top two advance to the NCAA finals in Gainesville, Fla., which begins April 22.

Stanford, tied for No. 6 in the national rankings with Michigan, has advanced to the NCAAs the past three years and seven of the past nine.

The Cardinal has won four regional team titles and 34 from individuals in its 33-year history. Of Stanford's three 2009 winners, Carly Janiga (all-around) and Allyse Ishino (uneven bars) return as part of this year's team. Janiga's victory marked the sixth time since 2001 that Stanford has captured the all-around.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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