The Stanford men's soccer team has been rejuvenated after stumbling to open the season. Adam Jahn's second-half goal helped the Cardinal stretch its winning streak to four with Sunday's 1-0 nonconference victory over visiting Denver.
Stanford (4-4) may have been dazed by four consecutive one-goal losses, two in overtime, to start the season but it appears clear-headed and focused heading into its Pac-10 opener Saturday against visiting California at 7 p.m.
"Today was a grind it out kind of game on a hot day," Stanford coach Bret Simon said. "It is the type of game that good teams find a way to win."
The Cardinal did just that. Dersu Abolfathi and Jahn, a pair of sophomores who were part of a strong freshmen class that helped Stanford reach the NCAA quarterfinals last year, connected for the only goal that mattered early in the second half.
Abolfathi sent the ball across the box to Jahn, who finished with a side volley into the upper right corner of the goal. It was the second goal of the season for Jahn and the second assist for Abolfathi.
"Adam's goal was top class," said Simon. "It was a great finish."
Jason Dodson made saves on the only two shots to come his way, recording his third shutout of the season.
Alix Klineman is going to get the majority of swings and everybody in the gym knows it. The senior outside hitter continues to pound away at a high degree of success despite opponents' game plans to slow her down.
Klineman recorded 21 kills to lead top-ranked Stanford to a 25-14, 25-19, 25-23 Pac-10 victory at Arizona on Sunday.
The number of kills isn't nearly as significant as her hitting percentage, which at .398 for the season puts her in the category of elite. Only three Stanford players have ever hit for a higher percentage over the course of a season and none of them were outside hitters.
Klineman has 1,609 career kills as Stanford prepares for its Pac-10 home opener against Oregon State at 7 p.m. Friday. She bumped four-time All-American Kerri Walsh out of the top 10 and needs 31 more to surpass former teammate Cynthia Barboza for ninth place.
She hit .432 against the Wildcats and Stanford hit .371 as a team. Stephanie Browne and Hayley Spelman, who each had seven kills, hit a combined .542.
Setters Cassidy Lichtman and Karissa Cook combined for 38 assists and 15 digs. Libero Gabi Ailes added another 15 digs.
No. 18 Stanford gave top-ranked and defending national champion North Carolina everything it could handle Sunday in a 2-1 loss to the Tar Heels.
North Carolina outshot Stanford (5-3) by a 16-2 margin and held a 7-1 edge in penalty corners, but the Cardinal was able to stay within striking distance thanks to a big effort from goalkeeper Alessandra Moss, who made eight saves in goal.
The Stanford defense held North Carolina well below its gaudy season scoring average of 4.25 goals per game.
Stanford finished 15th at the Mason Rudolph Women's Champions tournament in Franklin, Kentucky.
The Cardinal shot a final round of 297 Sunday and finished the three-day tournament with an 889. LSU won the team title with a tournament record of 843.
Sally Watson led Stanford with a total of 216, good for a 26th place tie.
Stanford's freshmen dominated the Pacific Coast Conference Men's Singlehanded Championships with Oliver Toole leading the pack in Long Beach, while on the East Coast the coed team finished 13th at the St. Mary's Fall Regatta.
Toole finished off his first collegiate race with wins in five of the final seven races for 36 points, outdistancing Cal Maritime's junior Sean Kelly by 17 points in the 14-race championship. Toole, who won half the races and finished second or third another five times, was the first of three Stanford freshmen in the top-four.
At the coed race in Maryland, Stanford finished with 384 points, dropping two spots from Saturday. Nick Dugdale skippered freshmen Anna McConnell and Helena Scutt in the A Division, tallying 174 points, while Ben Pedrick skippered the B squad with crew Scutt and Katie Riklin for 210 points.