Stanford women's soccer joins volleyball as a No. 1-ranked team

Cardinal's two nationally No. 1-ranked teams will be busy at home this weekiend

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

This Stanford sports roundup is brought to you by the number one, as in the No. 1 Cardinal women's soccer team and the No. 1 Stanford women's volleyball team, both of whom will be at home this weekend.

Stanford senior forward Christen Press, who had three goals and an assist in a weekend sweep of Hawaii (9-0) and No. 3 Portland (2-1), earned her second consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Week honor on Tuesday.

Press leads the nation with 13 goals and 30 points as the Cardinal (8-0-2) look ahead to its final nonconference match against visiting 13th-ranked Santa Clara (7-2-2) Sunday at 1 p.m.

Stanford brings a seven-match winning streak into the fray and has outscored opponents, 24-2, over its past five matches. Santa Clara had its six-match win streak end at UCLA last weekend.

Press needs one goal to tie the Stanford all-time record for career goals held by Sarah Rafanelli since 1993. Press has 58, including 13 this season. Rafanelli scored 59.

The Broncos have not allowed more than one goal in any match and have four shutouts thus far. Junior goalkeeper Bianca Henninger was the starting keeper for the United States in the Under-20 World Cup last summer and is on the Hermann Trophy watch list. Henninger, a teammate of Stanford's Teresa Noyola from club ball to the U.S. U-20 national team, has a 0.61 goals-against average.

Freshman Emily Oliver has emerged as Stanford's top goalkeeper. She has made five starts and carries a 0.42 GAA.

Shelby Payne, another freshman, is also part of a starting rotation on the forward line with Press and Lindsay Taylor.

Anchored by sophomore Alina Garciamendez, a member of the Mexican National Team, the Stanford defense has played an important role in keeping opponents out of the net. Rachel Quon, who also played with Noyola and Henninger this summer, is joined by sophomore Courtney Verloo and junior Camille Levin to form a tough barrier in the back.

Stanford has a 26-match home winning streak and a 30-match home unbeaten streak heading into the weekend. Stanford's last loss at home was in the third round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament, losing to Connecticut, 2-0, on Nov. 23.

Stanford leads the Pac-10 in every team and individual offensive stat. As a team, Stanford leads in shots (212), points (98), goals (32), goals per game (3.20), assists (34), assists per game (3.40), and corner kicks (63).

Press leads the conference in shots (72), shots per game (7.20), points (30), points per game (3.00), goals (13), goals per game (13), and game-winning goals (5). Noyola leads in assists (8) and assists per game (0.80).

Women's volleyball

The No. 1 continues its sponsorship here as Stanford (11-0) prepares for its Pac-10 home openers against Oregon State on Friday at 7 p.m. and 11th-ranked Oregon on Saturday at 7 p.m.

In addition to its top ranking, Stanford leads the nation with 15.41 kills per set and 14.32 assists per set. Alix Klineman ranks third in the nation with 3.57 kills per set and 22nd with a .398 hitting percentage.

Stanford, which beat host Arizona State in four sets and host Arizona in three sets last week, is third nationally with a team hitting percentage of .332. Oregon is fifth at .310. Five of the top six teams in hitting percentage are from the Pac-10.

Stanford has won all 50 meetings with Oregon State and is 47-3 against the Ducks, with one of those losses in Eugene last year.

Oregon and Stanford are two of five teams with unbeaten records in the country. Four of those teams hail from the Pac-10.

Oregon's Alaina Bergsma is the reigning conference Player of the Week. Klineman won the honors the previous week.

The Ducks are coming off an important victory over No. 7 Washington at home. It represented Oregon's first win over a ranked opponent.

Senior libero Gabi Ailes continues an exceptional career. She is Stanford's career digs leader (1,790). She ranks sixth among active players in career aces (69) and ninth in career assists (345). Klineman leads all active Pac-10 players with 1,609 kills, ranks fourth with 948 digs, is fifth with 73 aces and is seventh with 235 blocks.

Senior Cassidy Lichtman is arguably the most versatile player in the nation. She has registered a double-double or better in eight of the team's 11 matches. She is fifth among active Pac-10 players in assists (1,737), sixth in digs (853) and eighth in aces (61).

Oregon's Heather Meyers is the Pac-10's leading active player with 151 service aces.

Field hockey

No. 16 Stanford travels to UC Davis for a NorPac contest on Saturday after a successful trip to the East Coast that produced a one-goal loss to top-ranked North Carolina and a 4-2 victory over No. 8 Wake Forest.

One day after taking down its highest nationally-ranked opponent in nine years, Stanford moved up to two spots to No. 16 in this week's edition of the Kookaburra/NFHCA National Coaches Poll.

Stanford (2-1, 6-3) has enjoyed a school-record 14 consecutive weeks in the national rankings dating to Sept. 18, 2009.

Alessandra Moss was named NorPac West Division Defensive Player of the Week for her performance against North Carolina in which she recorded a season-best eight saves and was a big reason Stanford was able to hold the Tar Heels below their season scoring average of 4.25 goals per game.

It was the second NorPac Player of the Week honor this year for Moss, who also was recognized two weeks ago. Stephanie Byrne and Jaimee Erickson have also been honored by the conference this year.

UC Davis (3-4, 0-3 NorPac) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end over the weekend in a 4-3 overtime loss to California.

Men's soccer

Stanford opens Pac-10 play at home against California at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Cardinal (4-4) hopes to make it five in a row.

Men's water polo

Fourth-ranked Stanford (4-2) opens the SoCal Invitational in Los Angeles on Saturday against UC San Diego looking to end a two-game slide.

The Cardinal plays either Concordia or UC Santa Barbara in the second round later in the day.

Women's swimming

Stanford, which finished second at last year's NCAA meet, hosts San Jose State in a nonconference meet Friday at 2 p.m.

Men's tennis

Stanford players participate in the Battle of the Bay Classic in San Francisco. The three-day event begins 10 a.m. Friday at the California Tennis Club at 1770 Scott Street.

In addition to the Cardinal, players from California, host USF, Santa Clara, USC, Pepperdine, San Diego State and Pacific will compete in singles and doubles.

Women's lacrosse

While the fall season is unofficial, it's worth noting that Stanford hosts California Friday at 5 p.m.

California announced this will be the final season for the sport, along with baseball, and men's and women's gymnastics.

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