Sports

Press named Pac-10 Player of the Year

Nine Cardinla players are honored on all-conference team

Senior Christen Press was named the Pac-10 Women's Soccer Player of the Year it was learned Wednesday, following former teammate Kelley O'Hara, who won the honor last season.

Press was joined on the all-Pac-10 first team by Castilleja grad Lindsay Taylor, Palo Alto grad Teresa Noyola and Rachel Quon. Paul Ratcliffe earned his third consecutive Coach of the Year honor.

Sophomore Courtney Verloo and sophomore midfielder Mariah Nogueira were named to the second team. Sophomore defender Alina Garciamendez, junior forward Camille Levin, and freshman goalkeeper Emily Oliver received honorable mention. Oliver was also named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

Press has 23 goals, 7 assists, and 53 points for top-ranked and top-seeded Stanford, which begins NCAA tournament play Friday night at 7 p.m. against visiting Sacramento State. Her goal and point totals lead the nation and have put her in range to break Kelley O'Hara's year-old Stanford season records of 26 and 65.

Press also shattered Stanford career records for goals (68) and points (176) and tied the mark in assists (40). She has scored or assisted in 18 of Stanford's 20 matches and had a nine-match goal-scoring streak.

She becomes Stanford's sixth Pac-10 women's soccer Player of the Year, following Carmel Murphy (1995), Erin Martin (1996), Tracye Lawyer (1998), Marcia Wallis (2002), and O'Hara (2009).

Ratcliffe has guided Stanford to an 18-0-2 record and its second consecutive perfect Pac-10 season. The Cardinal lost three starters, including Hermann Trophy winner O'Hara, from the 25-1 team of a year ago that reached its first NCAA College Cup final, but Ratcliffe has made several moves that have proved vital.

Among them was moving Verloo from forward to central defense, where she has become one of team's most valuable players, and having faith in Oliver, who has started since the team's sixth match. Oliver is third in the nation in goals-against average, at 0.299.

Noyola, an attacking midfielder, is second on the team in scoring with personal collegiate highs of nine goals and 11 assists for 29 points.

Quon, an outside left back, has two goals and four assists while also helping the Cardinal register 11 shutouts and allow only two goals in Pac-10 play.

Taylor has nine goals and five assists for 23 points, and scored in five consecutive conference matches.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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