Stanford alum Ali Riley '10 and her New Zealand national soccer team booked passage to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup by routing the Cook Islands, 11-0, on Wednesday in the final match of the Oceania Nation's Cup in Kokopo, Papau New Guinea.
The Football Ferns qualified for one of the final spots in the tournament June 6-July 5 in Canada. New Zealand's qualification means that Stanford alumnae could represent four of the 24 nations taking part.
Considering each team's most recent rosters, Stanford has six former players on qualifying teams -- Kelley O'Hara ('10) and Christen Press ('11) of the United States, Alina Garciamendez ('12) and Teresa Noyola ('12) of Mexico, Rachel Quon ('13) of Canada, and Riley of New Zealand.
All were teammates on Stanford's 2009 team that went 25-1 and reached the school's first NCAA final.
In addition, Rachel (Buehler) Van Hollebeke ('07) and goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart ('04) have been active on the U.S. national team in the past year and could be in the mix for final roster spots.
The U.S. beat Costa Rica, 6-0, on Sunday in Chester, Pa., to win the CONCACAF Championship Tournament, which acted as the qualifier for North and Central America, and the Caribbean. The U.S. secured one of the region's three automatic berths by beating Mexico, 3-0, on Friday. Press scored the final goal in that match.
By winning the CONCACAF tournament's third-place game over Trinidad and Tobago, 4-2, Mexico secured the region's final automatic spot.
As the host country, Canada did not have to qualify, but Quon has been part of the squad since March of this year. She was among 20 players named to the national team for a two-match series against Japan, losses played Saturday and Tuesday in Vancouver and Edmonton, respectively.
If selected for their teams, this would mark the first World Cup for Press and Quon. Riley and Barnhart already have played on two World Cup teams each, and O'Hara, Van Hollebeke, Garciamendez, and Noyola each have played in one World Cup.
Stanford's international players have exceeded on the field and in the classroom during their time on The Farm. Noyola, Press, Riley, and Buehler each was named Pac-10 or Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's soccer. Press, O'Hara, and Noyola earned Academic All-America honors.
National Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors went to Buehler (2007), O'Hara (2009), and Noyola (2011). For O'Hara and Noyola, those awards came during the same seasons they won the Hermann Trophy, as college soccer's best player. In fact, all three of Stanford's Hermann Trophy winners -- including Press (2010) -- were either Pac-12 or NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year winners and Academic All-Americans in the same season they won the Hermann.
The scholar-athlete tradition with Stanford women's soccer goes back to Julie Foudy, who captained the U.S. national team from 1991-2004, won 271 caps, played in four World Cups and three Olympics. Foudy was a four-time first-team All-Amerca at Stanford and an Academic All-America in 1993.
In 2007, Foudy was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame for her athletic and athletic success and lifetime of community service.