Stanford men's soccer signs up another top class


Fresh off the program's best season in more than a decade, the Stanford men's soccer program has continued its high-caliber recruiting with the signing of six prep standouts to National Letters of Intent, Cardinal head coach Jeremy Gunn announced Wednesday.

Joining Stanford for the 2015 season are Pierce Ashworth (Laguna Beach/Pateadores Academy), Amir Bashti (Cupertino/San Jose Earthquakes Academy), Tanner Beason (Winston-Salem, N.C./North Carolina Fusion), Charlie Furrer (Georgetown, Texas/FC Dallas Academy), Colin Hyatt (Santa Barbara/Real So Cal Academy) and Justin Kahl (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Soccer Academy).

"We welcome this class with great excitement," Gunn said of the newest crop of Cardinal. "We said goodbye to exceptional senior leaders who contributed massively to our growth as a program, thank them for everything and truly wish them well. That baton is being passed on to the great hands of our returners and these signees will have the opportunity to embed themselves into a terrific group. Our new class will give us strength and depth across each position and continue to drive the program to new heights. Yet again, we feel that the character and competitive nature of these six players are exceptional."

The group joins a Stanford squad which had a historic season in 2014, including the program's first Pac-12 Championship since 2001, a No. 1 NSCAA ranking, its most wins (13) since 2002 and its best winning percentage (.763) since 2001.

Women's basketball

Ssenior point guard Amber Orrange was among 30 players named to the Naismith Trophy Women's Midseason Top 30 the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.

The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T recognizes the top Men's and Women's College Basketball Players of the Year.

The honor is the latest in a long line for Orrange, who was named to the Midseason Top 20 for the Wooden Award on Jan. 21, a candidate for the 2014-15 Senior CLASS Award® on Jan. 23, one of 16 to the 2015 Dawn Staley Award Watch List on Jan. 30 and to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List on Feb. 6. She is also one of 25 players on the 2014-15 "Wade Watch" list of candidates for the prestigious Wade Trophy.

Orrange, one of three team captains, is one of the premier point guards in the country and has the numbers to back it up in 2014-15. She is one of just five Stanford players with 1,000 career points and 500 assists, joining Jennifer Azzi, Sonja Henning, Jeanette Pohlen and Nicole Powell. Her 1,266 career points rank 26th all-time at Stanford.

Cross country

The Stanford men's team, second in the country last fall, earned another prestigious honor -- USTFCCCA Scholar Team of the Year.

The Cardinal carried a 3.44 team grade-point average and placed three runners on the All-Academic list on the way to earning its first such men's team Division I award from the collegiate coaches' association.

The Stanford women, a two-time Scholar Team of the Year, earned All-Academic team honors with a 3.38 GPA and placed four individuals on the All-Academic list, including All-America Elise Cranny, who at 12th was the highest freshman finisher in the country. Stanford placed 14th at NCAA's.

The Scholar Team award factors in academic excellence and national success. Stanford carried the second-highest team GPA in the men's NCAA Championships field and tied for third among NCAA qualifying teams for the most individual All-Academic selections. At the NCAA Championships, Stanford earned its highest finish since 2003 and its top five each earned All-America honors.

Individuals win All-Academic honors by earning All-America honors (top 40 at NCAA's) or by placing among the top 15 (or 10 percent) at an NCAA regional.

Stanford's men's All-Academic award winners are:

Michael Atchoo, 5th-year Sr.; Troy, Mich.

Sean McGorty, So., Fairfax, Va.

Sam Wharton, So.; Tipp City, Ohio

Women's All-Academic winners are:

Sophie Chase, So., Burke, Va.

Elise Cranny, Fr., Longmont, Colo.

Emma Fisher, Fr., Elmhurst, Ill.

Molly McNamara, Sr., Little Silver, N.J.

Men's gymnastics

Stanford sophomore Akash Modi was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week.

Modi finished in the top-four in seven events, scoring 14.800 or higher in each performance at No. 5 Michigan. He earned four first-place finishes, claiming top honors in the all-around (89.850), pommel horse (14.800), rings (14.850) and parallel bars (15.300).

Modi placed second on floor (15.200) and third on high bar (14.800). He added a fourth-place result on vault with a 14.900.

Modi has earned three MPSF and three College Gymnastics Association National Gymnast of the Week honors this season. He was a four-time MPSF and CGA Gymnast of the Week as a freshman in 2014.

Stanford, ranked No. 4 nationally, and Modi will look to keep their momentum going this Friday when the Cardinal plays host to Arizona State at 7 p.m.

Women's tennis

No. 10-ranked Stanford looks to remain perfect this weekend, hosting a pair of matches at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

Navigating through a challenging nonconference schedule, the Cardinal welcomes No. 46 Harvard (Saturday, at noon) and No. 11 Vanderbilt (Sunday, at 10 a.m.) to The Farm. Stanford's first six opponents this season have been ranked No. 54 or higher.

Stanford (4-0) is coming off a successful first road trip, defeating No. 19 Notre Dame 6-1 and No. 31 Ohio State 4-1 as both contests were played in South Bend, Ind.

The latest edition of the national rankings features four singles players: Carol Zhao (10), Taylor Davidson (14),Caroline Doyle (16) and Krista Hardebeck (92). Two doubles teams are ranked: Davidson/Zhao (5) and Doyle/Ellen Tsay (12).

The sophomore trio of Zhao, Davidson and Doyle remains perfect through four matches, posting a combined 12-0 record. Davidson has compiled a team-high 15 wins, followed by Doyle (14) and Zhao (13).

Meanwhile, the ITA's shortened dual-match format rules have made for tight doubles points. Stanford has been tested in each doubles match, but has yet to lose the point. The shortened rules in doubles currently call for no-ad scoring and each match resulting in a tie-break at 6-all.

— Stanford Athletics

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