Sports

Stanford soccer programs open season ranked among top 10

 

The Stanford women's soccer team begins the 2015 season ranked No. 3 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Preseason Top 25, the organization announced.

It is the sixth time in the past seven seasons the Cardinal has debuted in the top three and marks the ninth consecutive year it has been in the preseason top 10.

The Cardinal registered 728 points, including one first-place vote, selected behind only Florida State (782) and Virginia (754). Fellow Pac-12 teams ranked in the top 25 include No. 4 UCLA, No. 18 California and No. 20 Washington.

Stanford posted a 20-2-3 record in 2014 and advanced to the College Cup for the sixth time in seven years, completing the season with a No. 3 national ranking.

Stanford plays host to Fresno State in an exhibition on Aug. 14, and opens the season in earnest on Aug. 21 at Hawaii.

The Cardinal home opener is Aug. 28 against Boston College, a frequent NCAA tournament opponent in recent years, and plays its Pac-12 home opener on Oct. 8 against Oregon State.

Among the red-letter days on Stanford's home schedule are a Sept. 11 contest against Penn State, the 2014 Big Ten regular-season champ, and a Nov. 1 showdown against conference rival and defending champion UCLA.

Stanford will be featured in 11 Pac-12 Networks broadcasts this season, including nine of its 11 conference matchups.

Men's soccer

Stanford will open up the 2015 season ranked eighth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Preseason Top 25, the organization announced.

The Cardinal's 422 points place it just behind No. 7 Providence (474 points) and ahead of No. 9 Michigan State (405 points).

Stanford also received two first-place votes. No. 1 UCLA (624 points; seven first-place votes) and No. 2 Virginia (617 points; 15 first-place votes) are the only other institutions to earn multiple nods as the nation's top team.

Georgetown (561 points; one first-place vote), Notre Dame (534 points; one first-place vote) and North Carolina (514 points) round out the top five while Creighton (488 points) sits in sixth.

Stanford's No. 8 preseason ranking is its highest in 12 years. Coming off a run to the NCAA College Cup Final in 2002, the Cardinal began its 2003 season at No. 3 in the nation. Other preseason rankings since came in 2010 (No. 13) and 2014 (No. 20).

The Cardinal hosts exhibitions against CSU Bakersfield (August 17) and Santa Clara (August 22) before starting the 2015 season on the road at UC Santa Barbara on Friday, August 28. Stanford's regular-season home opener takes place the following Friday (September 4) against Northeastern at 7 p.m.

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