Stanford women to meet in an Olympic soccer reunion


The opening ceremonies for the 2016 Rio Olympics are scheduled for Friday. The actual starting point, though, is Wednesday's women soccer match between Sweden and Russia at 8:30 a.m. PT.

Stanford grads Kelley O'Hara, Christen Press and Ali Riley will meet for their first match at 3 p.m. on Wednesday when the defending Olympic gold medalist United States meets New Zealand.

Christen Press/USA soccer
Riley is making her third Olympic appearance for the Ferns, O'Hara gets her second shot at gold and Press looks for her first Olympic medal, though she was an alternate four years ago.

O'Hara and Riley are both forwards turned outside backs while Press has remained a forward throughout her career.

"It's amazing all they have accomplished," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "They have the experience to capitalize on this opportunity. I'm sure they are going to take it all in and enjoy everything to do with the Olympics."

Despite being a two-time Oceania Player of the Year and four-time New Zealand Player of the Year, Riley usually gets overshadowed by O'Hara and Press when it comes to Stanford's presence on the national team.

(See Ali discuss New Zealand soccer.)

An eight-year veteran of the Football Ferns, Riley, whose father John is from New Zealand, made her debut for Ferns in January of 2007, at age 19.

"I'll be glued to the TV," Ratcliffe said. "I'm going to try to find time for the entire squad here at Stanford to watch together and support Kelley, Christen and Ali. It should be an amazing event."

The trio played together at Stanford between 2007-09, compiling a 62-6-6 overall record (22-2-3 in Pac-12). They led the Cardinal to the 2009 Pac-12 championship; the program's first in seven years.

O'Hara (2009) and Press (2010) were named MAC Hermann Trophy winners in consecutive seasons.

"It's a dream come true for them," Ratcliffe said. "Most young kids dream of playing in the Olympics and they're getting to fulfill their dreams. I'm really proud of them and everyone at Stanford is rooting for them."

And then, there's this.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics


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