Preseason recognition for nationally-ranked soccer programs


Corey Baird, Andrew Epstein and Tomas Hilliard-Arce were named to the 2016 Preseason Men's Soccer All-Pac-12 Team on Tuesday following a vote of the league's coaches.

Stanford, the reigning national and Pac-12 champion, was picked second in the conference's preseason coaches poll, tallying 21 points and two first-place votes.

As a sophomore in 2015, Baird was named to the College Cup All-Tournament Team and was an All-Pac-12 second team selection.

He started all 23 matches, tied for the team lead in assists (13) and was second in points (19) while adding three goals.

Baird tied for second in the country in assists, a total which is fifth in Stanford single-season history, and was sixth in assists per game (0.57). His assist total, matched by teammate Eric Verso, was the highest for the Cardinal since 2002 and the most in the Pac-12 since 2010.

Epstein, a CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-American and NSCAA Scholar All-West Region pick, allowed 15 goals and posted a 0.631 goals against average in 2015 while playing 2,138 minutes.

He finished 10th in the nation in goals against average and is fifth in Cardinal single-season history in that category. His eight solo shutouts during last year's title run are eighth in school history.

Epstein was also selected to the College Cup All-Tournament Team after not allowing a goal against a pair of top-10 offenses in Akron (2.33 goals per game) and Clemson (2.17 goals per game). The electrical engineering major is currently 11th in Stanford history in saves (114) and is a two-time All-Pac-12 second teamer.

Hilliard-Arce started all 23 games at center back for the Cardinal a season ago. Stanford's defense surrendered just 15 goals, its lowest total since 2001 (13), and finished sixth nationally in goals against average (0.62), the sixth-best mark in program history.

Hilliard-Arce also scored three goals as a sophomore, tallying his first career brace in a 3-1 win over San Francisco on September 18 with headers in the 20th and 36th minutes and adding another in a 3-1 win over San Diego State on October 26. In 2015, he was voted to the Top Drawer Soccer Best XI second team and the All-Pac-12 second team.

Women's soccer

No. 5 Stanford is well-represented on TopDrawerSoccer's Preseason Best XI teams with five players earning recognition, as announced Tuesday by the organization.

Andi Sullivan and Jane Campbell were named to the first team, Maddie Bauer claimed second team recognition and Alana Cook earned a third team nod. Tierna Davidson was named to the freshman team.

The group is expected to be significant contributors this season as the Cardinal begins its campaign Friday at Navy at 4 p.m. (PT). Stanford then heads to Georgetown on Sunday at 9 a.m. before returning for a nine-game homestand.

— Stanford Athletics

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