Sports

Stanford men's soccer has sights set on Philadelphia

 
Stanford received the No. 9 sewed for the NCAA men's soccer tournament that begins this weekend. The Cardinal host either Pacific or Cal State Fullerton on Sunday at 5 p.m. Photo by John Todd/isiphotos.com.

The two-time defending national champion Stanford men's soccer team received the No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament when the bracket was announced on Monday morning. It's the Cardinal's fifth straight appearance in the postseason and 16th overall.

Wake Forest, who fell to Stanford in last year's NCAA championship game, received the No. 1 overall bid. California and Washington also received bids out of the Pac-12 Conferemce.


The 48-team field has 16 seeded squads, of which the Cardinal is one, that receive byes into the second round. Stanford (15-2-1) will host the winner of Pacific (12-4-1) and Cal State Fullerton (10-7-4) at Cagan Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m.

The Cardinal beat the Tigers, 1-0, in August and beat them in last year's NCAA second round, 2-0. Stanford holds a 7-3-3 mark against Cal State Fullerton. They last met in 2006.

The Cardinal is 23-12-5 all-time in the NCAA tournament and 13-2-3 at home, advancing on penalty kicks in two out of those three draws. Stanford is ranked No. 3 in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll and is No. 13 in the RPI, both released early last week. Its stretch of five consecutive postseason berths is the second longest in Stanford history behind a six-year run from 1997 to 2002.

Stanford is one of six programs to win back-to-back national championships and was the first to do it in a dozen years when it beat Wake Forest in penalties last Dec. 11. The Cardinal will attempt to become just the second program to win three straight NCAA titles (Virginia; 1991-94).

The Cardinal has been on a tear since 2014 and leads the nation in winning percentage over that time, posting a 61-10-12 (.807) overall record. Stanford has also gone 30-3-7 (.838) in the Pac-12 and won four consecutive conference championships.

Stanford finished its regular season 15-2-1 overall and was unbeaten in conference action for the first time (9-0-1).

The Cardinal, the only team in the nation in the top five in both scoring offense (2.28) and goals against average (.494), is 36-3-7 in its last 46 matches at home.

The Cardinal is 5-0-1 against the field, owning nonconference wins over SMU and Pacific, in addition to beating Cal twice and winning once and tying once with the Huskies..

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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