Sports Shorts | January 20, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - January 20, 2012

Sports Shorts

CARDINAL CORNER . . . Stanford women's coach Paul Ratcliffe and new men's coach Jeremy Gunn each were named National Coach of the Year in their respective divisions by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Ratcliffe coached the Cardinal to its first national women's title and Gunn, hired Dec. 21 at Stanford, led Charlotte to the NCAA men's final. This is the third such honor for Ratcliffe, an unprecedented honor in a three-year span, after previously winning in 2008 and 2009. Ratcliffe's teams went 95-4-4 over the past four years, including 53-0-1 at home, and reached the NCAA College Cup each of those seasons, with three finals appearances. The Cardinal went 25-0-1 in 2011, completing its third consecutive undefeated regular season, and won its third consecutive Pac-12 title with a perfect record. Two of his players won national player of the year honors, forward Lindsay Taylor (from Soccer America) and midfielder Teresa Noyola (the Hermann Trophy). Gunn led Charlotte to its first championship final in school history, falling to North Carolina in the NCAA title match. His team went 16-5-4 and compiled a 64-26-14 mark over Gunn's five seasons. This is Gunn's second National Coach of the Year award, having earned the honor in 2005 after leading Fort Lewis College to the Division II national title . . . The Stanford men's soccer team has a new assistant in John Smith. He comes to Stanford from Incarnate Word, where he spent the past six seasons as the head coach of the Division II soccer powerhouse. Smith compiled a 62-26-10 record, winning three straight Heartland Conference Championships, and receiving three straight coach-of-the-year awards. During his tenure there, Smith's team produced four All-Americans, five academic All-Americans, and three future professional soccer players . . . A pair of 9.9 scores, by Ashley Morgan and Nicole Pechanec, highlighted Stanford's season-opening NorCal Quad Meet women's gymnastics victory before a packed Burnham Pavilion on Sunday. Stanford, which hasn't lost at Burnham in four years, scored 194.900 points, and was followed by San Jose State (194.300), Sacramento State (191.575), and UC Davis (190.775). Morgan earned her fifth consecutive 9.9 to win the floor exercise, and the same score was good enough to earn Pechanec a victory on the uneven bars. Pechanec's scoring was enhanced by the difficulty of the release move that she invented, the "Pechancova," after the surname she used while competing internationally for the Czech Republic. Stanford (3-0) also captured an individual victory in the vault, with Pechanec tying teammate Nicole Dayton at 9.825.