The 20 best players in the nation, ranked by TopDrawerSoccer.com, have all fully committed to playing at some of the top Division 1 programs in the U.S. The number one recruit, Ponte Vedra’s Morgan Brian, who has been called into the U-20 U.S. Women’s National Team camp twice this year, will go to the University of Virginia. Eight players are headed to the Pac-10 and five will join the Atlantic Coast Conference. (more…)
By Val Henderson
The Stanford Athletic department was recently put under scrutiny when The Stanford Daily produced an article discussing “The list,” a catalog of supposedly easy classes that the Athletic Academic Resource Center made available to student-athletes for years. According to the article: “Stanford officials said the list was designed to accommodate athletes’ demanding schedules and disputed that the list was made up of easy courses,” however the article insinuates otherwise. Most notably, the article quotes Professor Donald Barr as having said: “(Stanford) accommodates athletes in the manner that they accommodate students with disabilities.”
Since the article’s publication, there have been countless responses as to the purpose and meaning of this list, entitled “Courses of Interest.” The validity of the information used in the article has been challenged, including Professor Barr’s claim that he was “egregiously misquoted,” but the integrity of the student-athlete experience has been put under critical review all the same.
In order to get some truths behind ‘the list’ as well as an honest view of the student-athlete experience at Stanford, I interviewed Marisa Abegg and Ali Riley, two former Stanford soccer players. These two women are prime examples of world-class athletes who had amazing collegiate soccer careers while keeping their academics a priority. (more…)
When FC Gold Pride ceased operations less than two months after winning the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer Championship, more than two dozen players were left without a place to play. Ali Riley was one of them. Even though her stock rose after winning the 2010 WPS Rookie of the Year, she was like everyone else on her former team – a free agent. But she found a home in the offseason, one she’s looking forward to in a big way. (more…)
Some of the best high school soccer seniors in the U.S. officially committed to colleges today, the National Letter of Intent Day. Our Game caught up with two of the top recruits – Morgan Brian and Lauren Bohaboy. (more…)
Stanford senior Christen Press has won the 2010 Mac Hermann Trophy. The award was presented Friday night at the Missouri Athletic Club. Press, Notre Dame’s Melissa Henderson, and Alex Morgan from California were the three finalists for the annual award, which was won by Stanford’s Kelley O’Hara last year. Press, who was the PAC-10 Player of the Year, led the country in goals (26), points (60), and points per game (2.50). (more…)
Fact: When Melissa Henderson plays a part in the scoring, the Irish never lose. The junior assisted on freshman Adriana Leon’s goal in the 63rd minute to help Notre Dame secure its third College Cup title in school history with Sunday’s 1-0 win over previously unbeaten Stanford. Notre Dame, which finished the season with a 21-2-2 record, improved to 43-0-2 when Henderson gets a point.
“Basically, I knew we had to get forward and attack,” Henderson said. “That was our main mindset this whole tournament. If you walk in our locker room you’ll see the word ‘attack’ 50 times on the wall. Our coaches printed out flyers saying ‘attack’ and posted them everywhere, so we had that mindset going into it. It’s just about that one turn, you get past the defender and there’s one more to beat, and then you have a spotted pass and it’s going to be wide open.”
Notre Dame Head Coach Randy Waldrum said after that game that despite this being Stanford’s only loss of the season, this game was far from an upset.
“The one thing I said on television right after the game was that this [Notre Dame] was the best team in the country, this was not an upset,” Waldrum said following the game. “I know everybody had pre-ordained Stanford as the national champion this year. I would make an argument that once the NCAA Tournament started, the path we took with the way we won games with 14 or 15 goals and one against us in four games, beating Carolina on the road, beating a very good Stanford team, knocking off two No. 1’s and I think two No. 3’s. To me, we’re the best team in the country come NCAA Tournament time. I’m really proud of the girls.”
The Cardinal finish the season with a 23-1-2 record, losing in the finals for the second straight season.
“It’s a disappointing way to end the season,” Stanford Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe said. “I’m proud of the team. I thought they played well. I give credit to Notre Dame. They are a good team and it was an exciting game, I’m sure, for the fans.”
Stanford freshman keeper Emily Oliver made some tremendous saves for the Cardinal, but couldn’t get to the one that beat her, a tough shot that went top shelf and in the opposite direction of Oliver’s momentum.
“They got inline on us and crossed it back. Our girls were coming in to cover me in the goal. Unfortunately, one of their players was left open. She hit a great shot. It went over my right shoulder,” Oliver said. “A couple of times I was in the right place at the right time. Even though there were close shots, our defense was always right there close with them. We were keeping them under pressure. They just got some offensive plays going.”
The All-Tournament Team was announced after the game and included: Henderson, who was named Most Outstanding Player on Offense and Notre Dame’s Jessica Schuveiller, who was name Most Outstanding Player on Defense. The team also include Hannah Cerrone (Boston College), Katie Baumgardner (Ohio State), Camille Levin (Stanford), Christen Press (Stanford), Emily Oliver (Stanford), Rose Augustin (Notre Dame), Mandy Laddish (Notre Dame), Courtney Barg (Notre Dame), and Adriana Leon (Notre Dame).
After dominating the first half, but coming up short despite taking 12 shots, Stanford finally got on the board in the 48th minute when Camille Levin hit a ball in the upper 90 to beat Boston College keeper Jillian Mastroianni. The Cardinal tacked on another late in the game to take the 2-0 win and advance to the College Cup finals to face Notre Dame. The Eagles pressed hard after Levin’s goal, but couldn’t put one in. Their best chance came when Hannah Cerrone got the rebound off a header from Kristie Mewis right in front of Stanford keeper Emily Oliver, but her shot went over the net. Lindsay Taylor scored Stanford’s second goal when she intercepted a pass from Mastroianni to Cerrone and beat Mastroianni to her right.
“I give credit to Boston College,” Stanford Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe said. “I think they stayed up and were trying to put pressure and trying to get forward and get a goal. The game went in a few waves where they dominated for a little bit, and Emily Oliver actually made a great save for us. Then after that I thought we started to come on stronger. It was just a matter of us being more aggressive up front and being more assertive in the final third.”
The nation’s leading scorer, Christen Press, was pressured from the start, but still managed to get off six shots on the game (four on goal). “I think [Boston College] did a good job of closing off the space behind,” Press said, “and when I was checking back to get the ball they were really tight on me, making it hard for me to playmake or do anything other than pass it back to my midfield. They were really organized defensively.”
Boston College Head Coach Alison Foley said: “I thought tonight was one of the best women’s soccer games that I’ve ever seen in my life. Two fantastic teams, two teams that like to attack, both extremely disciplined. I know Stanford has some really talented players that we needed to concentrate on, and I thought our back group did a great job with Christen Press. Amy Caldwell did a nice job keeping Rachel Quon at home.”
Kristie Mewis talked about the team’s offensive attack: “I think that my team did a good job getting me the ball and I probably would’ve liked to get the ball a little more, but I guess my last pass just wasn’t as good as it usually is. Stanford’s defense was really good, so a lot of the balls I passed were a little bit too central, not enough diagonal with curve to it. I think that I probably would’ve given some better balls, but it was just that last pass, really.”
Stanford will play Notre Dame at 12 p.m. (Eastern time) Sunday in the NCAA Championship. The game can be seen live on ESPN2 or online at ESPN3.com
The 2010 College Cup gets underway today at 4 p.m. (Eastern time) in Cary, N.C. Notre Dame takes on Ohio State, which is making its first appearance in the Final Four, as is Boston College. The Eagles face Stanford at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The Notre Dame vs. Ohio State game will be televised on ESPN2.
Here are some quotes from Thursday’s pre-tournament press conference.
Head Coach Randy Waldrum talked about moving Lauren Fowlkes from defender to midfield: “Lauren Fowlkes gives us a player that can hold the ball. We have a lot of speed up front and a lot of players that are good at taking people on, and we needed someone to hold the ball for us a little bit. It wasn’t a move that came out of the blue for us. She played that way for us all year last year. The move has been really good for us, and she gives us that person who can hold the ball for us and allow others to attack and play. She brings that element to us.”
Head Coach Lori Walker talked about how the team evolved into a championship-caliber team: “A lot of what started to happen with this team happened almost a year ago when we finished second in the conference. This senior class set out to make sure we were the most fit we’ve ever been and prepared as we could be to win the Big Ten championship. We have a ton of respect for Penn State. They’ve set the bar for so many years. Taking care of that game early on really made for an exciting run for our team. It was a great run. Big Ten competition is always wide open.”
Senior forward Christen Press: “This year we’ve been attacking as a team a lot more. We have people coming from all positions, all angles – Rachel Quon coming from the outside, Teresa [Noyola] sneaking up the middle – and it’s opened up a lot of opportunities for our team to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Head Coach Alison Foley on having a rematch of last year’s regional final with Stanford: “For the game against Stanford last year, they were seeded quite high and we understood why they were No. 1 after that game. Coming back from there, we just mentioned that we wanted to see their team again. Here goes game No. 2. It’s exciting for us.”