Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #1 Stanford / #4 Washington Regional Breakdown

Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #1 Stanford / #4 Washington Regional Breakdown

This is the only region that has two seeded teams from the same conference lined up to meet in the regional semifinals. If all goes as planned, top seed Stanford will face #4 Washington with a spot in the regional finals up for grabs. Those two met back on October 3rd, but the Huskies had no luck containing the potent Cardinal attack. But it will not be that easy for UW or Stanford to coast to the regional semifinals.


#1 Stanford vs. Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton hopes Stanford’s troubles start in the first round. The Big West champions went 6-0-2 in conference play and cruised through the conference tournament to make it to the NCAAs. Most of that success came from a stellar defense. Keeper Jennifer Stuart has done an admirable job in goal. Getting a shutout against Stanford is a bit much to hope for though and the Titans will need strikers Rebecca Wilson (10 goals) and Christina Burkenroad (5 goals) to finish their opportunities. Stanford has four consistent strikers who know how to finish. Lo’eau LaBonta, Chioma Ubogagu, Ryan Walker-Hartshorn and Taylor Uhl all can make the most out of half of a chance.


Oklahoma vs. Arkansas

Oklahoma should feel lucky to be hosting a first round game and Arkansas should feel a bit lucky to be in the tournament at all. Now both teams will be hoping to prove that they do belong. The Sooners are not a very potent offensive team, but they do have quite a few players who can score. The issue for them will be whether or not somebody, likely Devin Barrett, can step up and be a dangerous and consistent threat up top. Arkansas has more proven scorers. Ashleigh Ellenwood is a great talent and dished out 13 assists. She also added five goals. Alexandra Fischer, Claire Kelley and Tyler Allen can make things happen up top too.


Kansas vs. Missouri

This could be one of the more interesting first round games in the NCAA Tournament this year. Kansas has had a great season and will try to keep the good times rolling against Missouri. The Jayhawks win games with their defense and it starts with goalie Kaitlyn Stroud. She has recorded eight shutouts this season and allowed just 0.61 goals per game. KU has plenty of scoring punch too with Liana Salazar and Ashley Williams leading the way. Missouri averaged just as many goals as Kansas during the 2014 campaign, but it is the defense that could send them home early. The team ranked 10th in the SEC in goals against average and the defense will have their hands full with Kansas.


#4 Washington vs. Rider

Washington has had a relatively successful season. Of course there are ups and downs in the brutally tough Pac-12, but the Huskies ended up with a 12-6-2 overall record and deserve the #4 seed they were given. They should have a pretty easy time against Rider too. The Huskies just have too much talent for Rider to handle. The Huskies will have to watch out for Rider midfielder Tara Ballay. The junior netted 11 goals this season and is the one offensive player who could give Washington trouble. Rider also boasts a very good keeper in Bethany-May Howard. She will be tested more than ever against Washington.


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