#4 Stanford Women's Soccer 2013 Preview

Stanford Cardinal

Overall Rank #4
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
#4 Stanford Women's Soccer 2013 Preview
Stanford Team Page


Stanford was the model of championship consistency in 2012 throughout the regular season. The Cardinal did not suffer a loss at home or on the road as they made their way to the College Cup Semifinal against a North Carolina team that was red hot and pulled the upset over Stanford. The Cardinal will be loaded with quality and experience in and are primed and ready to earn another shot at redemption in the 2013 Women's College Cup.

2012 Record: 21-2-1, 11-0-0
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Paul Ratcliffe
Stanford’s strength include their overall balance and depth of talent in the attack and defensively. Redshirt senior Courtney Verloo will be the anchor of a very balanced Stanford attack. Verloo scored ten goals and had 11 assists in 2012. Her versatility to finish quality-scoring chances and to be a playmaker makes her very difficult to contain. The incoming transfer, Taylor Uhl from the University of Minnesota, was the leading scorer in all of the NCAA last year. Uhl had 21 goals and nine assists for the Golden Gophers in 2012. Chioma Ubogagu, another first-team All-Pac-12 forward, returns looking to build off a team leading 11 assists in 2012. Ubogagu is very dynamic and has the speed to beat any defender in college soccer. Senior Emily Oliver will return in goal for Stanford. Oliver battled injuries early last year missing the first eight matches. When healthy, Oliver was 15-1-0 with four shutouts and her experience and leadership will be a tremendous asset to the Cardinal defensive back line. The Cardinal are also brilliant at home, as they were 12-0-1 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium in 2012. That home field advantage has been a huge contributor to the Cardinal being one of the dominant teams in the entire nation.
There are not many weaknesses with this Stanford team. They defend well by limiting opponents’ quality chances. When the Cardinal did struggle they had issues finishing quality offensive scoring chances against North Carolina and West Virginia, their two losses in 2012. The other big question will be chemistry. The Cardinal will be welcoming nine newcomers in 2013 and replacing five starters. The preseason will be very critical to setting the tone to creating a strong team chemistry to allow Stanford to hit the ground running.

Final Projection:
Stanford will get rolling right away with a tough road test in a rematch against Boston College in the season opener on August 23rd.  The Eagles battled the Cardinal to a 1-1 draw last year in Palo Alto. The non-conference schedule is also loaded with key tests against Maryland, Portland, and Santa Clara. The conference slate has a critical matchup in Palo Alto on October 13th against UCLA. The Bruins came awfully close to pulling the upset in last year's Elite Eight matchup as UCLA had a 1-0 lead before the Cardinal rallied to win 2-1.  This matchup with the Bruins and the annual rival match with Cal are going to be two very critical matchups in determining the Pac-12 title. Overall, if Uhl can incorporate herself effectively into the Cardinal attack, look for Stanford to be a number one seed with home field advantage throughout the NCAA Tournament until the College Cup.
Projected Postseason: NCAA
Returning Leaders:
Goals: Courtney Verloo, Redshirt Senior, F, 10
Assists:  Courtney Verloo, Redshirt Senior, F, 11; Chioma Ubogagu, Junior, F, 11
Shots: Courtney Verloo, Redshirt Senior, F, 59
Saves:  Emily Oliver, Senior, Goalkeeper, 60
Madness 2014 NWSL Draft Rankings:
#2 Stephanie Amack
#7 Jane Campbell
#9 Madeline Bauer
#25 Ryan Walker
#140 Carly Olszewski


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