With apologies--and thanks--to Ted Miller...
The Stanford women's soccer team is better than your team because it's got a better striker than your team. Stanford is better than your team because your team isn't undefeated. Stanford is better than your team because its front line would make your back line tremor in fear. Stanford is better than your team because it's ranked second in the nation in goals per game (3.0) and third in the nation in goals against average (.448), and no other team can match that.
And, finally, Stanford is better than your team because its coach can kick your coach's butt.
(I'm not sure about the last part, but I wouldn't bet against Paul Ratcliffe.)
If you're reading this blog, then Stanford probably is your team. Lucky for us, because this year's squad is really, really good.
- Senior forward Christen Press leads the nation with 26 goals and 60 points. Press broke Marcie Ward's career assist record with her 41st in last week's 5-0 rout of Florida State and tied 2009 Hermann Trophy winner Kelley O'Hara's single-season school record for goals.
- Stanford's defense was so dominant against the Seminoles that freshman goalkeeper Emily Oliver didn't have to make a save. Oliver has been in goal for nine of Stanford's 14 shutouts this season.
- The Cardinal hasn't allowed two goals in a game since a 2-2 tie against North Carolina on August 27.
Stanford (22-0-2) is making its third consecutive appearance in the College Cup--soccer's Final Four--and the program's fourth appearance in school history. The Cardinal fell one victory short of perfection last season, losing to North Carolina, 1-0, in the final. O'Hara's spectacular collegiate career ended in the 73rd minute, when she was issued her second yellow card of the match.
Stanford will play Boston College in Friday's semifinals in Cary, NC. The winner of that game will play the winner of the other semifinal between Ohio State and Notre Dame, which is making its fifth consecutive trip to the College Cup. The Cardinal and Fighting Irish are the favorites to meet in Sunday's final. Stanford is plenty familiar with Boston College. The Cardinal ended the Eagles' season in the Elite Eight last year and tied BC, 1-1, in this year's season opener.
With two wins this weekend, the women's soccer team will capture its first national title. It would be Stanford's 100th team championship, something only UCLA has accomplished. Pac-10 Player of the Year Alix Klineman and the Stanford women's volleyball team, who begin play in the NCAA tournament on Friday, hope to be No. 101. Go ahead and dream that the Stanford football team could be playing for No. 102 on Jan. 10.