Arlene Rusche has dinner reservations, but since this is the last home game of the season for the Stanford women’s basketball team, the cheerful woman in Cardinal attire isn’t leaving Maples Pavilion until the very end of the post-game festivities. Rusche is one of many fans in the arena who has held season tickets for over 20 years, providing an unusually strong fan base for the Stanford women’s basketball team.
For most teams in the country, qualifying for the NCAA semifinals would make for a successful season. But for the defending national champions, anything but another title would be a disappointment.
As has been its way this season, the No. 1 Stanford women’s soccer team didn’t let an early deficit keep them down, scoring twice in the second half to take down No. 6 UCLA and advance to their fourth-straight College Cup on Friday night.
The Cardinal (20-1-1) rode two goals from redshirt junior Courtney Verloo to defeat No. 17 Santa Clara 2-1 in Friday’s second round match and then kept up its dominance with a 3-0 win over upstart Denver on Sunday. Stanford will face No. 6 UCLA in the quarterfinals.
On a cold Friday night at Cagan Stadium, the No. 1 women’s soccer team heated up quickly. Seven minutes into the game, sophomore midfielder Alex Doll opened the scoring and from that point on, the Cardinal (18-1-1) never looked back on its way to a 3-0 win over Idaho State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Pac-12 women’s soccer awards were announced on Wednesday, and as expected, the top-ranked Cardinal were well represented. Five players were named to the all-Pac-12 first team, and two each were named to the all-Pac-12 honorable mention and the Pac-12 All-Freshman team.
In her four years on the Farm, the three-time All-Pac-12 honoree and 2010 All-American Rachel Quon and the Cardinal have gone a perfect 40-0 in first Pac-10 and then Pac-12 play. After two seasons that ended in defeat in the NCAA Championship match, Stanford broke through last season with a 1-0 victory over Duke to win the program’s first national title.