At the end of another long season of Stanford athletics, The Daily’s sports staff sat down and compiled a list of the top 10 departing Stanford seniors that will be missed for their tremendous on-field contributions from seasons past.
10. Brianna Bain, track and field
There are precious few athletes in the collegiate game with the consistency necessary to continue to produce at a championship level through an entire career, and Brianna Bain has been one of them. The javelin thrower won Pac-12 titles in all four of her seasons on the team, even battling through an injury to her throwing arm in her senior season to do so. She will also leave Stanford holding the program’s longest-ever outdoor javelin throw.
9. Erin Ashby, softball
It’s certainly been a difficult few seasons for Stanford softball, but through it all, Ashby’s contributions on the field have been a consistent high point for the Cardinal, as she never hit below .280 in her three seasons as a consistent starter and appeared all over the diamond — first base, second base, third base, catcher, designated player and even pitcher — as a true team player. She departs Stanford as a career .296 hitter with 18 home runs and 109 RBIs.
8. A.J. Tarpley, football
Through the departures of decorated Stanford linebackers like Chase Thomas, Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy, Tarpley has, for the last four years, been the constant on the inside of Stanford’s linebacking corps, quietly doing his job and emerging as one of the league’s top tacklers. While many Stanford fans will remember Tarpley back in his sophomore year for pouncing on a fumble in the end zone at the Coliseum to seal the 2011 triple-overtime victory over USC, Tarpley’s consistency on the inside throughout his four years was a crucial part of Stanford emerging as one of the premier rush-stuffing defenses in the country for four years. The Minnesotan will leave Stanford just outside the program’s all-time top 10 with his 300 career tackles.
7. Amber Orrange, women’s basketball
It’s hard to describe just what Amber Orrange has meant to the team over the last several years — although she spent the majority of her career in the shadow of Chiney Ogwumike, Orrange carved out a tremendous Stanford career of her own. After earning Pac-12 All-Freshman honors in her rookie season, Orrange failed to make only one start over the next three years and will finish her career with 1,414 points and 492 rebounds. The highlight of her career had to be in this season’s game against UConn, in which she drained a clutch three-pointer to send the game into overtime before nailing the game-winning two as the seconds ticked off the clock.
6. Lo’eau LaBonta, women’s soccer
For four years on a team defined by only the highest expectations and the loftiest goals, Lo’eau LaBonta was the standard of excellence and always seemed to be there with a clutch goal just when Stanford needed one most. The two-year team captain started 23 of the team’s 25 games this past season as the Cardinal made another deep run into the national semifinals and led a persistent Stanford side with 13 goals — including seven game-winners — to cap off a tremendous career in which she scored 22 goals wearing the Cardinal red and white.
5. Hannah Farr, lacrosse, women’s soccer
For as strong of a two-sport athlete tradition as Stanford has, it’s almost unfair that Hannah Farr has been so under-the-radar in her four years on the Farm. Although she moonlights as a midfielder on the women’s soccer team, Farr’s most significant contributions have come on the lacrosse pitch, where she became just the second player in program history to be named to the All-MPSF first team in all four years of her career. Just to add to the accolades, she was also the 2013 MPSF Tournament Most Outstanding Player and the 2014 MPSF Player of the Year. She will depart Stanford with 121 goals to her name and leaves second in program history in draw controls with 144. In fact, she’s top-10 in program history in pretty much every meaningful statistic.
4. Kristian Ipsen, men’s diving
Kristian Ipsen will depart the Farm with one of the most decorated athletic resumes you’ll see anywhere — not just in the collegiate ranks, but in the professional realm as well. It’s honestly easier to count the accolades he hasn’t won than those he has: He’s an Olympic bronze medalist, a three-time NCAA champion, a nine-time All-American, a three-time Pac-12 champion, a seven-time member of the U.S. national team, NCAA Diver of the Year and two-time Pac-12 Diver of the Year. Fans got a glimpse of Ipsen’s greatness during his freshman year when he immediately won the 3-meter national title and finished as runner-up in the 1-meter, giving Stanford its first men’s diving national title since 1930. Four years later, it’s safe to say that Ipsen has more than proven worthy of all the hype.
3. Kiley Neushul, women’s water polo
From 2012-15, the Stanford women’s water polo team enjoyed the greatest four-year span of any Stanford team, winning three national titles and losing in the championship match in five overtimes during the non-title year. Neushul scored a whopping 222 goals in her Stanford career, leading the team in scoring for three of her four years. Neushul will perhaps be remembered best for her tremendous five-goal performance in the 2015 NCAA Championship.
2. Chasson Randle, men’s basketball
Over the course of the last four years, Chasson Randle established himself as the face of Stanford men’s basketball in an unforgettable way. Randle led the Cardinal to two NIT championships and an NCAA Sweet Sixteen berth and emerged as a clutch player and the centerpiece of Johnny Dawkins’ offense. During the semifinals of this year’s NIT, he also broke the school scoring record, which currently stands at a remarkable 2,375 points.
1. David Nolan, men’s swimming
Seventeen-time All-American, nine Pac-12 titles, three school records, two NCAA titles and one world record. No one could have expected David Nolan to do much more in his illustrious four-year Stanford career, and yet he somehow managed to become one of the school’s greatest swimmers of all time all while pursuing a biomechanical engineering degree. Nolan also managed to finish off his career as a Cardinal by breaking Ryan Lochte’s U.S. record in the 200 IM with a time of 1:40.07 before promptly demolishing the world record in the event with an eye-popping 1:39.38 show at NCAAs.