At the end of another long season of Stanford athletics, The Daily’s sports staff compiled a list of the top five Stanford athletes that displayed tremendous contributions to their teams/programs.
Bryce Love, football
Love was the definition of the greatest show on grass. It took the speedy running back one minuscule moment to find the hole in the defense to break out his mile-long runs for touchdowns. Love broke Stanford’s single season rushing record with 2,118 yards and became the next Cardinal to earn the runner-up spot for the Heisman. The greatest sight in the world for the college football season was Love close to the end zone with the nearest defender 20 yards away trying to catch up. Without Love, Stanford doesn’t sniff a Pac-12 Championship.
Katie Ledecky, women’s swimming and diving
The two-time Olympian probably had the most successful two years anyone could have in collegiate athletics. She was an eight-time NCAA champion, nine-time All-American and seven-time Pac-12 champion, and she holds the world records in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyles. Ledecky decided this past season to go pro, but just even the two years she had at Stanford are worth more than an entire lifetime.
Melissa Lord, women’s tennis
The month of May should be named after Lord because she dominates all NCAA tournament matches in the month. She is 15-0 in NCAA team matches. Let me repeat that again. FIFTEEN AND ZERO! The Cardinal were on the verge of missing the postseason for the first time with Lord out with injury. But with her return, Stanford engineered one of the greatest turnarounds in the Stanford history, which brought the Cardinal its 19th NCAA championship. It was only fitting that the final match to decide the national title fell upon Lord’s shoulders, and she delivered once again.
Tomas Hilliard-Arce, men’s soccer
Hilliard-Arce has one of the most decorated resumes of any Cardinal athlete ever. In his four seasons, he has won three national titles, four Pac-12 titles and two Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year awards. Not only that, but the center back was the second overall pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, which is the highest ever selection for a Cardinal player. A team captain in his senior season, Hilliard-Arce was pure class whenever he stepped foot on the pitch.
Andi Sullivan, women’s soccer
At this point, Sullivan is probably more famous for U.S. women’s national team exploits rather than her career at Stanford. But she had one heck of a career with the Cardinal. The ferocious midfielder won the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy, which is given to the best college soccer player in the country. Sullivan also earned 2017 Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year and was drafted first overall in the 2018 NWSL College Draft, but her best accomplishment is leading the Cardinal to the 2017 national title, their second, as team captain.