Stanford is No. 2 in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 heading into its showdown against No. 3 UCLA on Friday. In a year for high-quality freshmen, the Cardinal (16-0-1) has been blessed with three
sensational first-year players -- Californians Teresa Noyola
, Lindsay Taylor
and Camille Levin
-- who have combined for 26 goals and 15 assists in 17 games. Even more important, their skills complement each other -- which
should make Stanford a national contender for the next four seasons. TERESA NOYOLA.
Noyola was the nation's top-ranked recruit in this year's
freshman class and is considered one of top playmakers in the U.S. national youth team program. She was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States when she was three. She didn't have to
look far when it came time to look at colleges. She resides in Palo Alto, so it was natural to chose Stanford, where her parents attended graduate school. Noyola, who played for Northern California
powerhouse MVLA Mercury, has scored six goals and eight assists in 17 games.
Coach Paul Radcliffe
on Noyola: "She's done an outstanding job for us.
With every game, she's getting better at using her body to hold off defenders. Combine that with her intelligence, high level of awareness on the field, and technical ability to get the ball where
it needs to go, she's been absolutely phenomenal." (stanford.com
) LINDSAY TAYLOR.
Growing up in Los Altos, Calif., Taylor took up soccer after her parents vetoed her request to take up horseback riding. She has been scoring goals in bunches since
playing AYSO ball for the Pink Panthers. She later played for Northern California powerhouse MVLA Mercury, where she played in Noyola. Taylor leads the Cardinal with 15 goals and 33 points in 17
games. In her best game of the freshman campaign, she scored a hat trick in a 5-0 win over Santa Clara, where her mother is an administrator.
Radcliffe on Taylor: "Lindsay's execution and
finishing have been superb. She also has a great physical presence on the field as well, which is something that can't be said about most players in their first collegiate season." (stanford.com
) CAMILLE LEVIN.
Levin has been part of the U.S. youth
program since taking part in the identification camp at the age of 14. She starred on Southern California power Slammers FC before arriving at the Farm this fall. She started out as a defender but
has been converted to holding midfielder. Levin, who has scored five goals and four assist in 17 starts, was named the Santa Clara/adidas Classic tournament's MVP.
on Levin: "Camille is an integral part of our team. She's our best tackler and one of the best playmakers on field. She can be the difference in the outcome of a