Pac-12 Networks' polymath (the guy covers baseball, basketball, football, soccer, golf, AND wrestling) J.B. Long was kind enough to answer several questions about the upcoming Cal vs. Stanford women's soccer match on Friday night (6 pm PT on Pac-12 Networks). It's a sold out match so fans who didn't already got tickets would have to watch the Pac-12 Networks with play-by-play by J.B. Long and Krista Blunk.
Friday's Bay Area Derby between #20 California and #3 Stanford is officially sold out! Fans without tickets can watch on the @Pac12Networks— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWomensSoccer) November 5, 2015
J.B. Long: You're right; she's the Pac-12 Player of the Year in a landslide. Her individual season has been tremendous, and her contributions have been especially valuable given the injuries Cal has endured around her. I hope she gets strong consideration for the Hermann Trophy.
Honestly, I've been following Cardinal soccer closely now for four seasons. The only thing that changes are the names and faces. Paul's program is a model of consistency and achievement. I'd keep going, but I fully expect you to redact this entire answer for Berkeley's sake.
[RY: Thanks for bursting my bubble about Cal overtaking Stanford in women's soccer in the near future.]
J.B. Long: I definitely see what you're driving at here. Potentially Cal has more to play for and may be hyper-motivated. It also will be Senior Day at Stanford, which can be accompanied by distracting emotions.
I'll only disagree in that the Cardinal can effectively clinch home field until the College Cup with a win over the Bears. A loss to Cal could easily knock them off that track. Stanford will be focused on Pac-12 perfection.
Plus, in the Big Match, there's no such thing as "added motivation." It's already baked in at full dose.
Thanks to J.B. Long again for sharing his insight. I understand that he has to deal with the overbearing Stanford parents on Friday night and that's perhaps why he's so diplomatic about how good of a team Stanford is. Be sure to come back on Friday night for our open thread for this match.