CARY, NC — Dressed in crisp, black warmups, the Stanford University women’s soccer team walked into the WakeMed Soccer Park facility on Thursday morning ready for business. The Cardinal, who won the 2017 women’s College Cup, are in Cary this weekend with the sole goal of defending their national title. They’ll play Florida State tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. and hope to earn a spot in the championship game on Sunday.
RELATED: 2018 Women's College Cup live blog
The Stanford team has one huge advantage: experience. Twenty-two members of Stanford’s current roster experienced this same sensation last year. They arrived in Orlando, Florida much like they did today in Cary, nervous, excited and energized; then, they dominated both games and walked away as champions.
Here is at least one thing to know about each of the 22 players who will help Stanford compete for its second consecutive title.
Michelle Xiao, senior: She's a Biomechanical Engineering major who works on research related to tendon injuries.
DYK? When Stanford midfielder Michelle Xiao isn’t on the pitch, she’s working in Dr. Geoff Abrams’ lab studying the effects of microRNA’s play in the development of tendinopathy. pic.twitter.com/EK3MIOHlJH— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) November 9, 2018
Alana Cook, senior: A volunteer who has worked with the Gardner Elementary Walk-A-Thon, Bay Area clinics for Female footballers and the Bay area Women’s Sports Initiative as well as the local American Youth Soccer Organization.
Averie Collins, senior: An honorable mention candidate for the 2017 All-Academic team and the daughter of NFL player Shane Collins.
Jordan DiBiasi, senior: A team captain who earned recognition from her conference as the Pac-12 midfielder of the year.
Alison Jahansouz, redshirt senior: Can be found conducting research in Stanford Blood Center when she’s not stopping goals in the net.
Tegan McGrady, senior: The great-granddaughter of a Stanford athlete who ran track and field in 1940s.
Jaye Boissiere, redshirt junior: She plays for the U-23 United States national team and also has experience conducting research on Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia with the Maternal Fetal Medicine department at Stanford.
Tierna Davidson, junior: She’s hosted four exchange students from Ireland and Denmark.
Ceci Gee, junior: She organized fundraising events to help purchase and deliver soccer gear for an under-privileged team of girls in Kenya.
Beattie Goad, junior: A five-year volunteer at Mary MacKillop Nursing Home.
Sam Hiatt, junior: Both her parents played in two College Cups while at Santa Clara.
ALSO: Championship history
Lauren Rood, junior: Aspires to have a career in sports business.
Carly Malatskey, junior: She’s the general manager of a company called Main Quad Rentals at Stanford which primarily rents beds to students at the university.
Congratulations to the six #Pac12Soccer student-athletes named @HermannTrophy semifinalists! The finalists will be named on Dec. 7 in conjunction with the Men’s NCAA College Cup semifinals. Full release: https://t.co/Pl4Tt2ws2R pic.twitter.com/jei5Pe0bxn— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) November 27, 2018
Sam Tran, junior: At 10 years old, she wanted to grow up and be a pastry chef.
Madison Haley, sophomore: Her father won five Superbowls throughout his career with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.
Jojo Harber, sophomore: Her mother, father, sister and brother all graduated from Stanford, and her sister and father were also student-athletes for the Cardinal.
Belle Briede- sophomore: She’s considering majoring in human biology; Stanford is one of the top 5 schools for this major, according to the U.S. News and World Report.
Civana Kuhlmann, sophomore: Her sister also plays college soccer at Midland University.
Catarina Macario, sophomore: Set the Stanford record this year for most assists in the postseason.
Sophomore slump? Catarina Macario’s never heard of it.— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) November 7, 2018
She led the undefeated and Pac-12 Champion @StanfordWSoccer with 12 goals, five of which were game winners, 29 points, and 72 shots.@catarinamacario’s the #Pac12Soccer Forward of the Year: https://t.co/npDt0hfvKz pic.twitter.com/mcU6vKZkAM
Kiki Pickett, sophomore: She enjoys all three Kung Fu Panda movies and watches them multiple times a year.
Sophia Serafin, sophomore: Los Angeles food bank volunteer.
Brooke Redington, redshirt freshman: Has a superstition that when putting on her gear, she has to put her left sock on before her right, her right cleat on before her left and her right shin guard on before her left.