Huskers to Face #3 Stanford in Elite Eight

The fifth-seeded Nebraska soccer team will face three-time national champion and 2-seed Stanford on Friday, with the winner advancing to the College Cup. First kick at the Laird Q. Cagan Stadium in Stanford is set for 4 p.m. (CT), and the match will be streamed on ESPN+.

The Huskers (17-3-3) are making their third quarterfinals appearance in school history and first since 1999 after NU punched its ticket to the Elite Eight with a convincing 4-0 shutout of UC Irvine on Sunday in front of 1,717 fans at Barbara Hibner Stadium. With a win on Friday, Nebraska will make its first trip to the College Cup in program history.

The Cardinal (18-0-4) has won two of the last six College Cups, most recently capturing the title in 2019. Stanford has appeared in 10 College Cups, including five straight from 2008-12, with its three national championships coming in 2011, 2017 and 2019. 

Individual Milestones and Records to Watch

  • Senior Eleanor Dale earned four Big Ten Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors this season (second-most in Big Ten history), and she became the first Nebraska women’s soccer player to claim Big Ten Forward-of-the-Year honors. She leads the country in total goals (28), goals per game (1.22) and shots per game (6.00). Dale now ranks third in Big Ten history in single-season goals (28) and sixth in single-season points (61). Dale is just the fourth player in Big Ten history to total 60 points in a season. 
  • Eleanor Dale scored her nation-leading 27th and 28th goals in Friday’s match to post her 11th multi-goal match of the season. With her 28 goals, Dale broke the Nebraska record for goals in a season with Kim Engesser, who previously held the record with 27 goals in 1998. Additionally, she is tied for first in the Huskers record books in game-winning goals and her total shots this season place her at the top of the list. Dale’s two goals increased her season total to 61 points. That ties Engesser’s school record for most points in a season, as Engesser tallied 61 points in 1998.
  • Dale had 11 shots against UC Irvine, a school record for an NCAA Tournament match. The previous record had been 10 shots by Lindsay Eddleman against Minnesota in 1996.
  • Gretna’s Weber joins Dale as a first-team All-Big Ten honoree as Weber captured her second-straight first-team All-Big Ten status. Nationally, Weber is ninth in shots per game (4.41), tied for eighth in total points (36) and tied for seventh with 15 goals.
  • Junior midfielder Florence Belzile, a three-time member of the Top Drawer Soccer team, has a team-high 17 assists on the season, good for first in the conference and second nationally. In Big Ten history, she is currently tied for second-most in history only behind Jennifer Walek, Minnesota (1995) and Christie Walsh, Penn State (2001) who both had 18. In the Husker record books, her assists on the season place her tied for second with Husker great Jenny Benson (1999) and is four out of first (Brittany Timko, 2005). 

Quick Notes

  • Sunday’s shutout victory over UC Irvine was Nebraska’s first in the NCAA Tournament since 2016, and was NU’s 14th all-time shutout in 32 postseason matches.
  • The Huskers improved to 10-1-2 at Barbara Hibner Stadium this season, marking the first time NU has won 10 home matches in a season since 2001.
  • The Huskers won their 17th match of the season, their most wins since the 2013 season.
  • Nebraska has scored 11 goals in its first three NCAA Tournament matches. The 11 goals are the most the Huskers have ever scored in a single NCAA Tournament, eclipsing the previous record of eight in both the 1998 and 2001 NCAA Tournaments.
  • Nebraska has won two its three NCAA Tournament matches by multiple goals (5-2 over South Dakota State and 4-0 over UC Irvine). This marks only the second time in the Huskers’ 13 all-time NCAA Tournament matches that Nebraska has posted multiple victories by multiple goals (also two multi-goal victories in the 2001 NCAA Tournament).
  • Nebraska and Stanford have met four times on the pitch, with the all-time series tied 2-2-0. The most recent meeting came in 2004 at home with the Cardinal winning 1-0.

Nebraska’s NCAA Tournament History 

  • Nebraska is making its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, and first since 2016 when the Huskers hosted SDSU in the first round.
  • Nebraska holds a 20-12 record all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
  • NU has made it to the Sweet 16 on eight occasions and three times advanced to the Elite Eight.
  • Nebraska made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1996, which began a span of 10 consecutive appearances through the 2005 season. NU’s 12th appearance was in 2016.