Stanford (5-6-1, 2-2-1 Pac-12) got back on the road again this weekend after playing six straight games at home. On Friday night the Card faced Oregon State (6-4-2, 1-2-1 Pac-12) in rainy Corvallis, Ore.
The first half presented the Cardinal a number of scoring chances, but none of Stanford’s five shots found the back of the net. The Beavers didn’t have any better luck with their two shots, and it remained scoreless going into the second half.
The scoring was finally sparked by a penalty kick in the 59th minute when Zach Batteer was knocked down in Oregon State’s box, resulting in a penalty kick. Senior forward Adam Jahn took the kick and promptly drilled the ball past the keeper for the first score of the match. Just 10 minutes later it was Jahn striking again to extend the Stanford lead to two.
“[Eric Verso] played me a nice through-ball and I took a few touches and hit a low, hard shot that hit the near post and went in,” Jahn said of his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
The Beavers would begin their comeback soon after in the 71st minute, when OSU midfielder Will Seymore scored on a penalty kick brought on by a Stanford foul in the box. It was beginning to look like Stanford would still hang on for the 2-1 victory, when Alex Penny snuck one past goalkeeper Drew Hutchins in the 88th minute to tie the game and force overtime.
The first 10-minute overtime was scoreless as Oregon State goalkeeper Matt Bersano was able to keep Aaron Kover’s shot out of the net. The second overtime featured a number of close calls, accentuated by senior Dersu Abolfathi’s chances in the 106th minute. Twice he was able to break away and launch a shot, and twice the Beavers’ defense managed to get between him and the goal for the block. Time would end up running out, making the final score a 2-2 draw.
“Of course we were a bit frustrated not getting the win,” Jahn said. “We thought we deserved the result, but that’s the way soccer is sometimes.”
Sunday morning the team headed to Seattle to face the University of Washington (8-3-2, 3-0-1 Pac-12). Going into the game, the Huskies hadn’t lost in their last five contests and were looking to continue the streak.
It was another slow first half in a cold rain, with the teams heading scoreless into the locker rooms for halftime. Marred by heavy fouls and chippy play, the game seemed to get out of referee Greg Marshall’s control. Washington was content to sit back on defense and look only to counterattack while Stanford dominated possession and the pace of play. That never manifested itself on the score sheet, however, as Stanford came up with only three shots in the half and the Huskies mustered just two.
Cardinal coach Jeremy Gunn was clearly frustrated by the Huskies’ tactics. “It’s not going to be an enjoyable game of soccer,” Gunn said at halftime. “It’s just so stop-start, it takes 30 minutes for them to put the ball in play. We don’t expect to be beautiful in our attack; they’re a good, tight, disciplined defensive unit. If they want to have a come at us and play some soccer, then we’ll do that.”
Gunn’s wishes were soon met, but in a scenario he no doubt did not appreciate. About nine minutes into the second half, freshman defender Brandon Vincent was given a red card for slapping a Washington player in the face after the two became entangled on a free kick, requiring Stanford to play a man down for the remaining 36 minutes.
This didn’t stop the Cardinal attack, which continued to press when it could and posted seven shots, including a nice drive from Abolfathi in the 74th minute and Jack Ryan in the 81st. In both instances, Washington goalkeeper Spencer Richey was able to keep the Cardinal off the board.
In the 81st minute, Washington would finally pull ahead with a near-post header from Nate Sackeyfio. Minutes later a penalty kick goal by Ben Fisk on a late tackle just inside the box would finalize the victory.
After the match, Gunn was still not pleased with the pace and direction of play. “[Stanford] played the better soccer in the second half,” he told GoStanford.com. The Cardinal, indeed, outshot Washington by five, but the Huskies’ only two shots in the half both resulted in goals.
Despite the disappointing results, Stanford still sits in third in the Pac-12 after the weekend and will have the chance to make up more ground almost immediately. Next week the Cardinal takes the field against Oregon State on Thursday and Washington again on Sunday over a two-game homestand.
Senior Adam Jahn was already gearing up for the rematches.
“We are confident we can get revenge.”