After a 9-8 overtime win against No. 5 Pacific on Sept. 21 at the NorCal Invitational, No. 3 Stanford faced the Tigers once again this Sunday, where they were not able to secure a second victory. Despite a late drive led primarily by sophomore driver Bret Bonanni and fifth-year senior two-meter Forrest Watkins, the Cardinal was defeated 14-12 in the match.
The Card maintained pressure on the Tiger defense throughout the game, eliciting 14 saves from goalie Alex Malkis. Hat tricks from Pacific powerhouses Balazs Erdelyi, Goran Tomasevic and Kevin Oliveira, however, put the Tigers ahead to stay.
The game opened with three goals in the first 1:34 of play — two of which were for the Cardinal. Bonanni started the Cardinal off strong with a goal 56 seconds in, which was quickly followed by a goal 25 seconds later from Oliveira. Bonanni scored his second of four goals 13 seconds after Pacific’s equalizer, putting the Cardinal ahead 2-1.
Scoring slowed for Stanford shortly after, however, with the Tigers outscoring Stanford 6-0 over the next 10 minutes of play.
A timeout in the middle of the second quarter got the Cardinal fired up, battling back with two goals from Bonnani and one from Watkins — beginning his five goal surge — before the half.
Trailing 8-5 at halftime, Stanford focused on coming out hot in the second half — and the Cardinal did. The Tigers flexed their muscle as well though, and the third period exploded open with seven goals — three for Stanford and four for Pacific — in the first 3:49 of the new half.
The end of the third quarter was Cardinal-dominated — more specifically Watkins-dominated — as the senior scored three consecutive goals, drawing the game to a nail-biter of 12-11 with 7:54 left to play.
Just under four and a half minutes into the final period, Pacific’s Aleksandar Petrovic netted his second goal to solidify the Tiger’s lead. Capitalizing on a late penalty shot by Erdelyi reopened Pacific’s lead to three goals — a gap Stanford never closed, despite a late surge and goal by junior Alex Bowen with six seconds left in the game.
After starting the season with nine road games, Stanford will look to reestablish dominance at its home opener on Saturday, Oct. 5 against No. 15 Santa Clara. Stanford faced Santa Clara in its home opener last year as well, beating the Broncos decidedly by a score of 19-1.
Contact Carlie Tenenbaum Park at carliet‘at’stanford.edu.