No. 4 Stanford men’s soccer (7-1, 0-0 Pac-12) completed nonconference play Sunday with two more wins over San Francisco and Davidson 3-1 and 1-0.
While the team convincingly came out on top of USF thanks to three goals all off of headers — two from sophomore defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce and the third from junior Jordan Morris — it took 100 minutes for Stanford to net the game’s only goal and pull out a close victory over Davidson.
The Cardinal first struck against USF in the 20th minute, when senior midfielder Ty Thompson sent Hilliard-Arce the ball from the opposite sideline. Hilliard-Arce, who came upfield to play a corner, headed the ball in past Andre Glasnovic in a fashion that he would nearly repeat 15 minutes later, when he once again scored a header off a corner.
“[Hilliard-Arce] finished chances wonderfully tonight,” head coach Jeremy Gunn said. “Tomas has looked dangerous. It’s really good to see center-backs get in on the score sheet because it really helps in any game you play.”
Although USF got on the board with a goal of its own, Morris put the game out of reach in the 59th minute with his third goal of the season off of another corner and assist from sophomore midfielder Corey Baird.
The USF game marked the fourth game in a row in which Baird notched an assist.
“You talk all sorts of tactics on set-pieces, but it’s quite simply good delivery and people trying to get on the end of it, and that’s what we succeeded in tonight,” Gunn said. “Good, quality deliveries by Corey [Baird]; not only did we score off [two] of them, but we looked like scoring off more of them. We really put them under pressure every time we were able to put balls in the box.”
The Cardinal faced a tougher opponent in Davidson, who for most of the game bent but did not break. Stanford notched 23 shots, including 9 on goal and 6 corners, while Davidson goalie Matt Pacifici had 8 saves. Stanford’s Andrew Epstein saw no shots on goal, as he and his strong line of defenders helped the Cardinal earn its fifth shutout of the season.
With neither team able to score in the first 90 minutes, the game went into overtime, and it took a goal 10 minutes in from Morris to seal the deal for Stanford off of a beautiful passing series: the ball went from senior Adrian Alabi, to freshman Amir Bashti, and then to Thompson before ending up in front of Morris for his fourth goal of the season, which tied his overall total from last year.
While a talented Davidson team tested the Cardinal in their last non-conference match, they were able to pull out the win. In doing so, they rebounded from their season-opening loss to UC Santa Barbara with a seven-game win streak.
“We just got to that stage where, because hadn’t scored, we got a little bit frustrated,” Gunn said. “It was a hot, tough day…but credit to our players, even though it was frustrating, we kept looking for the winning goal. And that’s all that we can ever ask.”
Stanford will kick off conference play Sunday, October 4 at 4 p.m. with an away game at Berkeley against Cal.
Contact Alexa Philippou at aphil723 ‘at’ stanford.edu.