Stanford men’s soccer (0-0-2) began the 2016 regular season with a pair of draws at home, bringing Stanford’s unbeaten streak at Cagan Stadium to 14 (10-0-4). In addition, in the last 28 home games, the Cardinal’s record stands at 19-1-8.
On Aug. 25, the Cardinal hosted Penn State . It was the first meeting for both teams, and despite the Cardinal’s assertive and aggressive play, the final score was 0-0.
Penn State had four shots early in the second half, but Stanford’s defense held back the Nittany Lions until the 94th minute when Cardinal goalkeeper Andrew Epstein got his first and only save. Epstein was 10th in the nation in goals against average in 2015.
Using a mix of headers and strikes, the trio of juniors — Foster Langsdorf, Drew Skundrich and Bryce Marion — were a dominant force with six shots on frame but remained unable to score.
The match against St. Mary’s on Aug. 28 also ended in a draw, this time 2-2. Although the Cardinal outshot the Gaels 11-4 in the first half, Stanford found itself down 0-2 in the second. At the 78th minute mark, and with only 10 men on the field, Langsdorf and Skundrich came through scoring two goals only three minutes apart.
“We were in a terrible situation when we could have easily been up in the game and we fought back,” said Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn.
The success of the Cardinal program isn’t contained to the home field — or even the current team. Stanford soccer alums Brandon Vincent and Jordan Morris continue to excel as MLS professional players.
Vincent, the 2015 men’s team captain, former Stanford All-American, 2015 Pac-12 Men’s Scholar Athlete of the Year and College Cup Defensive Most Outstanding Player, currently plays for the Chicago Fire. He was the second-highest Cardinal selection in MLS Super Draft history, chosen with the fourth-overall pick by the Fire in January and was added to the USMT for its Jan. 2016 training camp. He earned his first MNT cap on Feb. 5 when he came on for a 1-0 win in the second half against Canada.
Former Stanford men’s team forward, 2015 Pac-12 Player of the Year and 2015 MAC Hermann trophy winner, Morris plays for the Seattle Sounders. He is the team’s leading scorer at just 21 years of age. Morris was one of 26 players called by USMNT for a pair of upcoming World Cup qualifiers against St. Vincent and Grenadines on Sept. 2, and four days later against Trinidad and Tobago as the US tries to win a place in the Hexagonal round.
Morris has nine MNT caps, just shy of fellow Sounder teammate and former Cardinal Chad Marshall, who holds the Stanford men’s soccer program’s record with 11. The U.S. is 6-2-1 in matches featuring Morris.
The Stanford men’s soccer team has a busy month beginning with the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Indiana. The Cardinal’s first match is scheduled for Sept. 2 against No. 9 Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m. After that, they play Indiana on Sept. 4, and then the team heads home for a match against San Jose State on Sept. 10.
Contact Matthew Bernstein at mbernste ‘at’ stanford.edu.