No. 12 Stanford men’s soccer (8-2-4, 5-0-1 Pac-12) remained unbeaten in conference play with a draw on Thursday night against the unranked San Diego State Aztecs (7-3-4, 2-2-2). Both teams battled for the win, but after two overtimes, the squads settled for a 1-1 draw in San Diego.
The Aztecs, determined to end Stanford’s win streak, were happy with the tie. In his postgame remarks SDSU head coach Lev Kirshner emphasized how proud he was “of this team for their effort and will to blemish Stanford’s record.” Kirshner, however, admitted that it was “disappointing” to not come away with a win after the 1-0 lead the Aztecs had going into the second half.
Unlike the last matchup with San Diego, Stanford pushed the pace of the game early on. The Cardinal had the first five shots of the game, but could not get one past senior defender Adam Allmaras, who had three saves in the first 14 minutes. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the Aztecs to retaliate, and in the 19th minute of the first half, senior defender Matt Callahan launched a throw-in to teammate Kyle Adams, who saw senior midfielder Casey Macias at the top of the box. Macias netted the first goal of the game, beating Stanford junior goalkeeper Andrew Epstein.
The Aztecs kept their foot on the pedal, and in the 30th minute, senior forward Michael Sauers launched a shot from 30 feet away. Luckily for Stanford, Epstein made the diving save to keep the Cardinal within one score of their opponents. Five minutes later, it was Stanford’s turn to go on the offensive, with a near-perfect header from Amir Bashti’s that was just barely stopped by Allmaras.
While this one got stopped, Stanford kept up the offensive push, and just 15 minutes into the second half, opportunity came knocking.
Stanford’s equalizer goal was a key example of Stanford’s newfound team chemistry. Adrian Alabi corralled a long ball sent to the top left corner of the box and sent a perfect feed to fellow forward Corey Baird who was able then to cross to waiting junior midfielder Bryce Marion. Marion sailed the ball to the left post, and after 61 minutes of play the score was tied at one goal apiece.
The Aztecs were not to be discouraged and came dangerously close to pulling ahead in the second half. In the 71st minute, SDSU sophomore midfielder Pablo Pelaez struck the top right half of the crossbar. Afterwards, both teams held each other to a defensive stand-off, with just one shot each in the scoreless overtime periods.
Overall, Stanford was able to overcome some first-half adversity to lead the game in shots and corner kicks. Up next, Stanford gets ready to play at UCLA. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Network.
Contact Julia Massaro at jmassaro ‘at’ stanford.edu.