By Jose Saldana
No. 16 Washington’s (12-4-0, 5-2-0 Pac-12) golden goal 80 seconds into overtime defeated No. 9 Stanford (10-3-4, 7-1-1) 1-0 on a rainy Sunday night at Cagan Stadium.
Stanford’s first conference loss kept it from winning the Pac-12 for at least this match. The Huskies also snapped the Cardinal’s 21-game unbeaten streak at home, which dated back to the 2014 season.
The Cardinal could have clinched the Pac-12 with a win or draw.
The matchup of the top two teams in the Pac-12 began with each team pressuring the other’s defense. Both teams combined for nine shots in the first 22 minutes of the period. The Cardinal defense affected each shot as every Huskies attempt sailed out of bounds.
“I thought our defenders played wonderfully tonight,” Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn said of the defense. “They were rock-solid … didn’t really give good looks away. It was tough playing conditions and they dealt with everything throughout the game. We just didn’t look like conceding tonight.”
The Cardinal outshot the Huskies 10 to 6 in the first half, but a stout defensive line and three saves from Huskies senior goalkeeper Auden Schilder kept game scoreless heading into the break.
Even with the disparity in shot attempts, the Stanford offense could not find quality opportunities for scores, as the Huskies backline did not allow many shot attempts to come from inside the box.
The second period began similarly to the first with the defenses blanketing the offenses’ opportunities for scores.
The Cardinal had their best chance to score in the waning moments of regulation.
In the 89th minute, junior midfielder Bryce Marion played the ball into the top box where he found junior Sam Werner, who fired a low shot to the left post. Schilder made a sensational save by diving to his right and poking the ball out. Sophomore midfielder Amir Bashti managed to recover the ball and sent a dribbler that Schilder again saved.
Schilder’s seventh and eighth saves of the game sent the match into overtime as Stanford continued to search for the game-winning goal.
As soon as overtime began, disaster struck for the Cardinal.
A minute into the first overtime, the Huskies earned a corner kick from the left side. Freshman midfielder Handwalla Bwana sent the corner to the near post where senior Justin Schmidt met the ball in the air and guided it to the back of the net for the game-winning goal.
Washington came into this game in second place in the Pac-12 with 12 points and three games left on the schedule. The Huskies defense suffocated the Stanford forwards, as juniors Foster Langsdorf and Corey Baird combined for four shots and two shots on goal.
“They’re a very good team and they’re good defensively,” Gunn said. “We had some great chances to win the game, set piece opportunities that we didn’t bury and others in the run of play. It was just one of those tight games in which we needed to bury one and we didn’t manage to.”
The Cardinal can win the Pac-12 for the third consecutive year with a victory in their final game of the season or with a Washington loss in its last three games.
Stanford heads to Berkeley on Friday, Nov. 11, to take on California at 1 p.m.
Contact Jose Saldaña at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.