By Kit Ramgopal
It’s Cardinal against Cardinals this Saturday at 4 p.m. as No. 5 Stanford men’s soccer (13-3-4) takes on No. 4 Louisville (14-5-2) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.
The Stanford men are on a three-game win streak, including a 1-0 win in double overtime to advance the Cardinal past No. 16 Virginia in the third-round last Sunday. Both defenses shined, and the Cavaliers held Stanford to a stalemate until junior forward Foster Langsdorf knocked a header into the Cavaliers’ goal — his seventh winner of the season in double overtime.
Meanwhile, Louisville is coming off a third-round win over Notre Dame by a 3-1 margin of victory. The Cardinals are playing their third straight NCAA Tournament match at home as one of the top four seeds, and a win on Saturday would push the 2016 team to 15 wins, its second highest single season win total in school history.
This match will pit Stanford’s Hermann semifinalist junior defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce against the Louisville’s Hermann semifinalist junior defender Tim Kubel.
While Saturday will undoubtedly prove a defensive standoff, Langsdorf and Louisville’s Mohamed Thiaw are both dynamic offensive players that will play a big part in deciding the quarterfinal outcome. A Stanford win this Saturday would keep it on course for a second consecutive national title — a first for the men’s soccer program.
Contact Kit Ramgopal at kramgopa ‘at’ stanford.edu.