The back-to-back national champion Stanford men’s soccer look to start their season with a win at San Jose State as they take on the Spartans Friday Aug. 25.
No.1 ranked Cardinal cruised through their exhibition matches against Portland and Pacific with respective scores of 3-0 and 1-0. The Pacific match, a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament second round, followed a well-known storyline: through ball to senior attacker Foster Langsdorf who then beat the goalie in the 1v1 sailing the ball into the back of the net.
Head Coach Jeremy Gunn was pleased with his team’s performance. After the game, he admitted that while there “is always a lot to work on,” there were “tons of positives from this game.” When asked about the cohesiveness of the front six, all of which played in those positions for the 2016 Cardinal, Gunn exclaimed, “they’re a year older, they’re a year smarter…they have all of the tools.”
Gunn isn’t the only one who noticed the skills the veterans bring to the table. Top Drawer Soccer singled out Langsdorf, senior defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce and senior midfielder Drew Skundrich to their respective first, second and third preseason best XI teams. Hilliard-Arce and Langsdorf, both 2016 All-Americans, have been placed on the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list.
Newcomer, freshman midfielder/defender Logan Panchot, a veteran of the U.S. Soccer system since 2011, was named to the freshman team. Panchot has started both of Stanford’s exhibition matches at right back.
Stanford is tied with Virginia for the most amount of preseason honorees.
San Jose State, with eight returning letterwinners from last year’s team, will not go down without a fight. The Spartans tied both of their exhibition matches against CSU Monterey Bay and Santa Clara.
The only thing harder than winning is winning again, and as the Cardinal ready for the new challenge, they will look to these veteran leaders to set the pace.
Watch Stanford begin the hunt for their third consecutive national championship on the road this Friday at 5 p.m.
Contact Julia Massaro at jmassaro ‘at’ stanford.edu.