Following a NCAA-championship-winning season, the Stanford men’s soccer team has begun another run for the crown. With a 3-1-3 record, including five shutouts, the Cardinal are set to open Pac-12 conference play tonight against San Diego State University at Cagan Stadium at 5pm.
Recently, the Cardinal suffered its first loss in nearly a year to Pacific University of Oregon. The 1-0 loss last Thursday at home marked the team’s first loss in 363 days and broke the team’s 21 match consecutive winning streak and 12 match home game winning streak. Prior to Thursday, the Cardinal’s last loss occurred on Sept. 23, 2017, at Saint Louis, 2-0. The last home game loss occurred on Sept. 9, 2017, against Tulsa, 2-0. Despite the recent loss, Stanford hasn’t dropped two games in a row since head coach Jeremy Gunn’s first season as head coach in 2012.
Stanford has an all-time record of 17-11-8 against the San Diego Aztecs, including 10-0-3 under Gunn. Last season, the Cardinal outscored the Aztecs 9-0 across two games. In their Pac-12 opener on Sept. 28, 2017, the Cardinal traveled to San Diego to beat the Aztecs 5-0. On Nov. 5, senior day, the Cardinal outscored the Aztecs 4-0 at home. Stanford hasn’t lost to the Aztecs since a 1-0 loss on Sept. 30, 2011.
Following their match against the Aztecs, the Cardinal will continue conference play with a home match against UCLA on Sunday at 5 p.m. In a series dating back to 1973, the Cardinal hold a 11-39-9 record against the Bruins. However, in the last eight meetings between these two Pac-12 opponents, Stanford is 5-0-3. Last season, the Cardinal won 1-0 at UCLA on Oct. 1 and outscored the Bruins 5-1 in a victory that clinched the team’s four consecutive Pac-12 Title.
With seven games in the book, Stanford currently sits just 14 points behind No. 25 ranked Fordham in the most recent NCAA Division 1 Rankings. In five of their first seven matches, the Cardinal have shut out their opponent, lowering their goals against average to 0.261, third in the nation. In terms of individuals, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Andrew Thomas is third nationally with 0.263 in that category.
Stanford graduated seven starters who led the team to three national championships, four Pac-12 Titles, a 65-10-13 overall record and a 30-3-7 Pac-12 conference record across four years. All seven starters have gone on to play professionally. The Cardinal has started four freshman in their first six matches of the season and started a fifth freshman in their last game against Pacific.
With both the men’s and women’s soccer teams winning NCAA National Championships last year, Stanford became the first school to win a national soccer championship on the men’s and women’s side in the same season. Stanford currently leads all Division I schools with 117 National Championships. Over the last three years, the men’s soccer program has accumulated three consecutive National Championships. Their quest for their fourth continues tonight at Cagan Stadium at 5 p.m.
Contact Alejandro Salinas at asalinas ‘at’ stanford.edu