By Arman Kassam
After that defeat, Stanford moved on to a game against Washington (7-6-0, 2-3-0) last Sunday that was won in the second overtime at 3-2. Sophomore forward Arda Bulut secured his first career goal and the game’s winning strike, giving the team the temporary boost it needed to rebound in Thursday’s rematch against Oregon State.
However, at the beginning of Thursday’s game, the Beaver offense opened the floodgates. For the first 20 minutes, Oregon had opportunity after opportunity and chance after chance against a Stanford defense that was barely holding on and a Stanford offense that could not manage to keep the ball on the Beavers’ side. Oregon midfielder Hassani Dotson, recently named Pac-12 Player of the Week, capitalized on this high pressure with a cross to Gloire Amanda that almost ended up in the Cardinal net. It seemed that OSU’s hard work payed off at the 20th minute, when Amanda applied high pressure against the Stanford defense, swiped the ball and closed in on the net. At 1-0, it appeared that the Beavers could and would hold down another victory against the Cardinal, but a red storm was brewing.
Stanford’s offense unleashed itself after that momentary hiccup. Fantastic one-two’s and through-balls were beginning to be seen by the Cardinal front lines; they were getting into their groove. This momentum was reflected in the defense as well when Stanford senior defenseman Adam Mosharrafa slid to block a Beaver shot by Don Tchilao at the last second. Finally, the Cardinal had their first taste of vengeance in the 35th minute with a header in goal by junior defenseman Tanner Beason, assisted by junior midfielder Derek Waldeck. Beason’s fourth goal of the season gave the Cardinal side hope at 1-1.
Everything changed in the final seconds of the first half when Oregon responded with some vengeance of their own. OSU’s Tchilao broke past Stanford’s back line on the left wing, knocking the ball into center, where it was deflected into the possession of Albert Pedra and shot into the Cardinal net with only two seconds left on the clock.
“We managed to achieve two firsts,” said Cardinal head coach Jeremy Gunn. “The first time we gifted a goal to an opponent and the first time we’ve let a ball in the last minute of a half.” Coach Gunn added, “Those are the disappointing parts, but the exciting part is that on a night when we did everything to shoot ourselves in the foot, we also did everything to fight our way back into the game.”
Indeed, by the second half, the Stanford that came out at the beginning of the game had completely vanished. The second period was filled with Stanford attempts at goal, including a close shot from Waldeck that nearly found net after an excellent pass from the Cardinal leading scorer, senior midfielder/forward Amir Bashti. A dynamic and deadly combination of precise offense and cautionary defense on the Cardinal side kept OSU on their toes. After 20 minutes in the second half, Stanford tied it up with another first for the Cardinal this season: the first career goal for freshman midfielder Will Richmond, who came at the left side of the net with a shot like lightning out of thin air. One moment he was evading the OSU defense — the next moment he was outside of the box, and then out of nowhere a shot directed towards the upper-90 ricocheted off of the post and into the Oregon net.
The rest of the game, including the two overtimes, was a battle of grit and perseverance. The Cardinal performed a series of impressive saves, and the Beavers had moments of their own, but otherwise, these two teams had exerted themselves to the max. This battle for honor and retribution was left at a draw.
“We have to commend the guys for their resiliency,” Coach Gunn remarked. “While we’re certainly disappointed not to get the win, under the circumstances we’re very, very happy to pick up a point and move forward to the next game.”
Contact Arman Kassam at armank ‘at’ stanford.edu.