By Cybele Zhang
Tonight No. 9 Stanford men’s soccer (8-2-4, 5-1-1 Pac-12) will take on No. 11 Denver (12-2-2, 3-0-1) in the final home non-conference game of the season.
The teams first met in 1999, and the Cardinal have won all three games against the Pioneers since. The most recent time the teams played was on Sep. 26, 2010, when Stanford defeated Denver 1-0 after a 59th-minute goal from Adam Jahn – who now plays for professionally as a forward for the MLS team Columbus Crew SC.
Both the Cardinal and the Pioneers attended the 2016 College Cup in Houston, but the teams never met. In that event, Stanford made the championship, while Denver was eliminated in the semi-final after losing to Wake Forest 2-1.
The Cardinal enter tonight’s game with the momentum of a 3-1 win over Washington (8-7-0, 3-4-0) on Sunday at home. Senior midfielder/forward Amir Bashti, junior defender Tanner Beason and freshman forward Zach Ryan all scored in that game. The Cardinal had eight attempts on goal.
Bashti leads the team in career goals with 19, seven of which came this season. Beason also has put up 12 career goals, scoring five this season. Additionally, Ryan has put six in the back of the net this season.
On the opposite side of the field, a player to watch is forward Andre Shinyashiki out of São Paulo, Brazil. Shinyashiki dominates the Pioneer offense and scored 24 of the 34 goals (71 percent) Denver has recorded this season.
Tonight, the Cardinal seek to capitalize on their home field advantage and boast a 42-4-10 record at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium since 2014. In that span, Stanford has outscored non-conference opponents 60-16 at home.
The Cardinal currently sit atop the Pac-12 rankings, and they lead the conference in scoring offense with 1.79 goals per game. In conference, however, the Cardinal excel even more and average 2.57 goals per game – which is more than one goal better than any other Pac-12 team. Oregon and Washington come in second, averaging 1.43 in conference matchups.
Kick off is at 8 p.m. PST tonight at Cagan Stadium.
Contact Cybele Zhang at cybelez ‘at’ stanford.edu.