In the 2019 home opener, No. 4 Stanford (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) dropped UC Irvine (0-3-1 , 0-0 Big West) 1-0. Redshirt sophomore forward Zach Ryan scored the winning goal in the 13th minute.
“We were in good positions to attack all night,” said Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn. “We just couldn’t find a second goal.”
The two sides met last year in the NCAA playoffs, with Stanford pulling off a 2-0 victory.
Redshirt freshman Matt Frank earner his first start in goal for the Cardinal with redshirt sophomore Andrew Thomas on national team duty with the U-23 team.
Stanford dominated play in the opening minutes, including a header attempt from Ryan in the sixth minute that forced a save out of Anteaters goalkeeper Ford Parker. Senior midfielder Derek Waldeck connected on a give and go with Ryan soon after, but the shot sailed high.
A trio of corner kicks were won by Stanford, with the final preceding the goal. Waldeck’s corner was cleared, but sent back into the box by junior midfielder Logan Panchot. Bouncing around, fifth year center back Tanner Beason connected with Ryan, who shot and benefited from a deflection tion to beat Parker. The goal was the second of the year for Ryan, who led the Cardinal a year ago with ten.
“We never wait for any particular way to score,” Gunn said. “We’re happy to score from open play, and we’re happy to score in set-piece situations, which is a big part of the game.”
From that point on in the half, the two sides were evenly matched, with Stanford narrowly edging Irvine six to five in shots. Neither team finished, although each keeper was tested for a save, and Stanford added another corner.
In the second half, Stanford was awarded two corner kicks, but could not convert either. As the game remained tight, both teams added five second half shots, so that after 90 minutes Stanford led 13-10. The Cardinal has two more second half corners to have all six for the game.
“We had the only corners of the game because we played some great soccer to create those chances,” Gunn said
Stanford’s best effort was a tantalizing half-volley for Panchot from distance, but the effort never stopped rising. Frank and Parker each finished with three saves.
Irvine forced two saves out of Frank late in the second half. First, Ricardo Ibarra forced a diving save in the 78th minute. Then, in the dying seconds of the 90th minute, Christian Gutierrez shot a prayer from 30 yards out.
“In a perfect world, we’d be looking to completely dominate all the way out, but it’s soccer,” Gunn said. “We’re very happy that we kept a clean sheet and I really felt that it was an excellent game.”
A chippy game, the Anteaters were called for 13 fouls, while the Cardinal were whistled for 16, and redshirt sophomore defender Andrew Apprahamian was shown a yellow card.
Although Irvine has lost three games early in the season, all have come to ranked teams. In addition, the Anteaters tied Cal in Berkeley.
“Irvine, which has had the toughest schedule in the country to start, is a class team,” Gunn said. “They’re going to have a great season.”
Stanford will return to action Friday against Denver.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.