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Men’s soccer hosts Denver and American this weekend

Zach Ryan (above) has been Stanford's saving grace, scoring the winning goal in each of the last two matches. Ryan and the rest of the Cardinal are looking to win out this weekend to give head coach Jeremy Gunn his 100th win. (GLEN MITCHLL/isiphotos.com)

No. 3 Stanford men’s soccer (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) will host Denver (0-3-1, 0-0 Summit) and American (0-3-1, 0-0 Patriot) over the weekend. The games offer head coach Jeremy Gunn a pair of opportunities to reach his 100th victory on the Farm in just his eighth season.

The Cardinal have won all four of the past matchups with the Pioneers. Denver visited Stanford last season, when Denver was handed a 1-0 defeat by current redshirt sophomore forward Zach Ryan in the 101st minute.

Ryan has also recorded the game-winning goal in Stanford’s two most recent games. The first came in the 2-1 defeat of then-No. 3 Akron and the latter a go-ahead goal in the 13th minute against UC Irvine.

After the Pioneers’ Josh Drack scored 26 seconds into their first game, Denver has only found the back of the net once this season. The goal came in a 2-1 overtime loss to No. 4 Indiana. After that loss to the Hoosiers on Friday, the Pioneers lost a one-goal decision to No. 10 Notre Dame on Sunday.

In addition to the competition at the top of the rankings, a tough opening schedule for Denver has kept the team away from home through their visit to California on Sunday.

All-time, Denver is 5-21 against top-10 teams, but are 4-4 against top-10 teams under head coach Jamie Franks.

Stanford won the only meeting with American 2-1 on Sept. 9, 1988 at the Golden Rush Tournament in Fresno, California.

American has only one goal on the season, which came from midfielder Malachy McGovern in the season-opening loss to George Mason.

The Eagles are still searching for their first win under new head coach Zach Samol. Samol has started 20 different players across the first four games of the season.

This weekend, the Cardinal will welcome back redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Thomas, who missed the most recent game on national team duty with the U.S. U-23 team. Redshirt freshman Matt Frank filled in, recording the shutout Stanford needed to escape with a one-goal victory.

Stanford will take on Denver Friday at 7 p.m. PT before switching opponents with their rivals across the Bay on Sunday for a 3 p.m. matinee with Denver.

Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

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