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Men’s soccer opens Pac-12 play against rival Cal

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No. 2 men’s soccer (5-0, 0-0 Pac-12) heads across the Bay on Friday to take on rival Cal (3-1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) and open the conference schedule. This year’s start is the Cardinal’s best since reeling off seven consecutive wins in 2002. 

Stanford retains a 32-23-9 record in 64 all-time meetings with the Bears since 1973. The recent series has been dominated by the Cardinal, who have won the past five games in Edwards Stadium and were riding a 10-match unbeaten streak (9-0-1) until Cal’s JJ Foe Nuphaus headed in an 85th-minute, game-winning goal to take the 2018 regular-season finale. That was Cal’s first win on the Farm since 2010.

The Pac-12 has also been dominated by Stanford broadly, as the Cardinal won its fifth-consecutive conference championship, a Pac-12 record, just one year ago. Head coach Jeremy Gunn, who has 101 wins on the Farm, is the only Pac-12 coach to win more than two consecutive conference championships.

Gunn has sent out the same 10 field players in all five games this season, a remarkable sign of consistency. Included in that starting lineup are two freshmen, forward Ousseni Bouda and center back Keegan Hughes.

“Keegan Hughes has come in and been rock solid in the back,” Gunn said after a win over Denver. “Ousseni has been electriying up front. They’ve really made a big impact, and hopefully they can keep their heads down and keep working hard.”

The Denver side that lost 2-0 against Stanford is the same Denver side that has handed Cal its only loss of the season thus far. The Bears allowed an early goal and, despite a 20-8 advantage in shots and a penalty kick opportunity, were shutout.

Berkeley’s leader in goals is forward Thomas Williamson, who has three in just 172 minutes of play. Williamson has appeared in all five games, but has yet to start for the Bears. Forward Simon Lekressner is the only other Cal player with multiple goals and his four points are matched by the four assists of forward Arman Samimi.

Berkeley has allowed just three goals this season, and Stanford has allowed just one. The Cardinal have 0.20 goals against average, tied for most in the nation, and the scoring offense (2.60) is ranked 10th.

Kickoff in Berkeley is at 4:30 p.m. PT on Friday.

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

Daniel Martinez-Krams '22 is a desk editor in the sports section. He is originally from Berkeley, California. Contact him at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.