No. 2 men’s soccer (6-0, 1-0 Pac-12) will look to build on its best start since 2002 when it hosts San José State (0-6, 0-0 WAC) today.
The two sides last met in the 2018 season opener, when the Cardinal were ranked No. 1 coming off a third straight national championship. In that match, neither side was able to finish an opportunity through double overtime, and the game ended in a scoreless draw. Stanford has dominated the recent series, claiming a 5-0-2 record in the most recent seven matches against San José.
Although the Spartans have yet to come away from a game victorious and are currently being outscored 20-5, the underlying stats are not nearly as egregious. The Spartans trail just 74-67 in shots, and are putting a higher percentage (58.7) on goal than their opponents (43.2).
Moreover, San José has gotten contributions from four different players on the five goals. Only forward Suliman Khorami has scored twice. Midfielder Max Allen actually leads the team in shots with 14, including six on goal, but has yet to score.
San José has also taken 29 corner kicks to opponents’ 21, but have suffered two red cards and given away two goals on penalty kicks. Against Stanford, penalty kicks are lethal, with fifth-year defender Tanner Beason as the specialist for the Cardinal.
The Hermann Trophy award candidate has already taken and made three this season, which currently puts him tied atop the statsheet for Stanford. Freshman forward Gabe Segal has made a recent surge into the leading goal scorer with a goal in each of the past two games, including a game-winning goal against rival Cal in Stanford’s most recent match.
In that game, the Cardinal came back from a one goal deficit to win 2-1 in Berkeley.
In addition to being one of just 10 teams in the country yet to lose or draw, Stanford is currently ninth in scoring offense (2.50), eighth in corners per game (7.17), and fourth in shots per game (18.17). On defense, the Cardinal have allowed just 3 goals this season, with the 0.33 goals against average topping the Pac-12.
The connections between the Spartans and the Cardinal run deep. After 27 years with CSU Bakersfield, San José State head coach Simon Tobin is in his sixth season with the Spartans. During his tenure with Bakersfield, Tobin coached Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn, a 1993 Bakersfield alumnus, who returned to work under Tobin in his first career coaching position.
Most recently, Stanford assistant coach Shane Carew coached alongside Tobin at San José for three seasons. Carew was an offseason addition to the Stanford coaching staff, as was Ben Moane, the volunteer assistant.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. PT from Cagan Stadium.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.