By Inyoung Choi
No. 2 Stanford men’s soccer (7-1-1, 1-2 Pac-12) suffered its first loss of the season against No. 7 Washington (8-1, 2-0 Pac-12) at home on Thursday night. Despite skillful goalkeeping, Stanford’s weakened defense proved to be insufficient against a strong Husky team.
The Cardinal had a rough start. Washington sophomore forward Gio Miglietti scored in the 16th minute, forcing the formerly undefeated Cardinal to come from behind. Freshman forward/midfielder Ousseni Bouda had a few chances to score but was unable to capitalize.
With a one point deficit, Stanford pushed through the first half with a number of respectable attempts. Among others, redshirt sophomore forward Zach Ryan and junior forward Charlie Wehan each made a strong case for a goal. Restless fans in the Stanford’s new soccer student section, The Forest, sat back down with looming frustration over what could have been a quick turnaround for the Cardinal.
The sun started to set through halftime on Maloney Field, and it seemed that the Cardinal was back on top of its game. Just three minutes into the second half, Ryan netted the first goal for Stanford, tying the score 1-1.
But this victorious moment was fleeting, as redshirt senior defender Tanner Beason — a decorated athlete who was most notably named 2019 Preseason All-Pac-12, 2018 All-American and Pac-12 Player of the year — was sent out with a game ending injury after being fouled by Washington’s senior midfielder Jaret Townsend only 12 seconds after Stanford’s goal. Townsend was booked with a yellow card for the offense.
“The game changed sadly on an injury,” Washington head coach Jamie Clark said, “Beason is like my nemesis — I respect him. When he went out, the game changed in our favor.”
Momentum went back and forth between the well matched teams in the final minutes. Towards the end, the Stanford offense appeared to be on top, repeatedly pressuring the Huskies in the box, but their efforts came up short. With a 1-1 scoreline, the game went into extra minutes.
The first period of overtime was yet another neck-and-neck struggle for both teams. Redshirt freshman Andrew Thomas made a heroic save in the 96th minute to keep the game knotted.
With neither side finding the back of the net, the game was forced to double overtime.
In the 104th minute, Washington redshirt sophomore midfielder Lucas Meek broke through and headed an impressively timed goal beyond Thomas’ reach to find the back of the net, ending the sudden death overtime.
This loss breaks Stanford’s undefeated streak this season, but head coach Jeremey Gunn remains level-headed and looks ahead for the team’s remaining schedule — which includes a rematch against Washington come November.
“Whether we’ve won the last game or lost the last game, what we care about is playing well in the next games, “Gunn said. “So, [this game] doesn’t change too much for us. We just have to regroup and make sure we’re playing sharp. It’s as simple as that.”
Men’s soccer will return to the Maloney Field this Sunday at 12 p.m. PST for another conference game, this time against Oregon State.
Contact Inyoung Choi at ichoi ‘at’ stanford.edu.