A three-game stretch of double overtime games, including two ties and a loss, seems well behind the Cardinal (10-1-2, 3-1-1 Pac-12) as they dominated whistle to whistle for their third straight win.
Freshman center back Keegan Hughes opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a header goal, and less than a minute later, a finish attributed to redshirt sophomore forward Zach Ryan put the game out of reach.
No. 5 Stanford cruised past visiting USF (2-9-1, 0-2-0 WCC) 2-0 Wednesday night on the Farm. The match was the final non-conference tilt of the regular season.
Head coach Jeremy Gunn inserted four freshmen in the starting lineup, with half setting up in the back line. Along with Hughes in the middle, Keegan Tingey started at left back.
In the tenth minute, junior right back and captain Logan Panchot sent a rocket towards the goal for the first test of Dons goalkeeper Alejandro Munoz.
Hughes’ header was the second goal of his career. Senior midfielder Derek Waldeck sent in the cross off of a set piece to match the team-high with his fifth assist.
Ryan’s goal could have in fact been a pass intended for Waldeck. Stanford’s leading scorer from a season ago reclaimed the team-high with his fifth goal of the season.
Initially, it appeared like a chipped ball for Waldeck, but the pass was flicked on towards goal by a USF defender. With a sliding Waldeck in his face, Munoz was unable to react to make the save. After allowing both goals and making two saves in his 45 minutes of work, Munoz was replaced for the second half by Jay Roundtree.
Stanford continued to control the game through halftime, notching 14 of the 18 total first half shots. The second half advantage was by a much slimmer 6-3 margin, but the Dons could not get anything going on offense and did not put a shot on goal in the final 45 minutes.
As such, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Thomas made just one save on the way to his fifth solo shutout of the season.
Three separate players were cautioned for USF in the second half, but that was their only mark in the referee’s book.
Stanford will return to action next Thursday for a Halloween game against San Diego State (3-8-1, 0-5-0 Pac-12).
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.