By Inyoung Choi
No. 5 Stanford (12-1-2, 5-1-1 Pac-12) lengthened its win-streak to five with a 1-0 win against UCLA (5-9-3, 1-6-2 Pac-12) on Sunday. Stanford’s only point came from redshirt junior midfielder Marc Joshua, who scored his first career goal in the 65th minute as the game ended with a clean sheet for the Cardinal.
Perhaps the greatest win for everyone was that this night celebrated the days of hard talent, sweat and teamwork that soon-to-be graduating seniors brought to the team. Dubbed Senior Day, the afternoon match honored seniors defender Tanner Beason, midfielder Derek Waldeck, midfielder Jared Gilbey and midfielder/defender Matthew Radzihouvsky.
Waldeck and Gilbey were the only seniors to start the game. Waldeck had a chance to score in the 28th minute, but narrowly missed.
Beason, a decorated soccer player who was named Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2018 and was put on the MAC Hermann Trophy watch-list this year, did not play today due to injury, extending his streak to six consecutive missed matches. The senior was injured earlier this season in a home game against Washington, which remains Stanford’s only defeat on the season.
While three games remain in the regular season, the senior send off came early this year. Senior Day generally honors seniors during the last home game. The final home game will be against California on Thursday, Nov. 14. Because the game is set for a weeknight and many families will not be able to attend, this weekend’s game featured a ceremony for the seniors.
“Sometimes you’re in a program where Senior Day is a complete finality for the players,” said head coach Jeremy Gunn. “We’ve been fortunate for a long time where Senior Day is happening in a time of the season where we’re looking forward. The biggest gift we can ever give them is if they can play as many games as possible. So, the hope is always that the senior day becomes a distant memory and that their fondest memories come from playing as late as possible in the year.”
This sentiment that “it ain’t over ’til it’s over,” to borrow Yogi Berra’s words, seemed to encapsulate the game, especially for Joshua, who scored his first goal since arriving on the Farm in 2016.
“It felt great; I don’t really remember too much honestly,” he said. “It was a great ball by [junior midfielder/defender] Logan [Panchot], and I just had to hit it in. It feels amazing. I’m in a loss of words, and I don’t really know what to say.“
The team will soon play No. 1 Washington and Oregon State, who are ranked first and third in the conference respectively. Although Stanford has won the Pac-12 championship every year since 2014, there will likely be a close competition for the title this season.
But if Sunday’s game has shown anything, it is that Stanford keeps playing. The Cardinal play next in Corvallis, Oregon against the Beavers on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 4 p.m.
Contact Inyoung Choi at ichoi ‘at’ stanford.edu.