By Jeremy Rubin
Just one day after being named to the 2019 Pac-12 All-Academic team, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Thomas again proved that he shines both on and off the field. On Friday night, his incredible performance against No. 3 Clemson in penalty kicks sent No. 7 Stanford to its fourth College Cup in five years.
After 110 minutes, the game’s score was knotted at 1-1 to set up the shootout. Senior midfielder Derek Waldeck started off the shootout and drilled the ball into the back of the net to give Stanford the edge. Clemson responded with the tie, but after junior forward Arda Bulut scored, Thomas stopped the kick from Clemson junior forward Robbie Robinson to shift pressure back onto the Tigers.
Clemson tied up the penalty kicks at four apiece following five shots from both sides. After a strike from redshirt junior midfielder Marc Joshua, Thomas’ sixth attempt of the shootout proved to be the deciding one. A diving save to his right against Clemson sophomore midfielder Felipe Fernandez provided a 5-4 advantage and sealed the Tigers’ fate. The win extended Stanford’s unblemished 9-0 shoutout record since 2002.
Stanford began the scoring for both sides in regulation. Redshirt senior defender Tanner Beason’s header, set up by a Waldeck corner kick, gave the Cardinal a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute. Beason, a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, has half of Stanford’s four postseason goals, and his 11 total points are fifth on the team, despite him missing eight games due to injury.
The assist was Waldeck’s eighth of the season and his team-leading 16th point of the season. His point total edges out freshman forward/midfielder Ousseni Bouda’s 15.
Once again, the stout Cardinal defense proved to be a difference-maker. Stanford allowed just four shots on goal. On the season, the team is giving up just 0.67 goals per contest and has not allowed multiple scores in a single game since October.
Next up, Stanford will face No. 2 Georgetown in the semifinals. The two teams played to a 1-1 stalemate in a non-conference game in 2018. The Georgetown junior tandem of Derek Dodson and Jacob Montes combined for 55 points this season, which is nearly a third of the team’s total. They have 10 and 11 goals, respectively. Slowing the two down will be key for the potent Cardinal defense.
Kickoff is set for Friday at 3 p.m. PT in Cary, North Carolina.
Contact Jeremy Rubin at jjmrubin ‘at’ stanford.edu.