By Jeremy Rubin
Stanford has UCLA’s number.
After demolishing the Bruins (1-6-2, 0-5-2 Pac-12) 4-0 on March 6 on the Farm, the Cardinal (7-1-1, 5-1-1 Pac-12) traveled to Los Angeles and again shut out UCLA on Sunday, this time by a score of 3-0.
Redshirt junior forward Zach Ryan got the scoring started in the 23rd minute, placing a shot in the bottom right corner of the net. Redshirt junior defender Andrew Aprahamian and junior midfielder Will Richmond were each credited with an assist.
Almost exactly 20 minutes later, redshirt junior forward Rhys De Sota scored the first goal of his career off passes from senior forward Charlie Wehan and Richmond, both of whom were credited with the assist.
The goal put the Cardinal up two scores at the midway point, but there were signs of concern. UCLA had three corner kicks compared to zero for Stanford, while Stanford was whistled for five fouls.
However, the Cardinal outshot the Bruins 6-2 in the first 45 minutes and continued to put pressure on the opposing defense for the second 45, tripling the difference in shots to make it a 14-2 Stanford advantage. Nine of the 20 total Cardinal shots were on goal.
Stanford tacked on a third score in the 68th minute, when sophomore forward Gabe Segal beat the Bruins defense down field and eluded goalkeeper Justin Garces to give himself five goals on the season.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Thomas saved two shots in what was the team’s sixth shutout of the season.
The win ended a brief two-game stretch in which the win column had eluded Stanford; the Cardinal dropped a 1-0 contest to No. 6 Washington and was unable to break a 0-0 tie against Cal in its previous two matchups.
Stanford jumped into first place in the Pac-12 with the victory, coupled with Washington’s 2-0 loss to San Diego State on Sunday.
The Cardinal will take on the Aztecs to defend their spot atop the standings on April 3 at 3 p.m. PT on the Farm. Segal’s game winner in overtime allowed Stanford to escape with a 1-0 win when the two teams faced off earlier this season.