By Ells Boone
After dropping their season opener on the road in Dallas against SMU, No. 25 Stanford men’s soccer (1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) continued their road trip, this time notching their first win of the season 4-0 against Pacific (1-1, 0-0 WCC). It was a repeat scoreline of last season’s season opener between the Cardinal and Tigers.
Redshirt senior forward Zach Ryan, junior forward Ousseni Bouda, redshirt senior defender Andrew Aprahamian and senior midfielder Will Richmond were the goalscorers for Stanford.
Head coach Jeremy Gunn made three changes in his starting 11 from the SMU match, swapping out sophomore Eliot Jones in goal for redshirt junior Matt Frank, as well as bringing in sophomore defender Conner Maurer and sophomore midfielder Layton Purchase for junior defender Keegan Tingey and junior forward Gabe Segal.
The Cardinal did not need much time to settle into the match, striking in the eighth minute. Bouda sent in a free kick toward the box, where Ryan was able to head home for the opener. Three minutes later, junior midfielder Cam Cilley drove a shot just wide of the right side of the goalpost. Stanford would continue to threaten Pacific’s defense.
The next chance, however, came from the Tigers. A ball flashed across the face of the goal, but Pacific senior forward Mathias Saether was unable to latch onto it as he swung and missed. The Cardinal dodged a potential equalizer. The Tigers would come to rue that missed opportunity just moments later.
In the 28th minute, Richmond dribbled down the sideline before playing a cross into the box. Bouda smashed the ball with his left foot into the bottom right corner of the goal, affording Stanford a comfortable lead. Bouda’s re-introduction paid dividends for Gunn, after the Burkina Faso native missed all of last season with an injury.
Ten minutes later, Bouda sent a cross into the box, yet it was cleared by a Tiger defender. Aprahamian was there to fire in a long-range shot that took a deflection and found its way into the back of the net. It was the defender’s first career goal in a Stanford jersey. The Cardinal took a 3-0 lead into halftime.
Both teams started slow after the break, unable to generate good chances. In the 69th minute, Richmond made his way into the box and struck a shot that hit off of a Pacific defender’s back and rolled into the goal. The keeper had dived the other way, following the original trajectory of the ball. That goal would be the nightcap for the Cardinal.
With the game essentially won, tempers flared in the 83rd minute — Saether and junior defender Keegan Hughes both earned yellow cards.
Stanford will be back in action on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. PT against UC Santa Barbara (1-0-1) in the team’s first home match of the season. The Cardinal will be looking to break .500 and restart their climb up the national rankings.