The Stanford men’s soccer team (6-2-1, 1-1-0 Pac-12) rebounded from their loss to then third-ranked Washington (7-0-3, 1-0-1) on Sunday afternoon and defeated Oregon State (7-4-0, 0-2-0) 2-1 at home in a scoreline that seemed to flatter the visitors. Stanford dominated chances and possession throughout the game, with senior goalkeeper Drew Hutchins rendered a spectator for the majority of the game and senior and junior fullbacks Tyler Conklin and Jimmy Callinan constantly creating scoring opportunities with some beautifully weighted through balls.
“I thought we played fantastic today,” said head coach Jeremy Gunn after the game. “A couple of our chances were breathtaking. We kept getting chances and creating opportunities against a very good Oregon State team. We deserved the result.”
On Saturday, it was hard to dispute that fact, as Stanford should perhaps have been one or two goals ahead well before the breakthrough was made in the 29th minute. The early play was characterized by a series of dangerous Stanford crosses that ended in goal-scoring opportunities, with senior center back Matt Taylor heading just over the goal in the 12th minute and crosses from both sophomore winger Aaron Kovar and redshirt sophomore Eric Verso narrowly missing their intended targets. The best chance of the opening exchanges fell to freshman forward Jordan Morris, who was released by a lovely lofted through ball by Callinan, only to see his one-on-one stopped by a great save from Oregon State goalkeeper Matt Bersano.
Having already registered a large number of chances, it came as no surprise when junior forward Zach Batteer opened the scoring with a looping header into the far corner after a cross from Callinan, beating his defender in the air and unleashing a header Bersano could do nothing about. However, Oregon State tied the game quickly after on its first real chance of the match. Beaver midfielder Mike Reckmeyer latched onto a ball in the box and sent it to freshman midfielder Ole Sandnes, who slotted it past a diving Hutchins.
Stanford, though, fought back after the break. The Cardinal came out for the second half with much of the same control of territory and chances, with Batteer and Morris both being denied by Bersano. The pressure continued to build for the Card, and in the end, Oregon State finally broke. Morris picked up the ball on the halfway line, beat one defender, cut past the covering junior midfielder Will Seymore and laid the ball off to Batteer. Batteer immediately squared the ball back to Morris, who placed it in the bottom left corner for his third goal of the season.
The rest of the game was fairly comfortable for Stanford, with further scoring chances going begging as Kovar blazed a shot over the bar in the 88th minute. On the defensive end, Hutchins only had to watch a Daniel Van Vleet header go past the post, as the rest of his night was uneventful.
Stanford now embarks on a difficult three-game road trip that will take the Cardinal to sixth-ranked UCLA, San Diego State and third-ranked Cal.
Thursday’s match at UCLA is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Dylan Fugel at dfugel ‘at’ stanford.edu.