The No. 15 Stanford men’s soccer team (8-2-0, 2-1-0) played host to the San Diego State Aztecs (6-4-0, 0-2-0) Thursday night at Cagan Stadium. Stanford was able to continue its immaculate run of form at home, prevailing 2-0 to notch its sixth victory on the Farm in this campaign.
The Cardinal were without talisman sophomore Jordan Morris, who travelled to Brazil earlier this week to take part in a special U-23 National Team camp. Head coach Jeremy Gunn’s artillery nary missed a beat, however, as the home side amassed a stunning 21 shots in an eye-catching performance.
It was all Stanford from the opening kick-off, but a lack of finishing quality kept both sides scoreless. The deadlock was finally broken in the 22nd minute, as right back Jimmy Callinan was able to get to the byline and whip an inviting ball into the area. Senior striker Zach Bateer beat his defender for pace, and barreled the ball into the net with delightful diving header.
The Aztecs were lucky not to concede more before the break, as a Stanford center back Tomas Hillard-Arce effort struck the post in the 40th minute.
The Card continued their offensive barrage in the second half, and doubled their advantage in the 72nd minute. Callinan again played the role of set-up man, this time playing a square ball to Brandon Vincent. The left back took one touch, and then sent an absolute laser into the far corner from 25 yards out. It was the junior captain’s fifth goal of the year, and confirms his place as Stanford’s top goal scorer so far this season.
Gunn was able to utilize his side’s utter control of the match to employ some squad rotation, as he fielded 17 different players throughout the course of the match. Fifth-year senior Matt Taylor made his season debut, while freshman Drew Skundrich entered the fray for the last 20 minutes, gaining some valuable experience in a Pac-12 contest.
Stanford was unlucky not to extend its advantage towards the end of the match, as substitute Mark Verso forced a save out of SDSU keeper Adam Allmaras in the 89th minute.
The three points from this match send the Cardinal to top of the Pac-12 table, as they are now even with No. 1 Washington with six points, though the Huskies have a game in hand.
Stanford’s attacking form should set it up nicely for their next outing against No. 2 UCLA. The Cardinal and the Bruins will square off at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Cagan Stadium.
Contact Will Drinkwater at willidri ‘at’ stanford.edu.