After a disappointing season-opener, the Cardinal now find themselves right where they want to be.
The No. 4 Stanford men’s soccer team (5-1, 0-0 Pac-12) will wrap up the nonconference portion of its schedule at home this weekend when it faces San Francisco (2-4) on Friday night before taking on Davidson (2-1-2) on Sunday afternoon.
After losing its season-opening game to UC Santa Barbara, Stanford turned a corner and got rid of any offseason rust. During their five-game winning streak, the Cardinal have outscored their opponents 8-2, and those eight Stanford goals have come from six players.
That highlights a big theme for this year’s team: productivity coming from all directions. Forwards Jordan Morris and Foster Langsdorf have each scored 2 goals, while Brandon Vincent, Adam Mosharrafa, Eric Verso and Slater Meehan have each contributed 1. Sophomore Corey Baird ties Verso for the team-lead in assists (3), while goalkeeper Andrew Epstein and the defense have already produced 4 shutouts.
It seems to be someone new for the Cardinal every day, and with the talent that fills the roster from top to bottom, there’s no reason to think that won’t continue.
Stanford’s first opponent in the pair of upcoming games, San Francisco, will hope to upset the Cardinal on their home field after a rocky start to its own season. The Dons have been shutout in each of their four losses, and all were away games. Behind midfielders Davi Ramos and Aaron Lombardi, who lead the team with 2 goals each, San Francisco will look to simultaneously earn its first road victory of the year and give Stanford its first home loss of the year.
After that, Davidson will visit Cagan Stadium on Saturday as the second leg in the team’s West Coast tour. The Wildcats are playing Cal on Thursday night before facing Stanford over the weekend.
In order to avoid an upset, Stanford will have to contain Davidson senior forward Valeriy Sviderskiy, who leads the Wildcats with 5 total points. The Davidson offense runs through Sviderskiy, and that coupled with a rather strong defense makes them a formidable team.
For Stanford, two games at home against unranked opponents may seem somewhat trivial. But both the Cardinal and their opponents know otherwise. As Davidson head coach Matt Spear told Davidson Athletics, “The reality of college soccer is that each game is up for grabs, so we need to focus on ourselves and play to win.”
The San Francisco match begins Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., while Stanford’s contest against Davidson will commence Sunday at noon.
Contact Sandip Srinivas at sandips ‘at’ stanford.edu.