By Kit Ramgopal
No 9. Stanford (9-2-4, 6-0-1 Pac 12) has its eyes on a third consecutive Pac-12 title as it gears up for games against Oregon State (4-6-3, 0-3-2 Pac-12) on Thursday and No. 16 Washington (10-4-0, 3-2-0 Pac-12) on Sunday. If Stanford beats Oregon State and Washington loses to Cal (5-7-2, 1-5-1 Pac-12), the Pac-12 title will be defined by Thursday’s game. However, two Stanford wins this weekend guarantee Stanford the conference title, as the Cardinal now stand a full eight points above second place San Diego State.
Despite losing five starters and opening the season 0-1-3, Stanford boasts an undefeated season thus far with a 6-0-1 record and 2.27 goals a game, thanks in large part to leading goal-scorer junior Foster Langsdorf, seventh all-time assister junior Corey Baird, and senior goalkeeper Andrew Epstein. Last week, Stanford tied San Diego State 1-1 and beat UCLA 3-2, marking the second time in program history Stanford has beat the Bruins on the road.
Stanford is 33-6-5 all-time against the Oregon State Beavers, who have not won a game in the Pac-12 this season. The Huskies soccer team, however, is a whole different beast: the Cardinal beat the Huskies in Seattle for the first time since 2006 just this season, thanks to a 78th minute goal from sophomore midfielder Amir Bashti and monumental efforts from Epstein.
The last four seasons of Stanford men’s soccer have witnessed unprecedented success — a 50-14-14 overall record, two conference championships, and an NCAA championship, to be exact — but this weekend could be the first time Stanford clinches the Pac-12 title on its home field. The Cardinal have not dropped any of their last 20 matches at Cagan Stadium, and they will be battling with extra intensity this weekend to make those successes count for a Pac-12 crown.
Contact Kit Ramgopal at kramgopa ‘at’ stanford.edu.