With a knockout 3-0 victory over Oregon State (4-7-3, 0-4-2 Pac-12) last night, Stanford men’s soccer (10-2-4, 7-0-1) demonstrated exactly why it is the top-ranked team in the Pac-12. The Cardinal’s win crushed San Diego State’s dream of a league championship and extended their at home winning streak to 21 games. Junior forwards Corey Baird and Foster Langsdorf scored all three of the team’s goals in the shutout.
Stanford delivered early and often. In the 24th minute, Baird had a takeaway in the midfield, which he fed to junior forward Foster Langsdorf, who executed a perfect lefty boot into the back right post.
The offensive train showed no signs of stopping after that. Just five minutes later, freshman midfielder Derek Waldeck delivered a beautiful free kick, giving Langsdorf the opportunity to add his second point to the night. To cap it off, Langsdorf would return the offensive favor to Baird. Langsdorf gained possession at the end line and hit Baird in the middle of the box, who scored the third goal of the night.
Stanford has quite a dynamic duo on offense. This season, Langsdorf and Baird have combined for five goals, seven assists and 17 of Stanford’s 40 points.
Langdsorf attributes the offensive success to the mentality that the team has adopted: “Play every game like a cup game.”
This is incredibly important for the defending national champions; staying at the top is just as hard, if not harder, than getting there. Head coach Jeremy Gunn highlighted the “maturity and confidence” of his offensive players, and, based on the score, it’s paying off.
Looking forward, the only team with a chance of catching Stanford in the hunt for the Pac-12 title is No. 16 Washington. Washington has already made a trip to the Bay Area, and is coming off an overtime win at California. The Huskies had some trouble breaking through Cal’s defense and couldn’t deliver on the six shots they got on cage during the first half.
If Stanford’s defense can maintain its composure, the Cardinal should be able to replicate Cal’s success when the Huskies come to town on Sunday. The match will begin at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Julia Massaro at jmassaro ‘at’ stanford.edu.