Through three games, No. 4 men’s soccer (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) has outscored opponents by a combined margin of 12-1. On Saturday, Stanford has a chance to extend that margin when the team heads to Southern California for a conference matchup against San Diego State (0-0-1, 0-0-1 Pac-12) in what will be its first game outside of the Bay Area.
The Cardinal owns a lifetime 19-12-8 record against the Aztecs, and the team’s last loss to the Pac-12 foe came ten years ago in 2011.
Both teams last competed on Feb. 20, with San Diego State tying UCLA 1-1 in what was head coach Ryan Hopkins’ debut with the team. He’s working with a young and developing Aztecs roster — eight freshmen and sophomores started that game, and five of them played all 110 minutes of regular time and overtime.
By contrast, Stanford is coming off a 2019 College Cup berth and has kept the momentum up in 2021. The team started off the season with back to back non-conference home wins over Pacifc and San Francisco by scores of 4-0 and 5-0, respectively. Against Cal for the Pac-12 opener last weekend, two goals from redshirt junior forward Zach Ryan and one more from sophomore forward Gabe Segal lifted Stanford to a 3-1 victory over the Golden Bears.
Ryan was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for his efforts against San Francisco and Cal.
On the defensive side, redshirt goalkeeper Andrew Thomas has allowed just one goal thus far compared to seven saves. He was named No. 5 in Top Draw Soccer’s Preseason Top 100 Players, trailing only sophomore forward/midfielder Ousseni Bouda, who is No. 2.
The Cal victory was the 300th career win for head coach Jeremy Gunn, who will now set his sights on the Aztecs. Game time is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. PT from San Diego, CA.