By Ells Boone
Playing its first match of the season away from Cagan Stadium, the No. 4 Stanford men’s soccer team (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) escaped San Diego State (0-1-1, 0-1-1 Pac-12) in overtime 1-0. Sophomore forward Gabe Segal slotted the ball between the right goalpost and Aztec goalkeeper Tetsuya Kadono 36 seconds into the first overtime period to give the Cardinal the win.
Head coach Jeremy Gunn — fresh off of his 300th career victory — made three changes to his usual starting lineup. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Orciuch, senior forward Charlie Wehan and freshman defender Noah Adnan got to start in place of redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Thomas, senior forward Jack O’Brien and redshirt junior defender Andrew Aprahamian.
Thomas, O’Brien and Aprahamian missed the match for unknown reasons. Orciuch and Adnan were making their first career starts. Sophomore forward Ousseni Bouda, the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, has yet to play this season; no reason has been given yet for his continued absence.
The Cardinal’s usually prolific attack was stifled all night long by some inspired defense from San Diego State. Stanford ended the game with just nine shots, its lowest total of the season.
The Aztecs had the first scoring chance of the match when midfielder Laukoa Santos’s effort was saved by Orciuch in the 18th minute.
Stanford responded by earning a corner kick three minutes later. Nothing would come of that for the Cardinal, an early indicator of San Diego State’s defensive prowess.
In the 27th minute, a Stanford foul on sophomore midfielder Cam Cilley gifted the Aztecs a free kick just outside of the box. Midfielder Iñigo Villaldea stepped forward to take it and fired a shot over the top right corner of the goal.
The rest of the opening period was a back-and-forth affair, with neither side recording a shot attempt. Gunn made his only substitution of the game in the 36th minute, bringing on redshirt freshman forward Carlo Agostinelli for Wehan. Wehan would return for the second half.
The Cardinal wasted little time getting started after the halftime break, earning a free kick in the 47th minute. Cilley headed the ball over the crossbar.
Stanford controlled much of the possession in the second half but was still unable to break down the Aztecs defense.
With eight minutes remaining to play, the Cardinal were given a free kick outside of the box. Segal had his attempt blocked by San Diego State’s wall. Stanford would continue to push for a winner but saw attack after attack stymied by the Aztecs.
With the score still knotted at 0-0 at the end of regulation, the teams headed into golden goal overtime.
Right off the bat, the Cardinal pushed forward with a vengeance. Wehan drove the ball into the heart of the defense before laying it off for his teammate, Segal, who found the space between the keeper and the post for a walk-off Stanford victory. This was Segal’s third goal of the season.
Stanford is on a roll right now, having won its first four matches of the season. Next on the schedule is a return home to face UCLA next Saturday, Mar. 6 at 2 p.m. PT. The Bruins are currently 1-2-1, and 0-2-1 in Pac-12 play, and played out a 1-1 draw against the Aztecs two weeks ago.