By Ells Boone
Down two goals early in the match on Saturday, head coach Jeremy Gunn looked for a way to help his reeling team regain momentum and decided to insert senior forward Charlie Wehan. Gunn’s choice proved to be a very smart decision: Wehan finished the day with two assists, spearheading the Cardinal’s comeback.
No. 2 Stanford (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12) beat No. 5 Oregon State (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) 3-2. Junior forward Gloire Amanda scored both of the Beavers’ goals in the first half. The Cardinal’s production came from junior midfielder Will Richmond, redshirt junior forward Zach Ryan and sophomore forward Gabe Segal. This was Stanford’s first match of the season against a fellow ranked opponent, and the game did not disappoint.
The Cardinal started off on the front foot, earning a corner in the first minute of play. However, it was Oregon State who struck first against the run of play in the 13th minute. Sophomore midfielder Javier Armas sent in a free kick right towards Stanford’s redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Thomas, but Thomas’s vision was blocked by the scrum of players in front of him. Amanda took advantage of that and flicked the ball into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Just four minutes later, the Beavers struck again on a counter-attack. Armada found himself on the receiving end of a through-ball and dribbled around Thomas before passing the ball into the empty net. Things were not looking good for the Cardinal.
Wehan was introduced in the 30th minute and the momentum started to shift from there.
In the 32nd minute, Richmond unleashed a shot from long range that forced a save from Beaver junior keeper Adrian Fernandez. Moments later, Stanford was on the attack again. This time, sophomore midfielder Cam Cilley found himself open in the middle of the box, but his shot was straight at the keeper.
Two minutes after that, the Cardinal finally broke through. Segal’s free kick attempt bounced back off the wall, and the sophomore was able to then find Ryan in the box, who then flicked it to sophomore defender Keegan Hughes. Hughes’s shot ricocheted off of the goalkeeper and into the path of Richmond, who headed the ball home. Stanford had found a path back into the match.
The charge would continue in the 36th minute. Wehan stole the ball from an Oregon State defender and quickly played a pass to Ryan at the top of the box. Ryan took a step forward and blasted the ball into the right side of the goal.
The two teams would go into halftime knotted at two.
The Cardinal dominated possession after the break but was unable to generate many clear-cut scoring opportunities.
In the 80th minute, Wehan popped up in a big way again. The senior sprinted past the Beavers backline before laying the ball off to Segal for the match-winning goal.
Stanford remains undefeated in the season after getting past its toughest challenge to date. The road ahead will not get any easier as the team next faces a trip to Seattle to take on No. 7 Washington next Saturday. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. PT.