By Ells Boone
Redshirt junior forward Zach Ryan was not healthy enough to play a full 90 minutes after suffering an injury last weekend against Oregon State, so head coach Jeremy Gunn started his squad’s leading scorer on the bench. Ryan was on the field when it mattered most though, scoring the match winner in the seventh minute of overtime and securing the Cardinal’s seventh Pac-12 title.
Playing its final match of the season at Cagan Stadium, No. 8 Stanford (9-2-1, 7-2-1 Pac-12) defeated No. 6 Washington (10-3-0, 7-3-0 Pac-12) 1-0. With the victory, the Cardinal avenged an earlier loss to the Huskies.
Senior forward Charlie Wehan got the start in place of Ryan on senior day. Stanford’s one other senior — forward Jack O’Brien — also started.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair with the Cardinal having the better chances of the two teams. In the 28th minute, sophomore forward Gabe Segal had his shot from distance pushed out of bounds by Washington sophomore goalkeeper Sam Fowler.
Fifteen minutes later, sophomore defender Keegan Tingey’s free kick found the head of sophomore defender Keegan Hughes but Hughes’s effort went just over the top of the crossbar. Washington nearly scored on a close header of its own seconds before halftime, but it was blocked by the Stanford defense.
The Cardinal outshot the Huskies 5-4 in the first half.
Stanford would then go on the front foot for the entire second half, not even allowing Washington to attempt a shot. As the clock ticked closer to the 90th minute, the game started to get chippy with the teams trading yellow cards. Redshirt freshman forward Carlo Agostinelli limped off with an injury in the 67th minute. He would be replaced by freshman midfielder Aiden Weaver.
In the 75th minute, Ryan played a pass into the box to Weaver but the freshman’s shot flew into the side netting. The Cardinal was getting closer and closer to an opening goal.
A few minutes later sophomore midfielder Cam Cilley found himself in a one-on-one situation with Washington’s keeper. Cilley tried to flick the ball over Fowler’s head but Fowler got a hand to it and pushed it off the crossbar. That was the closest Stanford came in the second half to a goal.
The teams were still deadlocked in the 90th minute and headed off to sudden death overtime. The Cardinal had outshot Washington 6-0 in the second half.
The Huskies had the first chance of overtime with a corner kick in the 95th minute, but junior midfielder Dylan Teves’s shot was too high. Stanford turned around and earned a free kick at the other end. Tingey stepped forward and fired a cross into the box that Ryan was able to head into the bottom right corner of the goal. He immediately started sprinting towards the opposite end of the pitch with the mob of his teammates trailing him in celebration.
Having regained the Pac-12 crown from Washington, the men’s soccer team will now look forward to the NCAA Tournament.