In an exhilarating match, No. 6 Stanford men’s soccer (6-0-3, 1-0-2 Pac-12) topped Cal (3-3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) by a scoreline of 5-1, maintaining their undefeated start to this season.
While the scoreline may indicate a clean win, it was anything but that. Despite being a high-scoring game, all six goals came in the second half. Still, the first half was not without action. In a physical, end-to-end 45 minutes, energy pulsated through both the players and fans. In the first half alone, the Cardinal earned seven corner kicks and the Bears four. And, with the teams committing six fouls apiece, there was a slew of set pieces. While neither team could completely capitalize, Stanford proved to be more dangerous, wracking up 13 shots as opposed to Cal’s four. It was a sign of things to come in the second half.
The second period was when the already high energy became truly palpable. After a series of rough plays, the first yellow card of the game was awarded to Cal forward Nonso Adimabua, as he dissented the referee’s call. This began the cascade of yellow, which shadowed over nearly all aspects of the match. Just under four minutes later, the Cardinal scored their first goal. With impeccable control in the box, redshirt freshman midfielder Shane de Flores was able to find the bottom right corner of the goal, earning both the first goal of the match and Stanford’s first shot of the second half.
However, Stanford could not hold the lead for long. Within four minutes, Cal was able to retaliate with a goal of its own. In a free-for-all in the box, Cal forward Fahmi Ibraham was able to push the ball past the goalkeeper to knot it up at one apiece.
As the scoreline rose, so did the tension. Following a yellow card to Cal defender Cameron Robie, goalkeeper Collin Travasos earned himself a yellow, approaching the referee to express his disagreement.
A mere four minutes later, Stanford scored its second goal. With the third goal in nine minutes, it was sophomore midfielder Will Reilly who celebrated as he snuck one past Travasos. Reilly, who hails from Georgia, went on to earn a brace with his second goal in the 79th minute.
All the while, fouls were wracking up. After Cal forward Nate Carrasco earned himself a yellow, Adimabua, who was already in the books, was awarded a red card for fighting. As such, Adimabua will not be eligible to play next game.
Following — but unrelated to — this episode, the Cardinal were awarded a penalty kick in the 77th minute. Earning the first goal of his 58-game career, senior midfielder Cam Cilley took the shot to create a 3-1 scoreline.
The final goal of the match came in the 85th minute, after Reilly put his second in, as de Flores was able to win a brace — the Cardinal’s second of the match. As for Cal, they were awarded two more yellow cards to defenders Jack Singer and Santiago Hopkins. Stanford earned their first and only yellow card in the 82nd minute as junior defender Conner Maurer put up a tough challenge outside the box.
With six goals, seven yellow cards, and a red, this game was not one to miss. Catch Stanford men’s soccer playing again in Seattle on Thursday, Oct. 6th, as they take on No. 2 Washington in a top-10 matchup.
Kick-off begins at 7:30 PM PST.