No. 5 Stanford (9-1-4, 3-1-3 Pac-12) took its third win in a row, capping off a five-game road trip with a narrow 1-0 victory at UCLA (8-5-1, 3-3-1 Pac-12). The Cardinal are finding their form at the right time, with a showdown with undefeated No. 1 Washington (12-0-2, 4-0-1 Pac-12) coming up next weekend.
The game’s first 45 minutes were a dry affair, with neither team creating many chances. There were three total shots, with UCLA taking the only shot on target, stopped easily by redshirt senior goalkeeper Matt Frank. Stanford showed its physicality and aggressiveness, committing 10 fouls in the first half, and 16 total, compared to UCLA’s six.
The Bruins took the initiative after the break, commanding possession and keeping Stanford pinned in their own half. In the 59th minute, the home team came up with the best chance of the game, working a three-on-two counterattack into an open shot, but UCLA’s Aaron Edwards skied the ball over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.
The blown opportunity turned the tide of the game, as Stanford immediately began creating chances in the opposing half. In the 67th minute, redshirt freshman midfielder Shane de Flores cut the ball back after an incisive run into the box, but freshman midfielder Zach Bohane’s resulting shot was cleared off the line.
Finally, in the 71st minute, Stanford’s moment came. Senior defender Keegan Tingey delivered a powerful cross into the box for de Flores to head into the goal, with nothing for the Bruin goalie to do about it.
The last 20 minutes of the game were uneventful, as Stanford’s defense stood strong, keeping the clean sheet. It was an altogether impressive game from the Cardinal’s defensive unit, all of whom played the full 90 minutes, allowing only two shots on goal and disrupting UCLA’s attack with solid, physical play. Stanford’s passing was much sharper than in previous games, leading to nine total shots, with three on target.
Up next, Stanford hosts Oregon State (5-3-4, 1-1-3 Pac-12) on Thursday at 8 p.m. PT.