Stanford’s hopes for an upset of No. 3 Georgetown were looking up until the 43rd minute of Sunday’s match, when defender Jimmy Callinan was shown a straight red for bringing Hoya forward Alex Muyl down in the box and Steve Neumann converted the resulting penalty en route to a 2-0 win at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
The 10-man Cardinal (0-1-1) held its line throughout much of the second half and even created some chances but any hopes of drawing even were dashed when, in search of the equalizer in the 88th minute, Neumann netted his second of the match for the Hoyas against the run of play, tapping home a rebound after Stanford goalkeeper Drew Hutchins had deflected Brandon Allen’s offering.
It was a tough result to take for a Cardinal team that had threatened well in the opening half and even had a go of it in the second 45 minutes despite the disadvantage in numbers. Freshman Jordan Morris came within inches of his first collegiate goal but his 26th-minute header was cleared off the line at the last moment by Hoya defender Melvin Snoh.
“I’m very proud of the way we played today. The players worked hard and we played some good soccer,” said Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn. “It was just unfortunate in the game that we put ourselves in a good position but came off second-best.”
Goalie Drew Hutchins made four saves in the match and did well to marshal his back line throughout and especially when reduced to 10 men. Hutchins was called into action just once in the run of play during the first half, and made three saves in the second.
Morris’ cleared header was the best chance for either squad in the opening 45 minutes. Stanford enjoyed good spells of possession but its corner kick and free kicks were unable to find their targets. Georgetown was limited to just one corner kick as well and never threatened until earning its spot kick two minutes short of the break.
A Cardinal turnover in its own half allowed a ball to be played through to Muyl, who was clipped and brought down in the box by Callinan for the penalty. The problem was compounded when the referee went right to the red card for Callinan, reducing the Cardinal to 10 players. Moments later, Neumann stepped up and went left with his chance, beating Hutchins and putting the Hoyas in front.
“The first half I thought we were fantastic, we just looked comfortable,” said Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn. “We looked comfortable and were in control of the game and I felt really good about how the game was going.
“[We were] ok at 1-nil at halftime because we looked fresh and we looked strong. To be a man down just made it a tough ask,” Gunn continued. “That being said, we regrouped at halftime and played really well in the second half. We had a lot of the possession, looked good on the ball and made sure we were always in touching distance. We kept going and going, and kept very close to the end and they get a breakaway goal.”
It would be the Cardinal that would get the first good chance of the second half, as Ty Thompson’s give-and-go with Aaron Kovar off a short corner resulted in a low drive that was stopped by Hoyas goalkeeper Tomas Gomez, who dove to his right to collect the shot. Thompson would have a second shot blocked 30 seconds later that resulted in a corner kick, but this time the Cardinal couldn’t put an effort on frame.
Hutchins made his first save of the half in the 63rd minute and 10 minutes later was saved by his post as Allen struck the woodwork with a blast. The post would again favor the Cardinal, this time in a wild sequence in the 80th minute. Neumann sent a corner into the box that ended up at the feet of Allen, whose point-blank blast was stopped by Hutchins. However, the rebound went straight to Keegan Rosenberry who went off the post with the goal at his mercy.
Meanwhile Stanford had earned itself another opportunity in the 73rd minute when freshman Mark Verso got his head on a cross only to see his effort beat Gomez just to go a foot wide of the goal.
Stanford pushed forward in numbers over the final 10 minutes in search of the equalizer, but got caught behind the ball in the 88th minute which led to the sequence resulting in Neumann’s second.
Stanford returns to action next Saturday night at Santa Clara’s Buck Shaw Stadium, taking on the host Broncos in a 7 p.m. match.