The annual Bay Area Clasico takes place Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium as Stanford travels to the South Bay to face Santa Clara at 7 p.m.
Saturday's matchup promises to be an intense affair, as both the Cardinal (0-1-1) and Broncos (0-2-0) will be seeking the first victory of their respective campaign. The Cardinal earned a 3-3 draw against No. 2 Maryland in its opener Friday night before falling 2-0 to No. 3 Georgetown Sunday after being reduced to 10 men just 41 minutes into the contest. Santa Clara, meanwhile, dropped its opener 2-1 to SIU Edwardsville Friday night after playing the second half a man down, then was defeated 4-1 by Washington Tuesday in Seattle.
Stanford got a brace from junior forward Zach Batteer in Friday's draw with the second-ranked Terrapins. The Cardinal was four minutes from pulling off the upset before the Terps netted the equalizer on a corner kick. Sunday, the Cardinal fell behind 1-0 on a Georgetown penalty kick which also resulted in the expulsion of defender Jimmy Callinan, but despite playing a man down for the final 49 minutes still threatened until the Hoyas countered for a second goal two minutes from full time.
Captain JJ Koval and sophomore Aaron Kovar commanded the midfield well for the Cardinal over the opening weekend, and freshman forward Jordan Morris showcased his capabilities as an offensive threat by assisting on one of Batteer's goals Friday and putting three shots on frame over the two matches, coming inches away from opening his collegiate account Sunday before a Georgetown defender cleared Morris' header off the line.
The Broncos, tabbed by the WCC coaches to win the conference crown in the preseason, got goals from senior Carlos Montes and freshman Parker Holland over its first two matches, and between the posts sophomore goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh is in his first season as Santa Clara's No. 1.
Santa Clara leads the all-time series between the Bay Area rivals, which dates back to 1973, by a 19-17-7 margin and has won the annual meeting each of the past two seasons.