Freshman Jordan Morris broke a scoreless deadlock in the 65th minute Wednesday night, providing the lone goal of Stanford’s 1-0 exhibition win over Sonoma State at Steuber Rugby Field.
The Cardinal concludes its two-match exhibition slate Saturday at Sacramento State. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. Stanford is nine days away from its 2013 opener, set for next Friday night at 7 p.m. at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium against No. 2 Maryland.
Stanford dominated possession and created multiple chances throughout the match but it wasn’t until just past the hour mark that Morris, who had been beating the Seawolf back line with his speed all night, got the Cardinal through. Morris, Bobby Edwards and Mark Verso invaded the box to open the sequence before an errant header went right to a Sonoma State defender. The defender’s touch lacked pace and went right back to Morris, who turned and finished opportunistically with a right-footed blast.
Morris led all Cardinal players with seven shots in the match, with five of those coming on frame. Overall the Cardinal outshot the Seawolves 22-3, took 15 corner kicks while conceding just three and forced Sonoma State goalkeeper Beau Diaz into nine saves.
In the other goal box Stanford No. 1 Drew Hutchins was rarely called into action, needing only to make one save, collecting a header from Chris Pihl in the 20th minute. Hutchins spent the remainder of the contest organizing a back four and midfield that did well to fill up the Seawolf passing lanes and deny any serious challenges.
The only scare for the Cardinal came in the 16th minute when a turnover in the defensive third led to a two-on-none breakaway for the Seawolves. It appeared that the visitors had taken a 1-0 lead against the run of play but the official’s flag was up when the second Seawolf on the break tapped into the empty goal.
Outside of those two incidents, it was all Stanford. Matt Taylor came up from the back line on a corner kick in the 18th minute, ended up with the ball at his feet out of a scrum and rattled the post with a booming shot from just outside the box. Six minutes later the Cardinal again came agonizingly close to a goal from a corner kick, as Edwards got his foot on Aaron Kovar’s offering to beat Diaz but saw it turned back at the line by the Sonoma State defender manning the near post. Brandon Vincent jumped on the second chance but his effort would go high and the Cardinal would come away empty-handed.
As the second half got underway, Stanford peppered the Sonoma State goal with five shots over three-plus minutes. The sequence featured another Kovar corner kick finding its target but JJ Koval’s header went right into the hands of Diaz. Morris would get his head on crosses in the 60th and 63rd minutes but had both chances turned aside by Diaz before breaking through two minutes later.
Morris and Austin Meyer would force more saves from Diaz in the final minutes, and in the 90th minute freshman Trevor Hyman would get a brief glimpse of goal but have his shot blocked before it could reach the frame.