SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Stanford men’s soccer ended its weekend in Southern California with a point Sunday, playing San Diego State to a wild 3-3 draw.
The Cardinal (6-3-2, 1-2-1 Pac-12, four points) held leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the match but the Aztecs (3-6-1, 0-2-1 Pac-12) were able to equalize each time, the final goal coming in the 84th minute. After regulation ended at 3-3, the teams played 20 minutes of scoreless extra time.
“We started the game well and had a great first half showing, but they managed to claw their way back into the game,” said Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn. “We needed to make our 3-2 lead stick and we didn’t. It’s a draw on the road which is not a bad result, but considering how we started the game we wanted to get all three points.
“We did some good stuff, we played well and did enough to put ourselves in a winning position. We just feel that we let one slip today,” Gunn added.
Stanford returns to the Bay Area for next weekend’s action, visiting No. 1 California Sunday, Oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network.
Stanford’s three goals Sunday was its highest single-game output of the season, with Aaron Kovar, Eric Verso and Jordan Morris each finding the net.
Zach Batteer nearly had his sixth goal of the campaign when his effort struck the post in the second minute, then fired high five minutes later. Kovar would break through in the 24th minute to open up the scoring, taking a pass from Morris along the left flank and firing home with his left foot past Aztec goalkeeper Blake Hylen for his first goal of the season.
Stanford continued to push the attack and would be rewarded with a doubled lead just four minutes later. Morris began the sequence by playing through to Batteer who teed up a close-range shot from Verso to make it 2-0 Cardinal. For Verso it was his third goal of the season.
The Aztecs were moved to action by the onslaught, forcing three saves from Stanford goalkeeper Drew Hutchins over the next six minutes. That would be the extent of the Aztec attack the rest of the half and the Cardinal would take a two-goal lead into the break.
It would take eight minutes in the second half for either team to get off a shot, but that first shot would lead to San Diego State cutting the Cardinal lead in half. Anthony Gooch hit the post with his effort and in the ensuing scramble Kody Duff scored to get the Aztecs on the board.
Stanford had a chance to answer five minutes later when Morris forced Hylen into action followed by Batteer heading a second effort wide.
It would be in the 70th minute, however, that San Diego State would pull even as Jordan Ongaro pounced on a rebound and beat Hutchins to make it 2-2.
Stanford would catch a break five minutes later as SDSU’s Wil Cannon was issued a straight red card, reducing the Aztecs to 10 men. The Cardinal would press forward with the numbers advantage, coming close to scoring the go-ahead in the 81st minute when JJ Koval nodded just wide off of Ty Thompson’s corner kick. But three minutes later the Cardinal would not miss, as an SDSU foul led to a Thompson free kick that found Morris for the header and the freshman’s fourth goal of the season.
Yet the tables would turn as it only took the 10-man Aztecs 44 seconds to record the shock equalizer. After a Cardinal foul in the defensive half, Abraham Villon’s free kick into the penalty area was headed home by Kevin Bick, making it 3-3.
Stanford would push for a winner before the end of regulation, being called offsides twice then having Koval’s header saved by Hylen just 42 seconds short of the 90-minute mark. The Cardinal would control much of the possession over the 20 minutes of overtime but could not break through the packed Aztec box. Stanford did not concede a shot during extra time and took four corner kicks, but the Aztecs dropped back and forced the draw.“We had some great attacking play and I felt that when we were going after San Diego State we were at our best. In the second half we played too tentative and we needed to keep doing what we were doing to continue the game.”