Stanford men’s soccer’s struggles against top-five opponents continued Friday night as the Cardinal fell 2-0 to No. 3 Washington in Seattle.
Washington’s Mason Robertson’s 30th-minute header off a corner opened the scoring and Ian Lange capped it with a straight-on shot in the 79th minute to drop the Cardinal to 7-6-3 overall and 1-5-2 in Pac-12 play.
All six of Stanford’s losses this season have come to teams ranked in the top five at the time of the match, and currently ranked in the top 10 of the NSCAA Coaches Poll.
Stanford will aim to close the weekend with three points when it visits Oregon State for a 1 p.m. match Sunday.
The Cardinal managed just one shot on frame Friday night, but had a handful of its six overall chances go just off-frame. The first of those near-misses came in the 27th minute when Stanford played a cross into the box which was headed towards the far post where Zach Batteer had Washington goalkeeper Ryan Herman beat but nodded the ball just over the crossbar.
The Huskies would make the Cardinal pay for that miss, pushing forward and being rewarded with the opener off of a corner kick at the half-hour mark. Justin Schmidt’s corner kick found Robertson at the far post and the freshman got up to head home past keeper Drew Hutchins.
Robertson’s header would be the only shot on frame for either side over the first 45 minutes, as the teams combined for just three total shots after the goal.
Hutchins was put to the test early on in the second half, however, and responded with a bang-bang sequence of saves in the 52nd minute, first denying Cristian Roldan then turning away James Moberg’s effort on the rebound to keep the Cardinal in the contest.
Yet the Cardinal offense struggled to find its mark as the contest continued. Jordan Morris came on and provided a brief spark, nodding high in the 56th minute before forcing Herman to make his only save of the match just past the hour. Stanford would earn a pair of corner kicks in the 70th and 73rd minutes but Austin Meyers’ offerings would be cleared out.
JJ Koval would try his luck in the 76th minute but see his effort go wide to the left.
The Cardinal defense held the Huskies without a chance for 20 minutes until the 79th minute, when Lange latched onto a ball from Michael Gallagher and finished from 10 yards out to double the Washington advantage. The Huskies would push for a third but Hutchins bounced back to turn away an effort from Darwin Jones in the 83rd minute.Despite late substitutions in search of goals to balance the score line, the Cardinal would not get another crack at goal the rest of the way.