The Pac-12 men's soccer season opens up Thursday night at 7 p.m. for Stanford when it hosts third-ranked Washington at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The contest will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networ with Christian Miles and Cobi Jones on the call.
The weekend concludes Sunday with a 3 p.m. contest against Oregon State. That match will also be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network, with Roxy Bernstein and Brian Dunseth calling the action.
Stanford (5-1-1), which extended its winning streak to five, its longest since September 2009, with a 2-1 overtime win over UC Santa Barbara last Friday, faces off against its third top-three opponent of the season in the Huskies. The Cardinal is 0-1-1 against top-three teams so far this campaign, drawing 3-3 with then-No. 3 Maryland on Opening Night (Aug. 30) then falling 2-0 to No. 2 Georgetown two days later after being reduced to 10 men after 40 minutes.
Yet since that weekend the Cardinal has played excellent soccer, conceding just two goals behind a defense marshaled by goalkeeper Drew Hutchins (0.96 goals-against average, three shutouts) who has played every second for Stanford this campaign. On the attack, freshman Jordan Morris scored the first two goals of his collegiate career Friday at Santa Barbara, including the 95th-minute winner, to claim the Pac-12 Player of the Week honor. The honor was the second in a row for the Cardinal as Hutchins first claimed the honor Sept. 24.
Junior forward Zach Batteer leads the team with four goals while senior midfielder and captain JJ Koval has scored two goals and provided the Cardinal with air superiority in the middle third all season. Eric Verso has also scored twice for Stanford.
Washington (6-0-2), which leads the all-time series between the schools 28-16-4, defeated SMU 2-1 in double-overtime last Friday after playing to a 1-1 draw with Georgia State Sept. 22. The Huskies, helmed by former Stanford standout Jamie Clark '99, have now played the full 110 minutes three times over its eight matches this season.
The Huskies, which opened the year ranked No. 23, feature 10 players who have scored a goal, led by Taylor Peay's four strikes. Peay, Justin Schmidt (two goals, four assists) and Michael Harris (two goals, four assists) are all tied for the team lead with eight points.
Ryan Herman has been the top choice in goal for the Huskies, boasting a 0.61 goals-against average and a pair of shutouts. So far this season the Huskies have outscored their opponents by an 18-4 margin.
Oregon State (7-2-0) has won two straight entering the weekend and visits Cagan Stadium after taking on No. 1 California Thursday in Berkeley. The Beavers are led on offense by Khiry Shelton (four goals, one assist) and Daniel Van Vleet (three goals) while in goal Matt Bersano boasts a goals-against average of 0.68.
The Beavers feature an attack in which 11 players have found goal, but are just 1-2-0 on the road this season.