Stanford men’s soccer will celebrate Senior Night Wednesday at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, hosting No. 4 California in its 2013 regular-season finale that has major postseason implications.
The Cardinal (8-6-3, 2-5-2 Pac-12) is firmly on the bubble with a good chance to reach its first NCAA Tournament since 2009, and a result Wednesday night against the Golden Bears would very likely tip the Cardinal for the 48-team field. Earlier in the year, California defeated Stanford,1-0, back on Oct. 20 in Berkeley after the Golden Bears were given a penalty kick, which Cardinal keeper Drew Hutchins saved before Steve Birnbaum put in the rebound.
Wednesday night also serves as Youth Soccer Night in which all youths wearing a soccer jersey will receive a free general admission ticket to the match.
Prior to the match Stanford will honor its three-man senior class of Hutchins, defender Ty Conklin and midfielder and team captain JJ Koval. Each of the three men have started all 17 matches this season and aim to earn a result that would lead to a bid to their first NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore Brandon Vincent kept the Cardinal’s postseason hopes strong Sunday afternoon, scoring on a loose ball to give the Cardinal a 1-0 overtime win at Oregon State. Entering Wednesday’s regular-season finale, the Cardinal is led by seven goals from Zach Batteer as well as six goals and six assists from freshman forward Jordan Morris. In goal, Hutchins has played all 1601:48 of action, posting four clean sheets and a goals-against average of 1.24.
California (12-3-2, 6-2-1 Pac-12), ranked fourth in the NSCAA Coaches Poll, opened the season on a 12-match unbeaten run but has dropped three of its past five decisions, most recently a 2-1 overtime loss at No. 3 Washington. Birnbaum leads the Golden Bears with nine goals on the season, while Stefano Bonomo and Alec Sundly each have five.Goalkeeper Justin Taillole has posted five shutouts for California and owns a goals-against average of 0.83.