STANFORD, Calif. – In its final tune-up before the regular season, Stanford found the net three times to top Saint Mary’s 3-1 in an exhibition at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium on Saturday.
“It was a great performance,” said head coach Jeremy Gunn. “Saint Mary’s came in and competed very well from the start. They put us in a tough spot and tested our guys. We created some wonderful chances and played exciting soccer. We exerted our authority in the second half.”
Saint Mary’s got on the board first at the 12:40 mark in the first half. Defender Rafael Sanchez lobbed the ball over a crowded box and into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 1-0. The goal was set up by a Gaels’ corner kick, which was headed out of the box and to the left foot of Sanchez.
“You always want to keep shutouts, but it is much better to have questions asked of you now so you can answer them when the season comes,” said Gunn.
Sophomore Jordan Morris tied the game with two minutes to go in the first half. Slater Meehan sent the ball wide left to set up a charging Morris. A couple of dribbles put Morris within shooting distance and he fired it home to knot the game at 1-1 with 43:08 off the clock.
The two-minute radius from halftime was good for the Cardinal. After they scored with two minutes to go in the first half, they added a second goal two minutes into the second half at the 47:02 mark. Morris and Meehan were again involved, setting up senior Zach Batteer for the shot at the top of the box.
Stanford continued its scoring six minutes later. Junior midfielder Eric Verso challenged a Saint Mary’s player and won the ball. He took it in a few yards and beat goalkeeper Andrew Konstantino in a one-on-one battle. The goal made it 3-1 at the 53:37 mark.
The Cardinal tallied 17 shots in the game with eight on goal. Saint Mary’s finished with six shots, scoring on its only shot on goal. Stanford’s starting goalkeeper sophomore Andrew Epstein played 88:51 and allowed the one goal. Junior Adrian Alabi played the final minute in goal.
All three Cardinal goals came against substitute goalkeeper Andrew Konstantino, who played 32:51 minutes and had three saves. Starting goalkeeper Andre Rawls played the first 30 minutes and had two saves. Lucas Champenois guarded the net for the final 26:19.
Stanford will open its season on the road this Friday, August 29 when they head to Omaha, Neb. to face Creighton at 7 p.m.Goal Summary
12:40 – Rafael Sanchez (Saint Mary’s)
43:08 – Jordan Morris (Stanford) from Slater Meehan
47:02 – Zach Batteer (Stanford) from Slater Meehan, Jordan Morris
53:37 – Eric Verso (Stanford)