Aug. 24, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Jeremy Gunn era of Stanford soccer is off to a 1-0 start after the Cardinal earned a tough 1-0 road win over San Francisco on a chilly night in the City. Stanford scored a goal in the second minute and hung on from there to win its opener for the first time since 2003.
"It's a great way to start the season with an away win," said Gunn. "It's a smaller field here so it's a tough to play attractive soccer, but I thought we played well in the early stages and deserved the 1-0 lead."
The goal came in the second minute when freshman Aaron Koval scored his first official goal at Stanford. Kovar scored in both exhibition games and his nose for the goal continued on Friday night. Adam Jahn started the scoring play, laying the ball off to JJ Koval in at the top of the box. Koval then bent the ball around a defender with the outside of his foot and Kovar was there to finish near post.
It was a well-executed goal by Kovar and brilliant ball movement by Jahn and Koval.
"JJ bent it around the defender perfectly," said Kovar. "I saw the keeper coming out and I just slotted it near post."
The goal seemed to come from the more aggressive team early as the Cardinal controlled the tempo for most of the first half. Stanford outshot USF 9-7 in the half as the Dons had but a few real chances on goal.
Drew Hutchins made his only two saves in the first half, including clearing a ball off his line off a direct corner and then saving the rebound off the head of a USF striker.
The Cardinal held strong in the second half, despite some desperation from USF looking for the equalizer. The back four of Hunter Gorskie, Brandon Vincent, Tyler Conklin and Jimmy Callinan stayed organized and did not allow a single shot on goal after the break.
"Number one for me is get the shutout," said Gorskie. We just want to get zero goals and put our team in position to win. The goal in this first game was to just come out with energy and be the more aggressive team. We came out and got that first goal and then from there we just kept it solid."
"The second half was much more scrappy," said Gunn. "We didn't have the ball as much, but at least we defended well."
The win begins a stretch of four games on the road for Stanford. Next, the Cardinal will travel to the South to play in the College of Charleston tournament next weekend. Stanford will face the host Charleston on Friday August 31, before taking on No. 24 Furman on Sunday, September 2.