Sept. 21, 2012
Final Stats |
STANFORD, Calif. -- Despite all the momentum on its side, Stanford lost a 2-1 heartbreaker in overtime to Loyola Marymount. The Cardinal continues to play inspired soccer and create the majority of the chances, but for a second straight game fell to an opponent, it appeared to be dominating.
"In the end, we gave up a couple of goals on set pieces and that was the difference," said head coach Jeremy Gunn. "We weren't troubled much other than the odd counter attack, but they were dangerous on set pieces."
"We are creating enough chances; we just need to improve on our finishing."
Loyola Marymount took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when Eric Brunter scored after a ball defected off the crossbar back to him. Stanford failed the clear the ball and as the ball ricocheted in the box, it went the wrong direction for the Cardinal.
It was a tough goal to give up, but Stanford continued to fight, knowing its chance would come.
The chances did come and they came in bunches.
Just before the half, Adam Jahn had a crack that went just wide. Later, Aaron Kovar cut the ball back inside and had a go with his right foot, just as he did with the game winner against USF, but LMU keeper Paul Blanchette made the save. Finally, Ty Thompson tried a volley, but it went just high.
The teams went to half with Stanford seizing the momentum and it continued in the second half where they Cardinal took 17 of the 20 shots in the period.
Jahn had a couple more chances early in the period when got a head on a cross, but it went just wide. Minutes later, he took a ball at his feet and made a nifty half turn, but again he shot sailed just wide.
Finally, in the 71st minute it appeared Stanford had the equalizer as Hunter Gorskie buried a header off a corner kick. Blanchette caught the ball right on his line, but it was ruled that he kept the ball from fully crossing over into the goal.
Despite the near miss, Stanford kept attacking and in the 77th minute JJ Koval drilled a shot from distance past the LMU goalkeeper but it hit the post square and bounced straight back into the field of play.
The near misses seemed to symbolize the equalizer would not come, but instead in the 80th minute, Kovar cracked a left-footed shot off a rebound that snuck into the side netting for a goal. It was a perfectly placed shot from the freshman who appeared to have no angle from which to shoot.
Following the goal, Stanford kept attacking looking for the game winner. Jahn had the best of the three chances in the final 10 minutes, but Blanchette made his eighth and final save.
The teams headed to overtime with Stanford on the front foot and almost had it won when Koval took a perfect cross from Tyler Conklin, but his header went just high.
Then 5:55 into the overtime, the Cardinal were shocked with the Lions game winner. LMU took a free kick from just inside the Cardinal half and sent a high centering ball into the box. Several players had a chance at it, but in the end, Craig Nitti won the header and the game.
"The player rose up well and scored a good header," said Gunn.
"It's very frustrating because we are doing so much right. Yet, we are falling short in games where we should be doing better. It is a difficult result and a similar situation to the Santa Clara game. We just have to put it behind us and move on."
Put it behind them indeed because next up is Pac-12 play and No. 12 UCLA coming to Cagan. The Bruins are the favorite in the conference, but Stanford has defeated UCLA at home four of the past five seasons. The game will be next Friday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.