Facing its highest-ranked opponent of the season, Stanford battled No. 9 UCLA to a 1-1 tie on Sunday afternoon at Maloney Field to close out an impressive two-game homestand.
Two days after edging San Diego State 2-1 in its Pac-10 opener, Stanford (3-4-3, 1-0-1 Pac-10) extended its home unbeaten streak to three games with a 1-1 tie against four-time defending Pac-10 champion UCLA (4-3-2, 0-1-1 Pac-10). Since beginning the season 1-3-1, the Cardinal have turned things around and posted a 2-1-2 mark over the last five games.
For the majority of the contest, it looked as if the Cardinal would pull the upset. A goal by junior Kyle Hency (Waterloo, Ill.) gave Stanford a 1-0 lead four seconds prior to halftime. The Cardinal appeared to be in control until the 78th minute when UCLA's Kiel McClung knotted the match at 1-1. Both teams struggled to get anything going in the overtime sessions, resulting in the draw.
UCLA held a 12-9 edge in shot attempts, although Stanford recorded the only two shot attempts of the overtime sessions. And while the Cardinal only totaled nine attempts, four were on frame and that included Hency's first-half score.
Hency's first goal of the year gave Stanford a 1-0 advantage just four seconds prior to intermission. Freshman Thiago Sa Freire (Manchester, Mo.) sent a cross into the middle, where freshman Alex Kozachenko (Fremont, Calif.) tapped a pass to Hency, who fired a low strike past UCLA keeper Brian Perk for a goal.
The second half turned into a physical battle, featuring 22 combined fouls and two yellow cards in a two-minute span. Stanford denied several UCLA scoring attempts for much of the second half, relying on a solid backline and impressive goalkeeping play from freshman John Moore (Chino Hills, Calif.).
During one key stretch midway through the second half, Moore punched out three consecutive corner kick opportunities to help keep the Bruins off the scoreboard. UCLA's biggest scoring threats came via the corner kick, as the Bruins held a 12-3 edge and 7-2 in the second half.
In the 78th minute, UCLA tied the game at 1-1. McClung corralled a loose ball in the box following a scrum and found the net with a strike to the right. Mike Zaher set up McClung with a pass into the box.
Both teams slowed offensively in the overtime periods, as only two shots were attempted- both by the Cardinal.
Moore finished with four saves in goal for Stanford, improving his record to 3-2-2.
Sunday's result should provide the Cardinal with plenty of momentum heading into its next match on Sept. 30 at No. 16 California. Kick-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.