Sept. 28, 2012
Final Stats |
STANFORD, Calif. -- After falling behind early, Stanford roared back in the second half, but eventually fell 3-1 to No. 9 UCLA on Friday afternoon at Cagan Stadium. The Bruins (6-1-2) scored a late goal to finish off the Cardinal (3-5-0) after it appeared the equalizer was forthcoming.
"This was the toughest game we have played this year," said head coach Jeremy Gunn. "UCLA is a tremendous opponent. They not only will come at you, but they are also tough to break down. That being said, in the second we came out with a little more abandon and put UCLA under pressure."
The Bruins had the early chances, including one in the 20th minute, but Drew Hutchins made a fantastic save.
Moments later, UCLA took the 1-0 lead on a Fernando Monge header off a corner kick. Leo Stolz drove the ball to the near post and Monge finished with a clean header.
The Cardinal fought back and had a chance for a tie before the half when Bobby Edwards fired on goal, but the save was made by Earl Edwards.
Instead of the equalizer for Stanford, UCLA added to the lead just 27 seconds before the half. Max Estrada scored after Reed Williams won a ball in the midfield and played to his teammate who was alone in the box.
Despite allowing the goal just before half, the Cardinal came out in the second half and immediately looked like the aggressor. Hunter Gorskie put a header on goal, but the save was made.
Later, Adam Jahn and JJ Koval both had chances, but their shots were off target. Koval looked to bend a free kick around the wall and although the shot was bending, he pulled back just enough for it to sail high.
In the 60th minute, Stanford got its goal when Edwards fought his way into the box and had a 1v1 with the goalkeeper. He was pulled down from behind for a penalty kick. It was an obvious penalty, which Jahn easily deposited in the back of the net.
The goal was the fifth of the season already for Jahn, a new career best for the senior.
Following the goal, Stanford played some of its best soccer of the afternoon. The Cardinal created chance after chance and had the Bruins on the defensive.
Stanford had a couple of dangerous corner kicks, followed by chances for Edwards and Zach Batteer. Edwards was just off balance enough to not hit his chance solid, while Batteer nearly snuck one in the near post from a tough angle.
"When we got it back to 2-1 we really looked like the more likely team to score," said Gunn. "That was very exciting. Our attacking play was excellent in the second half."
In the 81st minute, UCLA put the game away with the late goal. Stanford continued to push forward and began to get counterattacked. Ryan Hollingshead lofted a nifty chip over Hutchins and as the ball was heading for the goal, Williams got his head to the ball for an easy score.
"We had expended so much energy playing catch-up that I am not as concerned about that late goal," said Gunn. "We had given it an honest go and put them under pressure. For awhile, we were on the front foot against one of the best teams in the country."
For the game, Stanford outshot UCLA 15-14 and took six of the nine corner kicks.
Stanford now has less than 48 hours to prepare for San Diego State in the second game of the Pac-12 season. The Aztecs (4-3-1) lost a tough one in overtime at California on Friday afternoon and will be looking to avoid a 0-2 road trip to the Bay Area.