Oct. 21, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford Men's Soccer played its final game of the 2012 regular season at Laird Q. Cagan Sunday, dropping a 2-1 decision to Washington after it was forced down to 10 men just before halftime.
Stanford (6-7-1, 3-3-1 Pac-12, 10 points) has a light week ahead, its only match coming next Friday night as it travels south for a non-conference clash at No. 16 UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.
Sunday afternoon the Cardinal were the better team in every aspect of the match, even when reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute on Ty Thompson's red card, except for the one that mattered: goals scored. Stanford outshot the Huskies, 15-11, and even while a man down for the entire second half managed seven shots to Washington's five and put four of those attempts on frame to just two for the Huskies.
"I thought we played great. We gave away one early chance then after that I really felt we passed the ball well, we were very much the better team," said Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn. "The way we were playing we were always looking dangerous. To be reduced to 10 men, it's not helping our cause, but that being said the entire second half we played the better attacking soccer.
"We created more chances, we put them under incredible pressure, you'd have never known we were the team playing with 10 men against 11," Gunn added. "I was really proud of the way we played and the way we fought, we just came up short in the end after so many nail-biting chances."
Stanford had done well to go in front in the 22nd minute of the foot of Zach Batteer, who bagged his fifth of the season. Eric Anderson, one of four seniors honored prior to the contest as part of Senior Day, moved around his defender to the right of the goal and fed a pass through the box that found Batteer, who finished into the yawning goalmouth.
"It was a good goal, we want Eric to beat players and get crosses off, so he's done that well, and Zach got in and scored again," Gunn said. "It was a great goal and we managed to take the initiative and we just needed to be able to consolidate that."
Stanford continued to control the action in the physical contest, one in which a seven combined yellow cards were issued. But in the 36th minute the Huskies would equalize against the run of play when James Moberg headed home a Patrick Pacheco cross.
Things went even more against the Cardinal in the 43rd minute when Thompson was shown the red card after going down with a Husky player. Reduced to 10 men, the Cardinal made it into halftime tied at 1-1, able to adjust for the next 45 minutes.
The Cardinal would adjust well, creating the greater number of chances and consistently threatening the Washington goal. Anderson forced Husky goalie Spencer Richey into action four minutes into the half, and would add another chance eight minutes later, along with Aaron Kovar.
Tyler Conklin and Adam Jahn put headers on frame that were unlucky to not get past Richey, who moved quickly to make the two saves. Washington would make Stanford pay for the missed chances in the 71st minute, when Moberg played Nate Sackeyfio ahead along the left flank, and Sackeyfio was able to shoot in front of Cardinal keeper Drew Hutchins and to the near post for the go-ahead goal.
In the 79th minute, JJ Koval would get the Cardinal's last great chance to equalize. Kovar swung a corner kick into the box, which was glanced out by the husky defense. But the ball was played back into the box where Koval swung towards goal only to see his chance saved when Richey managed to get his hands up in time and make the block.
Stanford would earn one more corner kick, its seventh of the match and fifth of the second half, in the 88th minute but nothing would come of the chance. After Sackeyfio picked up a yellow about 35 yards from the Washington goal, Stanford would get one last chance to play a ball towards goal, however the volley was cleared out and the buzzer sounded.
"In soccer you look at the results and it comes down to goals scored, but we dominated the play, dominated the game, we just couldn't quite get that goal we needed," Gunn said. "A couple of those chances were those where you just couldn't figure out how they didn't go in. I'm just really proud of the way the boys played and the way they kept going. We were the fresher team, the fitter team, the stronger team, and we always looked like the team that was going to score. But they took what few opportunities they had and meanwhile we kept banging on the door and couldn't get in."
"We have to look forward here, we played well today and we have to take that positive that yet again we played some great soccer, created some great chances and have to keep going."