Oct. 26, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
The only tortillas being used in Santa Barbara Friday night will be at popular burrito joint Freebirds after Adam Jahn's header in the sixth minute of overtime sealed Stanford's second away win over a ranked team in 2012, 1-0 over the 25th-ranked UCSB Gauchos.
The crowd of 4,132, which traditionally throws tortillas onto the pitch after each Gaucho goal, was denied its custom thanks to the play of the Stanford defense and goalkeeper Drew Hutchins', whose four saves resulted in his fifth clean sheet of the season and first since a 2-0 win over California Oct. 4.
"What was quite special is the way we played, how well we defended, it didn't allow the crowd to get going a lot of the time," Gunn noted. "Until we gave away a couple of counterattacking opportunities in the second half, we managed to keep the crowd fairly quiet.
"It was really good team defending, all 10 players in front of the keeper worked so hard tonight," Gunn continued. "Drew made a couple of saves but he wasn't getting bombarded. It was really very good collective defending. We had an incredible result in our performance."
The win brought Stanford back to .500 at 7-7-1, and the Cardinal will return to Pac-12 action next Thursday night at No. 7 UCLA. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the match will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.
Jahn beat Gaucho goalkeeper Austin Mansker from the far post with his team-leading ninth goal of the campaign off of a well-played ball from Jimmy Callinan. The Cardinal has now knocked off two ranked teams on the road this year, the first such win coming via a 2-0 score at then-No. 11 UC Irvine on Sept. 7.
"I'm very proud of the performance of each and every player tonight," said Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn. "I thought it was a really gutsy effort. It was certainly a victory that was truly hard-fought and the players really earned it tonight. Nothing easy was given to us tonight."
Stanford troubled UC Santa Barbara (9-4-3) from the start Friday night, firing off three chances and earning a pair of corner kicks within the opening five minutes. The Gauchos would eventually recover from the slow start, forcing Hutchins into saves in the 11th and 13th minutes as the match began to even out.
UCSB's starter in net, Andre Grandt, made his first save of the night on Dersu Abolfathi's effort in the 20th minute, and would again be called into action on Aaron Kovar's shot in the 32nd.
JJ Koval would get his head on a Kovar corner kick in the 35th minute but would see his effort go over the frame as either team continued to scrape for that elusive first goal.
The game would have a wrinkle thrown into it as the second half got underway as UCSB's regular No. 1 goalkeeper, Mansker, replaced Grandt in the Gaucho net.
Neither side got off many chances in the opening minutes of the half, but the Gauchos began to press as the half wore on, forcing a save from Hutchins in the 69th minute.
Zach Batteer managed a chance for the Cardinal against the run of play in the 73rd minute, deftly turning in the box before blasting high of the frame, then Mansker was forced to smother a shot from the angle by Bobby Edwards in the 75th.
Stanford's defense continued to hold firm, clearing multiple UCSB chances out of the box over the next 10 minutes. Two Gaucho corner kicks in the final 20 minutes didn't materialize any chances, and one final chance 21 seconds to the end of regulation from Dion Acoff went just wide of the frame, sparing the Cardinal a heart-breaking result.
The Gauchos continued to probe the Cardinal defense in the opening minutes of overtime, as Machael David shot high off an Ema Boateng corner kick in the 94th minute. But Stanford would make the most of its first chance of extra time, as Callinan found Jahn making a fine run to the far post and the Cardinal senior finished the cross for his fourth goal in the past five games.
"Adam's been doing incredibly well and he's continuing to play well, holding the ball up and linking the team," Gunn said about the senior forward. "He's getting himself in front of goal and tonight it was a beautiful cross off Jimmy and he was in the perfect position off the far post to knock the ball home from decent distance."
The Cardinal returns home with a valuable non-conference away win, one that finished off a bright month of October in which Stanford went 3-2-1.
"I think it keeps the belief in the team and it'll naturally give us confidence going into [the UCLA] game," Gunn said. "We've had a couple of games that didn't go our way when they could have, so I think [tonight] was a great reward for the team and they can be really excited to face UCLA next."