Nov. 4, 2011
Final Stats |
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford played its best offensive game of the season Friday night at Cagan Stadium, topping San Diego State, 4-1. The Cardinal improved to 5-9-2 (2-5-1 Pac-12) with the big win and in the process hurt the tournament hopes of the Aztecs, who fell to 10-5-2 (4-4-0 Pac-12).
"It was a great win against what I think is a NCAA tournament caliber team," said head coach Bret Simon. "I was really proud of how this team has stayed focused the last two weeks and came out with a great effort."
Stanford got off to a fast start, scoring off a restart in the 15th minute. JJ Koval bent a low drive from 25 yards out to beat San Diego State goalkeeper Blake Hylen. The goal was the second of the season for Koval who used perfect placement over power with the shot.
San Diego State scored the equalizer just four minutes later when Ata Ozbay hit a high, knuckling shot from 35 yards out to beat Drew Hutchins. It was an outstanding shot by the Aztec junior who was given a little too much space with the ball.
Just a minute later, the Cardinal grabbed the lead right back when Garrett Gunther dribbled into the box, dodging defenders, until he was eventually dragged down. The foul created a penalty kick, which Gunther took himself, beating Hylen. The goal was the team-leading fourth of the season for Gunther.
Stanford would add another goal just before half when Felipe Noguerol scored the first goal of his young career. Adam Jahn was credited with the assist after his shot was defected away from goal by Hylen, before Noguerol corralled it and finished in the top right corner.
The Cardinal outshot San Diego State 10-6 in the half. Six of the shots were on goal and three found the back of the net as Stanford showed off some of its best finishing of the season.
The Aztecs came out in the second half pushing more players forward, looking to get back in the game. They outshot Stanford 9-6 in the half, but could not find another goal.
Hutchins made both of his saves in the half, including a great reaction save on a header from point blank range.
The Cardinal put the game away in the 85th minute when Dersu Abolfathi scored the team's fourth goal. Noguerol shot on goal and Hylen deflected the ball back to Abolfathi who finished his third goal of the season.
The win was a complete effort for Stanford, something that Simon appreciated after a tough season so far.
"We played really well up in the Northwest two weekend ago, but had nothing to show for it. It was great to see them stay focused and play so well today."
The Cardinal will close the home portion of its schedule on Sunday when No. 8 UCLA comes to town. Stanford will look to make it five consecutive wins against the Bruins at Cagan Stadium at 1pm on Senior Day.