Nov. 16, 1997
Stanford MPSF Title Hopes Dashed on Penalty Kick
LOS ANGELES - The 14th-ranked Stanford men's soccer team fell 1-0 to second-ranked UCLA in a hard-fought, physical 1997 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship match. The Bruins ended the scoreless tie at the 75:07 mark on midfielder Pete Vagenas' successful penalty kick. A defensive over-the-back call against Stanford in the penalty box led to the kick. With the win, UCLA head coach Sigi Schmid's 300th, the Bruins also captured the Federation's automatic NCAA Tournament bid while Stanford (13-4-2) must await the tournament selection show to see if it has secured an at-large bid. The show will air live on selected Fox Sports Net stations throughout the country at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, November 17. The Cardinal will be looking for its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1992.
The Bruins opened the game strong, constantly getting forward and creating some good chances. Within the first 30 seconds, the Bruins were awarded a direct kick from 20 yards out but missed high. Within the first eight minutes, the Bruins had recorded five shots, four by junior forward Seth George. The play of freshman goalkeeper Adam Zapala (Cupertino, CA/Bellarmine Prep) who recorded three saves in the flurry, allowed the Cardinal to stave off the attack and the time it needed to settle in. Defensively, Stanford maintained its shape against the Bruin attacks, denying the easy penetration, but offensively, the Cardinal were unable to muster much in the first half.
Stanford was dealt a blow in the 40th minute as junior defender Eric Vandevelde was ejected for a hard tackle. The red card was one of four cards pulled in the game. UCLA tallied two yellow cards in the first half and one in the second. Stanford would have to play the final 50 minutes of the contest a man down.
The second half saw Stanford, despite playing in a 4-4-1 formation (only one forward), create more and put the pressure on. Junior midfielder Simon Elliott lined a shot from 15 yards out that was knocked away by the diving Bruin goalie. The Cardinal took the ensuing corner kick which bounced around the box and eventually off the hand of a Bruin defender. The Cardinal were given a direct kick about five yards in from the corner. After a couple of deflections in the box, the ball was cleared approximately 15 feet from the goal to Elliott who found freshman forward Corey Woolfolk (Ann Arbor, MI/Pioneer HS) angling into the goal. Woolfolk took the pass and slotted the ball into the far post for the apparent 1-0 Stanford lead. However, offsides was called and the goal was disallowed. Depsite the denial, the momentum had swayed to the undermanned Cardinal. The tables were turned back in the Bruin's favor 14 minutes later. At the 75:07 mark, a Stanford defender was called for going over the back of a Bruin in attempting to win a ball in the air. The penalty occurred in the Stanford penalty box, calling for a Bruin penalty kick. Zapala, who had stopped a penalty kick earlier in the season at Washington, was unable to fend off the Vagenas blast. The Cardinal continued to move forward and create opportunities, but were unable to get one through over the final 15 minutes as UCLA continued its mastery of the MPSF.
"You obviously feel dissapointed when you go a man down, have a goal disallowed and give up a penalty kick," said Stanford head coach Bobby Clark. "They (UCLA) are a very good team. They opened very well in the first 20 minutes of the match and maybe they are a little disappointed that they didn't get something out of it. But we clawed our way back into the match and played well. I am very happy with our boys. They're getting started again. This is the first game they have really played since the Indiana loss. It was a great tune-up for the playoffs. It should give them a lot of confidence."
1 2 F
#14 Stanford 0 0 0
#2 UCLA 0 1 1
UCLA - Vanegas (Penalty Kick) 75:07
Shots: UCLA 15, Stanford 4
Corner Kicks: UCLA 4, Stanford 3
Goalie Saves: Zapala (Stanford) 4, Reis (UCLA) 2
Cautions and Ejections
UCLA: #14 Theslof (Yellow) 15:35, #25 Lee (Yellow) 28:36, #10 Tsakeris (Yellow) 87:58
Stanford: # 5 Vandevelde (Red) 40:37