April 18, 2012
Just like all alumni games, Saturday's gathering of Stanford men's soccer's past and present, provided a wonderful backdrop to a whole lot of story sharing, reminiscing, and also some great soccer. On the back of a healthy number of alums, head coach Jeremy Gunn was able to set up an over 40-year old Alumni Game, and a match up between the most recent alumni and the current Stanford squad.
Gunner, Mike Graczyk and I suited up in the first game, which ended up being a very tight, tactical battle. It was great to see so many guys who still had it, and it was also wonderful to see those who had maybe, like me, lost a step or two, but were still so thrilled to be out there. In the end, as the final whistle went, all participants had managed to excite the gathering crowd with some great goals, and, more importantly, we all walked off in the field one piece!!!
At the conclusion of the early game, the young alumni and the current team took to the field to warm up as the older guys fired up the grill's for some good grubbing. For the next 90 minutes, the current team diligently went about their business, playing intelligently, with an extremely high work rate. It was great to see the guys move the ball around so fluently, and in such an effective manner. Goals from Zach Batteer (4) and Adam Jahn (1), sealed the victory in what really was a total team performance.
Three key saves, one apiece from Drew Hutchins, Jason Dodson, and Preston Langholz, along with a very tight defensive shape, kept out an extremely dangerous alumni attack. All in all, as the final whistle blew, Gunner was content in the way the team had opened up the spring season.
As the sun began to set on yet another beautiful day in Palo Alto, all of Stanford men's soccer's current and former, and all their loved ones, mingled on Cagen Field. Gunners final address of the day encompassed an introduction of all the players, and, most importantly, a wholehearted thank you to all the alumni for making the 2012 alumni game such a special event.
We all look forward to the 2013 alumni game.