Women’s soccer: Cardinal fit to be tied by Broncos; record win streak comes to end

No. 1 Stanford’s program-record win streak ended at 29 games with a 1-1 tie against No. 7 Santa Clara on Sunday at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.

“It was a good match, a solid test for us and it will help us moving forward, for sure,” said The Knowles Family Director of Women’s Soccer Paul Ratcliffe. “Everyone got caught up in the emotion of this game, which makes it hard, but challenges like this will benefit us in the long run.”

The Cardinal (7-0-1) extended its program-record unbeaten run to 30 games and outshot the Broncos (7-1-1), 28-10. Sophia Smith scored Stanford’s only goal, her fourth of the season, and Alison Jahansouz made four saves, including saving a penalty kick before Santa Clara’s equalizer in the second half.

After a strong start by Santa Clara, Smith put the Cardinal in front in the 43rd minute. She collected an errant back pass and raced past both center backs to tap it past Melissa Lowder and give Stanford the lead.

After the break, Catarina Macario and Madison Haley were denied by fantastic saves – Haley put one in the back of the net in the 51st minute but it was called back for offside. Santa Clara bagged the tying goal in the 67th minute after Kiki Pickett was whistled for a foul in the box. Jahansouz saved the spot kick but Michaela George stabbed home the rebound after a scramble in the box.

Stanford had several chances to win the game in regulation – Jaye Boissiere’s dangerous ball couldn’t find the foot of Civana Kuhlmann in the 82nd minute and Pickett’s 25-yard blast in the 85th minute was saved by Lowder.

It was all Cardinal in both periods of extra time, but the Broncos defended enough to earn the draw in front of a sellout crowd, Stanford’s third in four games. Smith was denied at point-blank range by Lowder in the 98th minute, and Alana Cook’s one-time effort in the 102nd minute was also palmed away.

Scoring chances for Belle Briede, Haley and Naomi Girma were all denied in the dying embers of the game as Lowder finished with 13 saves. Macario and Smith led the team with five shots apiece, while Haley and Girma had three.

No. 1 Stanford returns to action next week when it opens conference play at home against Arizona on Friday. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

Cardinal Notes

·         Stanford’s unbeaten run reaches 30 games – the Cardinal has not lost since Aug. 25, 2017. It is the 10th-longest in Division I history and the longest since UCLA went 44 games unbeaten from 2013-14.

·         The Cardinal’s program-record win streak ends at 29 games. The streak ranks seventh in NCAA Division I history and was the longest since North Carolina won 31 straight in 2003.

·         Midfielder Sam Hiatt left the game in the 60th minute with an injury.

·         Five yellow cards were issued in the match, the most of any game Stanford has played this season.

*Care of Stanford athletics

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Football: Slow-starting Cardinal turns it on to take care of UC Davis; Oregon next

By John Reid

Card Reider

STANFORD – Hey! Was that Davis Mills taking his first collegiate snaps? Jack Richardson? Come on down! True freshman Jack West? You have to be kidding.

Stanford football coach David Shaw had to be pleased as punch to see three reserve quarterbacks get action in a 30-10 victory over UC Davis at Stanford Stadium on Saturday. In the middle of the day, no less.

It just took longer than Shaw, probably, anticipated. The Aggies (2-1) came out breathing fire, picking off K.J. Costello twice in the first quarter. Worse, the Aggies’ Devon King returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown for a potential 10-0 lead, though that call was reversed via replay review.

Costello was slightly hit while throwing. The ball looked to be thrown forward, but the officiating crew did not blow the whistle, allowing King to go in for the score, but the play was quickly overturned.

Still, the paltry crowd of Stanford fans in attendance had to be thinking 2005, the year the Aggies stunned the Cardinal on a last-season TD pass in a 20-17 win.

After having just 10 yards rushing by the Cardinal in the first quarter, Costello led a 14-play, 63-yard march. The drive was capped off by a 9-yard TD toss to JJ Arcega-Whiteside at the 13:26 mark of the second period. Arcega-Whiteside added an 8-yard TD reception on a similar fade pattern in the third period.

An 18-yard punt help set up the first of three field goals by Jet Toner, this one a 31-yarder. Toner added a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter, booting a 46-yarder with 2:18 left to play.

Costello attempted a Hail Mary pass from midfield to end the first half, but never got the pass off, being pressured by the scrappy Aggies’ defense.

Costello and Davis QB Jake Maier combined for 49 pass attempts in the first half, 75 for the game, as the air was filled with footballs on a mid-September day.

The Cardinal, playing without injured star back Bryce Love, got 87 yards rushing on 11 carries from Trevor Speights, who had a 38-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Stanford (3-0) caught at break early in the third quarter when a punt-snap bounced off the leg of back Isaiah Olave, who was charged with a fumble, the ball spotted at the Davis 19-yard line. Stanford, though, could only squeeze a Toner field goal out of it for a 20-3 bulge.

Cameron Scarlett scored from 5 yards out late in the period. The Aggies mounted a drive early in the fourth quarter, but true freshman defensive tackle Thomas Booker made a spectacular one-handed pick at the line of scrimmage after linebacker Casey Toohill got of the piece of the ball in the backfield. Earlier, Toohill had blocked a Davis field goal try.

Not long after the Booker pick, Stanford corner Alameen Murphy intercepted a pass, returning it 32 yards. Cardinal outside linebacker Gabe Reid delivered a crushing block late in the return.

Alijah Holder and Mustafa Branch led the Cardinal in tackles with 7.0 with Holder making five solo. Murphy had six tackles, while defensive end Dylan Jackson contributed five tackles.

Stanford did not record a sack of Maier, who worked out of the shotgun, throwing mostly short passes.

One of the highlights for the Cardinal was punt return debut of true freshman Michael Wilson, who may have won the job, breaking off a few long returns.

The margin of victory would have been greater, had it not been a 26-yard touchdown pass from the Aggies Hunter Rodrigues to C.J. Spencer on the last play of the game.

Cardinal crunchies: The Cardinal hurt itself with penalties, committing 10 for -64 yards, a few of the hankies negating long runs from scrimmage … Stanford, currently ranked No. 7 in the nation, is at No. 20 Oregon Saturday at 5 p.m. … Keelan Doss had 13 catches for 106 yards for the Aggies. Tight end Kaden Smith caught six balls for 68 yards to lead the Cardinal … Left tackle Walker Little was cleared late in the week to start for Stanford. Love is expected to return for the Ducks.

 

 

Men’s soccer: Bashti finds net twice in shutout of Delaware

 Amir Bashti scored twice in the span of two minutes, Zach Ryan found his second goal in as many games this weekend and Stanford handily beat Delaware 3-0 on Sunday afternoon.

The win was Stanford’s third straight and more impressively extended its unbeaten streak to 21 dating back to last season, a program record. The Cardinal (3-0-3) now has five shutouts in its first six matches and lowered its goals against average to 0.15.

“It’s another fantastic achievement,” head coach Jeremy Gunn said of the unbeaten run. “After we did so well a couple of years ago I didn’t think we’d be able to better anything and hopefully we can keep doing that. It’s a testament to everybody in the program. As far as this season goes, if you had been told at the beginning of the season we could be unbeaten through six games you’d happily have taken it. In the course of the year we’ve had some matches that could have gone the other way, but we keep fighting, we’re a tough team to play against and when we’re passing and moving the ball well we play some electrifying soccer.”

Amir Bashti spearheaded Sunday’s offensive fireworks in the span of less than two minutes in the first half. Tanner Beason played a ball over the top in the 18th minute, which the senior forward collected in the corner. Bashti cut it back to his right at the corner of the six and deposited his first goal under the outstretched arms of Delaware (1-5-0) keeper Todd Morton.

In the 19th minute, Bashti’s teammate up top set him up for an emphatic strike. Ryan Ludwick chipped the ball in near the top of the 18 and Zach Ryan. The redshirt freshman forward used a flick of his right to free up Bashti heading toward the endline. Instead of delivering a centering pass to a number of Cardinal crashing at the face of goal, Bashti unleashed a rocket to the near post. Anticipating the cross instead of a shot, Morton initially hopped to his right. By the time he realized a shot was heading his way it was too late. Morton tried to punch it out, but instead deflected Bashti’s attempt into the back of the net.

“The first one was a really good, composed finish and the second one is what we talk about all the time: hit it hard on target and you have a chance,” Gunn said of Bashti’s goals. “Some people grumble when they hit the post, but when you put it on target and make the keeper have to save it things have a better chance of going your way. Amir struck it wonderfully. The keeper will look at it as a mistake, but the forward will look at it as he hit the target and got a good reward for it.”

The brace was the third of Bashti’s career and his first since Sept. 28, 2017, a 5-0 Cardinal win on the road at San Diego State.

Three freshmen combined to tack on some insurance in the 69th minute, which resulted in Zach Ryan’s second goal of the weekend. True freshman Will Richmond beat his defender at the side of the box and passed it back out to another true freshman in Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick lofted in a pinpoint cross to the back post and a waiting Ryan. Stanford’s redshirt freshman cleanly headed it home to the near side and put his team up three.

“It’s exciting,” Gunn added of watching a trio of freshmen combine for the goal. “They’re moving along and what we hope is to pick up a little bit of experience every single time we go out. We want to have the team playing its best soccer by the end of the year and be playing in the postseason. We’re very happy with the work we’re doing and with the attitude of the players and we’re excited and hopeful that we can keep pushing and keep getting a little bit better each game.”

Stanford’s defense wasn’t tested a whole lot save for the very end of the game when it looked like Delaware had scored in the 89th minute, but was called offside. The Cardinal nearly added a fourth goal of its own with one second remaining, but was also whistled for being offside.

Stanford returns to action on Thursday night when it hosts Pacific at 7 p.m.

*Care of Stanford athletics

Men’s soccer: Ryan’s first collegiate goal proves difference in Cardinal win

Zach Ryan scored his first collegiate goal early on and Stanford managed the match the rest of the way to beat No. 15 UMass Lowell on Friday night, 1-0.

Stanford (2-0-3) now has four shutouts in its first five matches and lowered its goals against average to 0.18. The victory also extended the Cardinal’s unbeaten streak to 20 matches dating back to last season, tying the school record set across the 1996 and 1997 campaigns. Stanford also upped its record to 22-2-5 in its last 29 matches against ranked opponents.

“Hard work no question,” head coach Jeremy Gunn said when describing how his team earned the victory. “They passed the ball fantastically and really made us chase, but we kept working and even though they had great spells of possession, they weren’t threatening our goal with that possession. So much of the time the work behind the ball was magnificent and we were just really tough to break down. It was a very tight game, a well-fought match and a great result for us.”

The Cardinal’s defensive effort from its forwards to its back line is always stout, especially at home, and this season has been no different. Stanford has allowed just one goal all year and that’s the only score it has surrendered in the past 1,199:15 dating back to last season. The Cardinal is 38-3-9 (.850) at home since 2014 with a goals against average of 0.48.

Offensively, Stanford hadn’t been able to score a first-half goal all season, but Zach Ryan changed that with a firecracker in the 17th. UMass Lowell (5-1-1) cleared the ball away from some danger and seemed likely to get out of it until Tanner Beason raced across the midline and immediately headed it back in to the top of the box. Amir Bashti got a touch on it with his back to goal and Ryan smacked his right-footed volley just under the crossbar. The sequence happened so quickly that River Hawk keeper Patrik Gujic was frozen on his line and saw the ball sail over his left shoulder and into the back of the net.

“The ball was played forward, Amir knocked it down and then Zach struck,” Gunn said. “It really was a great finish. We’ve been working with all the forwards playing off each other one-touch and so it was nice to see them combine for the goal.”

The goal was an especially good sign for the young Cardinal, which starts four freshmen, six underclassmen and is tasked with replacing 71 percent of its scoring from a season ago.

With two wins and three draws, Stanford is unbeaten through its first five matches in a season for the first time since 2004 when it started 5-0-1.

The Cardinal is back in action Sunday at 1 p.m., hosting Delaware.

*Care of Stanford athletics

Card Reider column: Quite and education after two games of Cardinal football

By John Reid

Card Reider

At halftime of last Saturday’s Pac-12 football game with USC, there were reports of thousands of spectators on both sides of the fence scratching their heads, pinching themselves and muttering “What the heck?”

Host Stanford had shut out the Trojans for two quarters. That had learned scribes in the press box scurrying to find out the last time a Stanford football team had held a USC team scoreless for a half.

“Not in my lifetime,” I told them.

The Trojans broke the shutout early in the third period, but the now 9th-ranked Cardinal held then No. 17 USC without a TD in a 17-3 win. The last time Stanford blanked the Trojans for an entire contest was back in 1941, a 13-0 triumph.

That ’41 then Indians team was coached by Clark Shaughnessy, instrumental in the development of the forward pass and the T-formation, where the quarterback takes the snap directly behind center.

When the Cardinal takes on UC Davis at Stanford Stadium Saturday at 11 a.m., the forward pass could prove pivotal on the game’s outcome. The Aggies put an accent on passing, while Stanford – without the services of star back Bryce Love and two key offensive linemen – may want to go to the air more than usual.

Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello has shown flashes of brilliance in tossing five touchdowns, but has had several balls soar high and away from intended receivers – some covered, many open. The wind may have been a factor the first two games for the flags in the South end zone blew in a southerly direction in both contests. Was the wind swirling on the field? Could have been. USC quarterback J.T. Daniels seemed to have some problems with balls to receivers going awry.

Stanford has two biggies the following two weeks – at Oregon and at Notre Dame. The game with the Aggies would be a good time for coach David Shaw to work on the passing game, especially without the services of Love.

Shaw will, no doubt, get some reps for his reserve backs – Cam Scarlett, Trevor Speights and Dorian Maddox – and that is understandable. However, since the screen pass has not been incorporated yet by the Cardinal offense, this could be a perfect time. The Aggies won’t have to use a spy to blanket Love, another factor to consider.

Further, if the Cardinal is to defeat the Ducks and Irish, the passing game will have to be in full gear, even if it emphasizes the short passing game to move the chains and keep possession.

Shaw has admitted the offense isn’t there yet, not where he wants it to be. There are a few reasons why. Banged up offensive line being the biggest. Two quick defensive teams stacking/stunting at the line to stop Love, more than adds to the degree-of-difficulty factor.

Shaw’s play-calling has been good, but he missed a bet against the Trojans. After USC got its field goal, the Cardinal drove down deep into Trojans’ territory. On third-and-2 and with a sure field goal in the fold, the ball went to Love, who was stopped short of the first down. A play-action pass to any one of Costello’s bevy of fine receivers was in order. Need to start thinking touchdowns, get that mind-set. Jet Toner’s field goal was good, but a TD would have put the game away.

On that note, USC was able to hang around because Stanford could not get that third TD cushion to put the game away. Letting a team hang around could be devastating for the Cardinal as the season progresses.

Now to the biggest story of the early season for Stanford – the play of the defense. Was inside linebacker Sean Barton missed much last season? Should we all get to ride an electric shopping cart at Safeway?

In fact, this could be the finest linebacking corps to play for Stanford in recent memory. Barton teams with Bobby Okereke on the inside. Shaw calls the duo one of the best tandem inside backers in the country, a fair statement. Okereke has the best closing speed of any linebacker since middle linebacker Don Parish, a fourth-round NFL pick by the then St. Louis Cardinals in the 1970 draft. Parish was a first team AP All-America and was as good as any linebacker to don pads for the then Indians, no pun intended. Parish averaged 142 tackles each of his last two seasons.

Speaking of All-Americans, outside backer Joey Alfieri has played like one, thus far. Alfieri’s closing speed is apparent, his tackling true. Casey Toohill – Alfieri’s counter-part on the outside – is blossoming as we type. Watch Toohill. He’s smart and always in the right position.

The down linemen have more than done their jobs. Jovan Swann, Michael Williams, Dylan Jackson, supported by true freshman Thomas Booker and block-of-wood Dayln Wade-Perry. They have played better than expected and are young, hence, will only get better.

The Cardinal secondary has been outstanding, from safety Ben Edwards to corner Paulson Adebo to safety Frank Buncom to safety Malik Antoine to corner Alijah Holder.

Add punter/kicker Jake Bailey to the mix. Bailey, performing like a first team All-American, is the team’s MVP thus far.

The Stanford defense has allowed 13 points, an average of 6.5 points per game. It will be challenged by the pass-happy Aggies.

Don’t forget to set the alarm clock Saturday morning. You could get quite and education.

 

 

Women’s soccer: Haley does it again, tallies two as Cardinal rolls on

Madison Haley scored two goals as No. 1 Stanford claimed a 3-0 win over Cal Poly on Thursday night at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.

“This was a great team effort with a lot of players making an impact, which is what we want to see,” said The Knowles Family Director of Women’s Soccer Paul Ratcliffe. “Madison Haley showed her quality tonight – her all-around play has been fantastic for us.”

The Cardinal (7-0-0) extended its program-record win streak to 29 games, with its unbeaten streak of the same length setting a new program record. Lauren Rood (2-0-0) made one save to earn her first shutout of the season, and Stanford outshot the Mustangs (0-5-3) 32-3.

Haley needed just six minutes to put Stanford in front. Jordan DiBiasi released Jojo Harber into left side of the penalty area with a perfectly-weighted ball before the sophomore cut it back to Haley, who drilled a left-footed finish inside the far post past Sophia Brown.

Stanford’s best chance to double the lead came in the 45th minute when Catarina Macario’s 35-yard free kick was pushed onto the crossbar by Brown – Alana Cook’s rebound attempt was also denied by a fantastic save.

Haley doubled the Cardinal’s advantage in the 51st minute, winning a penalty before coolly slotting into the bottom corner past Brown for her second career multi-goal game. In the 57th minute, Jaye Boissiere nearly made it three with a volley that ricocheted off the crossbar and nearly over the goal line.

Freshman Abby Greubel’s 25-yard, left-footed shot crept past Brown inside the near post to make it 3-0 in the 72nd minute – it was Greubel’s second career goal with Sam Hiatt and Naomi Girma picking up the assists.

Haley and Catarina Macario led the Cardinal with five shots apiece. Tegan McGrady, DiBiasi and Boissiere finished with three, and four Cardinal finished with two.

No. 1 Stanford is back in action on Sunday when it plays host to No. 7 Santa Clara at 4 p.m.

Cardinal Notes

·         Stanford’s 29-game win streak ranks seventh in Division I history and is the longest since North Carolina won 31 games in a row in 2003.

·         The Cardinal’s unbeaten run of 29 games is the 10th-longest in Division I history and the longest since UCLA went 44 games unbeaten from 2013-14.

·         Girma’s assist was the first point of her Cardinal career.

·         DiBiasi’s assist was her team-leading fourth of the season.

·         Macario, Boissiere and Sophia Smith were substitutes.

·         Stanford improves to 10-0-0, all-time, against the Mustangs.

*Care of Stanford athletics

Football notebook: High-powered Aggies come to Stanford in battle of 2-0 teams

By John Reid

Card Reider

A pair of 2-0 teams take to the gridiron Saturday when 9th-ranked Stanford entertains UC Davis at Stanford Stadium at 11 a.m. The Aggies are averaging 49.0 points per game.but have yet to face a defense such as Stanford’s. The Cardinal is third in the nation in scoring defense, yielding 6.5 ppg.

Stanford will have to rely more on its stout defense than usual with star back Bryce Love declared out with an undisclosed injury. However, anyone watching last Saturday’s Cardinal win over USC, couldn’t help but notice Love staggering off late in the game after a hard hit by a Trojan defender. Love was quickly escorted into the locker room for tests on what appeared to be a concussion.

Also out for the Cardinal are offensive linemen – Walker Little and Foster Sarell. Little, the starting left tackle, will be replaced by Devery Hamilton. Brandon Fanaika moves in at left guard. Fanaika will, probably, be backed up by Drew Dalman, who will give way to the return of starting center, Jesse Burkett.

“USC was a physical battle,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “I don’t anticipate Bryce and Walker to be out long. Foster may be out longer.”

Shaw expects Love and Little to be back for Stanford’s road test at Oregon a week from Saturday. Kickoff in Eugene is 5 p.m.

“It was a decision for Love and Walker to sit out,” Shaw said. “A lot of guys have bumps and bruises. Hopefully, Foster will be out no more than four weeks.”

Three quality defenders – linebackers Jordan Perez and Curtis Robinson, along with safety Brandon Simmons – are out indefinitely.

“They’re all getting closer,” Shaw said of the aforementioned trio.

Shaw will let Cameron Scarlett, Trevor Speights and Dorian Maddox all share the load in the run game lieu of Love.

The Aggies mostly rely on the passing of quarterback Jake Maier – 61 of 103 for 748 yards and five touchdowns. Maier was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year a year ago. Wideout Keelan Doss has 15 receptions, while Jared Harrell has 11 catches for 168 yards and two scores. Running back Ulonzo Gilliam has 10 receptions out of the backfield.

Shaw praised his entire defense, which slowed down a talented Trojans squad, led by true freshman QB J.T. Daniels.

“That was the best our front seven has played in a couple of years,” Shaw said. “(DT) Jovan Swann played his best football as a college football player. Michael Williams played well. Dylan Jackson played well.”

Linebackers Casey Toohill, Joey Alfieri, Mustafa Branch, Bobby Okereke and Sean Barton were fabulous against the Trojans.

“Secondary-wise, they’re playing well-coordinated,” Shaw said. “We had 11 pass-breakups.”

Shaw knows his defense will have to perform once more as the Aggies will come in famished. Stanford has to be ready for anything out of the Aggies’ playbook.

“They got guys making plays,” Shaw said. “As a football fan, it’s fun to watch. Their quarterback is playing well. They’re on the attack. I know a lot of people who have gone to school there and are proud of the way the direction of the program is going. They’re going to come in and play fast and play aggressive.”

“They pass a lot,” Cardinal linebacker Casey Toohill said. “They play uptempo and we haven’t seen that, as much. Getting off the ball, pass rushing, are an emphasis. Stopping the run is what we pride ourselves on. If we do that, then we can get after the quarterback,”

Toohill said the Cardinal won’t take the Aggies lightly. Stanford was upset by Davis back in 2005, the Cardinal losing on a last-second touchdown with 8 seconds to play.

“Every game is the same to us,” Toohill said. “We prepare the same for every opponent. It’s another opportunity to improve. We’re going to take it day by day and do it the best we can.”