Men’s soccer team stunned 4-0 by Stanford at Palo Alto

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SDSU Athletics

Junior midfielder Blake Bowen (26) dribbles past a Stanford defender during the 2020-2021 season (Photo Courtesy of SDSU Athletics).

by Juan Daniel Avila, Senior Staff Writer

The San Diego Men’s soccer (7-4-2, 2-4-0 Pac-12 Conference) team was shocked at Stanford (5-5-3, 2-3-1 Pac-12 Conference) on Thursday night after losing 4-0 at the Cagan Stadium in Palo Alto, CA. The Aztecs weren’t able to contain the Cardinal offense, leading the Scarlet and Black to their worst goal deficit loss of the season. 

“Tough one night but Stanford was due for an explosion, and it just happened on the wrong night for our sake,” head coach Ryan Hopkins said.

Entering the match, the Aztecs only allowed six goals through their 12 games of the season. This match marked the second time SDSU has allowed more than one goal in a match and the first time they have lost by four goals this season, making it their worst game on the scoresheet.

The Cardinal outshot the Aztecs 14-8 with nine of their shots on target. Stanford scored two goals in each half and only struggled on three shots from the Aztecs.

Stanford would go up on the scoreboard in the first three minutes of the game with a goal by senior Zach Ryan off a cross assist from the right side of the pitch from sophomore midfielder Carlo Agostinelli to start off 1-0.

The Aztecs would get caught off guard again in the 42nd minute with a cross from the right side of the field from Cardinal freshman midfielder Will Reilly who found junior forward Gabe Segal to make it 2-0.

Stanford would shock SDSU again in the first 85 seconds of the second half after junior Blake Bowen was whistled for a foul inside the box for the Cardinal to be awarded a penalty kick. Ryan would be the one to take the kick which got past the hands of sophomore goalkeeper Jacob Castro which would put up Stanford 3-0.

SDSU’s main opportunity to convert a goal came in the 62nd minute with a shot from senior Laukoa Santos who forced the Cardinal junior goalkeeper Matt Frank to dive and deflect the shot but Bowen would fire a low ball straight to goal making Frank react twice to keep the clean sheet for Stanford. 

The last goal of the game came in the 85th minute after the Aztecs failed to clear a dangerous ball in the box, which opened up an opportunity for the Cardinal to find a cross from the left side of the pitch which landed on sophomore defender Ryann Dunn who stroke the ball with his right foot to put it past Castro one last time to finish the Aztecs’ nightmare with a 4-0 shutout. 

The only stat the Aztecs led over the Cardinal was in fouls (12-8).

Castro collected five saves but struggled throughout the night against an aggressive Stanford offense.

“We need to dust ourselves off and get ready for the biggest game of our season Sunday against Cal,” Hopkins said. “I expect a big-time response from our young and growing team.” 

SDSU has one more away game in northern California against the University of California, Berkeley on Sunday at 3 p.m. before they return home to host Oregon State on Nov. 4.

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