Zach Batteer scored twice as Stanford knocked off its cross-bay rival California on Thursday night at Cagan Stadium. The 2-0 win evened the Card's record at 5-5 on the season and gave it an all-important conference win.
"It was a great result for the team tonight," said head coach Jeremy Gunn. "Both teams had really great chances and it was exciting end to end soccer. They passed a little better than we did in the first half and that has not happened to us much this year. The goal just before half helped us and then we played much better in the second half."
Batteer scored just before half to give Stanford a lead and then iced the game in the 78th minute with his second and third goals of the season. The sophomore scored both goals with his head as he took advantage of his opportunities in front of goal.
"Zach is a different kind of striker," said Gunn. "He has pace and he has strength. He is awfully good with his head, so we keep telling him to get in front of goal and that is what he did tonight."
Both teams had great chances early in the game. Aaron Kovar forced Cal's Kevin Peach to make a couple of saves and Stanford took six corners in the half.
Cal had chances of its own, but Drew Hutchins was up to the challenge, making five of his seven saves in the first half. Hutchins earned his fourth shutout of the season, while making a season-high seven saves.
"Drew was busy back there tonight and definitely earned the shutout," said Gunn.
Batteer's first goal came just 18 seconds before half as he headed the ball into the upper corner on a cross from Dersu Abolfathi. Tyler Conklin played a ball to Abolfathi, who crossed the ball with his left foot and found that head of Batteer just outside the six-yard box.
The goal was a momentum shifter as Stanford came out of the half looking like the more dangerous team. In the 65th minute Conklin almost had a goal of his own as he hit a dipping blast from 30 yards that just barely sailed wide.
The second goal came in the 78th minute when Bobby Edwards hit a perfect cross and Batteer buried the header. Cal had begun pushing players forward in search of the equalizer and Stanford caught the Golden Bears on a counter-attack.
The Cardinal stayed dangerous for the final minutes, while Hutchins made a couple of great punches on corners to keep the clean sheet.
Stanford will now have a bit of time off, as this is the only game of its weekend. The Cardinal next head back out on the road to face Oregon State and Washington on Oct. 12 and Oct. 14 in the Pacific Northwest.
Stanford basketball ushers in the start of the 2012-13 campaign with its annual Cardinal-White scrimmage and Friday Frenzy at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, at Maples Pavilion.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early for this event and take part in the Friday Frenzy excitement. This event is free to all fans.
The event represents the first chance to see the Cardinal take the hardwood for a night full of exciting basketball competition.
Catch an early glimpse of the women's basketball team, which is coming off its fifth consecutive Final Four appearance, at their open practice (5:30-6 p.m.) and during the Friday Frenzy women's basketball team showcase.
Following a dunk contest, the night concludes with the highly-anticipated Cardinal-White scrimmage, featuring the 2012 NIT champion Cardinal in action for the first time this year.
Stanford freshman Krista Hardebeck earned a victory in her main draw opener Thursday at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, continuing a business-like tournament run.
Hardebeck, who earned a spot in the main draw after winning three straight in the qualifying tournament, upset seventh-seeded Mary Anne Macfarlane of Alabama 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round.
It was the fourth victory overall for Hardebeck, who has won all of her matches in straight sets while not surrendering more than three games in any frame.
Hardebeck meets fellow qualifier Caroline Price of North Carolina on Friday.
In doubles, Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay were edged, 8-5, in their first-round contests against the Illinois duo of Melissa Kopinski and Rachael White.
John Morrissey's impressive tournament run came to an end in the second round of the main draw at the ITA All-American Championships on Thursday afternoon in Tulsa, Okla.
Morrissey outlasted Denver's Enej Bonin 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in his opening-round match before falling to eighth-seeded KU Singh of Georgia 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.
The Cardinal sophomore enjoyed a solid week overall, winning three straight qualifying matches in straight sets to earn a spot in the main draw while posting a 4-1 record through five matches.
Morrissey is projected to play a key role in the upper half of Stanford's lineup this year. As a freshman, Morrissey led the Cardinal in overall (23) and dual (19) victories while playing most of his matches at the No. 4 position. A native of Dublin, Ireland, Morrissey provided the clincher in a team-best six matches and was 6-2 in three-set contests.