All-American Jordan Morris scored and Andrew Epstein recorded his sixth career shutout to lead the No. 8 Stanford men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over host No. 18 Louisville on Monday night.
"I'm extremely happy with the result, but happier with the overall performance and strength the team showed tonight," Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said. "It was a tremendous game of soccer between two very good teams. Chances were at a premium and either side could have won. In all fairness, we just edged it. If it were a boxing match we might have earned the decision six rounds to four."
The Cardinal (1-1-0) hosts Northeastern on Friday in its home opener at 7 p.m. Stanford also hosts VCU on Sunday at 3 p.m.
"The complex and facilities Louisville has created are absolutely the gold standard of college soccer," Gunn added. "The setup is truly incredible. But we're excited to come home and hoping that people want to come out and see this group that we have. They're playing great soccer and it should be an exciting stretch of games."
In the 81st minute, Thompson gathered the ball just past the midline and fed a streaking Morris down the center of the field to the top of the box. Morris outmuscled defender Tim Kubel for possession, took one touch and beat Louisville's keeper Nick Jeffs top right.
"That was a wonderful through ball from Thommo and the finish was tremendous as well," Gunn said. "I'm so happy for Jordan. He has been working hard coming back from an injury, which can be frustrating. It wasn't just a great reward for all the work he did tonight, but also everything he has done the past couple of weeks."
The goal was Morris' 11th of his career and the assist Thompson's the seventh of his career. Epsteinregistered his sixth solo shutout in his 21st career start.
In the 14th minute, Eric Verso took one of the Cardinal's four corner kicks and ended up with the ball at the corner of the box. His shot from 20-yards out was punched away. Twenty minutes later, Morris tried a flick with the outside of his right foot from 25-out, but Jeffs grabbed the ball mid-flight for the save.
Louisville outshot the Cardinal 8-5, but only managed to put the two on target to Stanford's three. Each team earned four corner kicks. Stanford was called offside seven times while the flag never went up for Louisville.
"We're never in doubt with what we're doing," Gunn said. "Games are going to be tight and easily won or lost. The players have bought in 100 percent. Results like this make them happy when they see how well they played and the corresponding reward."