Cardinal men score early to defeat Harvard in soccer


An early flurry of goals propelled No. 25 Stanford to a 3-1 win over Harvard in front of 2,103 at Cagan Stadium on Friday night.

The Cardinal (2-1-3), which finished the match with a 21-7 advantage in shots and a 9-3 edge in shots on goal, took a commanding 3-0 lead against the Crimson (2-2-1) early on.

Foster Langsdorf won a penalty after 31 seconds and Tanner Beason tucked home the ensuing spot kick.

Five minutes later, Langsdorf doubled the lead courtesy of an error by Harvard keeper Kyle Parks, swiping the ball and finishing from a tight angle. In the ninth minute, Drew Skundrich released Langsdorf with a lofted ball over defense and Stanford's junior forward was clipped by Parks in the box. Langsdorf stepped up to the spot, scored his team's third goal in the opening nine minutes and secured his first career brace.

"I thought we were electrifying tonight," Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said. "When you score early goals in makes life a lot easier, but I think what was impressive today was that it was a very complete performance. When they got high on us we were able to turn them around and cause trouble, when they pressed we passed through them and when they sat off we were patient in our buildup. We showed all three different ways of building an attack, which was exciting to see."

In the second half, the Cardinal had chances in quick succession to extend its lead. Corey Baird rattled the crossbar after a lofted ball from Skundrich. Minutes later, Skundrich had a chance of his own cannon off the bar, keeping the score at 3-0.

Not much went Harvard's way in the second half, but the Crimson cut into Stanford's lead in the 80th minute through Jake Freeman, who scored a penalty after a Cardinal hand ball in the box.

"We were solid defensively as well," Gunn added. "In the second half they had a period when they got to knock he ball around well and were giving it a go, but during that time period they really weren't getting chances. Even though they were still fighting and competing, Andy [Epstein wasn't getting troubled too much. There were a lot of very good performances tonight. The team can be very proud of how it played, but now it's college soccer and we have to get ready for the next game quickly."

Stanford moved to 21-1-8 (.833) in its last 30 matches at home with the win and is unbeaten in 16 straight on The Farm. Friday night's crowd was the 10th of more than 2,000 to watch a men's soccer came at Cagan Stadium and first since October 21, 2012.

The Cardinal returns to action on Sunday when it hosts Omaha at 7 p.m

— Stanford Athletics


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