Junior forwards Foster Langsdorf and Corey Baird combined for three goals and two assists and the ninth-ranked Stanford men's soccer team moved one step closer to another Pac-12 title with Thursday’s 3-0 win over Oregon State at Cagan Stadium.
The Cardinal (10-2-4, 7-0-1 Pac-12) made it a two-team race with the victory, eliminating No. 22 San Diego State (8-3-4, 3-2-2 Pac-12) from the league championship chase.
The partnership that has blossomed between Langsdorf and Baird was on full display against the Beavers (4-7-3, 0-4-2 Pac-12). Baird fed his classmate in the 24th minute following a takeaway near midfield and Langsdorf put it home with his left boot to give Stanford an early lead.
Langsdorf returned the favor in the 51st, working to dispossess Oregon State’s Sam Tweeton at the end line.
His efforts paid dividends, bringing the keeper out and leaving Baird wide open in front of an empty net. Baird coolly slotted his third of the season at the left post to cap the Cardinal’s fourth three-goal effort in its first eight conference matches.
“He brings an unbelievable work ethic, an incredible engine and an incredible mindset to desperately trying to influence the game,” Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said of Langsdorf. “He’s continuously developed much better touch and decision making and as a striker he’s become clinical in front of goal. He’s been striking the ball really cleanly for a couple years now, but the more confidence he gets, the more mature he gets, the more he gets to show it game after game.”
In the past five, including three games with ranked opponents, Langsdorf and Baird have combined for five goals, seven assists and 17 of Stanford’s 40 points.
Derek Waldeck was the other Cardinal to snag a point on the night, serving up a flawless free kick to Langsdorf’s head in the 29th for Stanford’s second of the night.
The brace was Langsdorf’s third of the season and launched him into the conference lead with 11 goals. It’s the first time since 2000-01 that Stanford has had players post 10+ goal campaigns in back-to-back seasons. Jordan Morris led Stanford with 13 scores a season ago.
Baird, who was second nationally in assists last season but didn’t have any in Stanford’s first 11 matches now has six in the past five and 23 in his career, good for seventh in program history.
“Every game is a separate entity,” Gunn added. “You have to go out and do your best to execute your jobs and tonight we did that well. Yet again we kept good attacking players quiet and limited their opportunities. Conversely we created some wonderful chances and played some great soccer. It’s one of those evenings where everyone can feel happy that they did their jobs, and the team played well as a whole.”
Stanford is averaging 2.00 goals per conference game and is surrendering just 0.50. The Cardinal, unbeaten in its last nine conference matches dating back to last season is 20-2-6 (.821) in league action since 2014.
Thursday’s win also extended Stanford’s unbeaten streak at home to 21. The Cardinal is 26-1-8 in its last 35 matches at Cagan Stadium.
A brace by Andi Sullivan and a strong second half team performance propelled No. 3 Stanford to a convincing 4-0 victory at Arizona on Thursday night.
It is the Cardinal’s (15-1-1, 8-1-1 Pac-12) fifth consecutive win and 12th straight win against the Wildcats (7-9-1, 2-7 Pac-12) dating back to 2006.
The victory keeps Stanford tied for first place in conference play with No. 22 Colorado with two games remaining in the regular season.
Sullivan returned to the Cardinal this week after training with the senior U.S. women’s national team and starting in a pair of matches against Switzerland last week.
The Hermann Trophy candidate made her presence known, controlling the midfield and generating numerous offensive opportunities. She gave the Cardinal the lead in the first half with a blistering left-footed shot.
Sullivan converted a penalty kick in the second half for her career-best and team-high eighth goal of the season. She assisted Stanford’s fourth goal – her sixth assist of the year.
Michelle Xiao and Ryan Walker-Hartshorn added a goal apiece in the second half. It was Xiao’s fifth goal of the year – matching her total from a year ago as a freshman. Walker-Hartshorn scored her first of the season, becoming the 12th Stanford player this year with at least one goal.
Jane Campbell made four saves to earn the 34th shutout of her career, tying her for second-most in Stanford’s all-time history with Elise Edwards (1987-90). She is one shutout shy of tying Nicole Barnhart (2000-04) for the most in program history.
Jordan DiBiasi had an excellent game in the midfield and was dangerous around the final third all night. She finished the game with two assists – the first multi-assist game of her career.
Kyra Carusa was active in the center forward position and picked up her team-leading ninth assist on the year on the Cardinal’s second goal.
Stanford finished the match strong but had to battle through a challenging first half. Arizona pressured the Cardinal through the midfield and utilized long throw-ins to create opportunities in Stanford’s defensive zone.
Stanford’s defense, anchored by Maddie Bauer and Alana Cook, handled the pressure well and forced most of the Wildcats opportunities from distance.
Tegan McGrady produced another quality performance at outside back, keeping attackers out wide and making runs forward regularly to get involved in the attack.
The one mistake the defense made nearly led to a first-half deficit. A bouncing ball got past the back line and Arizona’s Charlotte Brascia had a one-on-one on goal.
Campbell came out to challenge the shot and Brascia fired just over the right side of the crossbar to keep it scoreless.
Stanford broke through in the 39th minute on a quality finish by Sullivan. Jordan DiBiasi controlled the ball near the left sideline and slipped a pass to Sullivan in the center of the field about 20 yards out. Sullivan took a quick touch with her right foot to control the pass then ripped a shot into the right corner of the goal.
The second half was all Stanford, outshooting Arizona 11-2 and reeling off three goals to secure the win.
Michelle Xiao doubled the Cardinal’s lead in the 65th minute. After Xiao was fouled near midfield, McGrady ran up to the ball quickly and drilled a cross-field pass to the opposite side of the field to a wide-open Megan Turner who was running toward goal.
Turner carried the ball into the box and sent a cross to the center of the box where it was deflected by Arizona defenders.
Carusa did not quit on the play and sent a cross from the endline back to the center of the box where Xiao was waiting to hit a one-time shot into the back of the goal.
The Cardinal added a third goal when Xiao was fouled in the box at 70:54. Sullivan stepped to the spot and calmly converted her fourth penalty kick of the year.
The Cardinal capped its night with an impressive final goal. Starting in its own end, Stanford covered over half of the field with four consecutive passes before Walker-Hartshorn scored her first of the year.
Stanford looks to continue its momentum Sunday at 3 p.m. at Arizona State.