Sports

Stanford men shooting for a repeat in NCAA soccer

 

The past two men's soccer national champions meet Sunday when Pac-12 champion Stanford (12-3-4) hosts Virginia (11-3-5) in a third round NCAA match at 5 p.m.

Stanford is 20-12-4 all-time in the NCAA tournament and 12-2-3 at home, advancing on penalty kicks in two out of those three draws. Stanford is No. 5 in both the latest NSCAA coaches' poll and NCAA RPI and is seeded fifth in the NCAA Tournament field.

Its stretch of four consecutive postseason berths is the second longest in program history behind a six-year run from 1997 to 2002. Stanford, which won the program's first national title last year over Clemson, will attempt to become the first back-to-back NCAA champion since Indiana in 2003 and 2004.

Stanford has posted shutouts in three straight postseason matches and hasn't allowed a postseason goal in the last 316:39, since Ian Harkes' 70th-minute penalty kick at Wake Forest in last year's quarterfinals.

Stanford's title is the 14th conference championship in program history, but the first three-peat since it won four straight University and Club Soccer League (UCSL) championships from 1919-23.

Stanford is the nation's second-winningest program in terms of percentage since 2014. The Cardinal has won 78.7 percent of its games the past three seasons (43-8-10). Denver is first at .792 (44-9-7), North Carolina is third at .767 (42-10-8), Creighton is fourth at .761 (48-13-6) and Syracuse (44-12-9) and Wake Forest (42-12-7) are tied for fifth at .746.

The Cardinal is 27-2-8 in its last 37 matches at home and unbeaten in regulation since 2013.

— Stanford Athletics

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