Sports

Langsdorf's header sends Cardinal men into the quarterfinals

 

Foster Langsdorf, the Pac-12 co-Player of the Year, recorded his seventh game-winning goal of the season, a header in the second overtime, and the No. 5 Stanford men's soccer team knocked off visiting No. 16 Virginia, 1-0, in the third round of the NCAA tournament Sunday night.

The victory sets up a quarterfinal date between the Cardinal and Cardinals. Stanford is among the final eight teams in the nation for the second consecutive season and will play at No. 4 seed Louisville on Saturday at 4 p.m.

"It was an incredible game with two ultra-competitive teams that went back-and-forth," Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said. "In these tight ones, it's all about executing on chances. In a tight game, its always going to be very nip and tuck. We put a great one in there, our guy challenges and wins the ball and with that we buried it."

Adam Mosharrafa stepped over the ball from about 45 yards out in the 106th after Derek Waldeck tussled with a Cavalier defender to draw the foul. Stanford's right back lofted his service to the far right post, where Tomas Hilliard-Arce went up at the edge of the six along with Virginia keeper Jeff Caldwell and headed it back in front of goal. The ball took one bounce and Langsdorf buried it with a diving header to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

The goal was Langsdorf's 14th of the season, tied for ninth in Stanford single-season history and the most for a Cardinal player since Roger Levesque had that many in 2001.

"So long as you're advancing, you're not really concerned with how you won the game," Gunn added. "Virginia is a great program and George [Gelnovatch is a fantastic coach. You saw the quality of soccer out here. It was an unbelievably exciting game, but next week is next week regardless of how this game was played. It's a new day and we'll be ready to go again."

It was a fitting match featuring the past two NCAA champions with end-to-end action from start to finish.

Early chances came from both sides starting with an Andrew Epstein save of Wesley Wade, who was on the doorstep for Virginia in the 22nd minute. Stanford had a couple of errant headers before Epstein came up big in the 34th.

The Cavaliers' Paddy Foss lined up for a free kick from 19 yards out and was able to curl it up and over the wall, but Epstein sprang out of his crouch and tipped the would-be goal over the crossbar.

Early in the second half, Jared Gilbey had a 1-on-1 with Caldwell in the box, but the Virginia keeper came off his line to stop Stanford's freshman and keep the game scoreless.

Three minutes later, Mosharrafa stoned a 2-on-1 Cavalier attack when he gave ground, positioned himself between the two UVA players and poked the forward pass away.

"The mentality was great and we just kept going," Gunn said. "Our boys work tremendously hard. Virginia is a very good, skillful passing team and they managed to break our pressure down well at times, but there were other times when we managed to pressure, win the ball and go after them."

Immediately at the start of overtime, Drew Skundrich almost won it for Stanford when Tanner Beason whipped a ball in from the left sideline. Skundrich headed it across the goal, but the ball ricocheted off the inside of the far post and back into the box.

Stanford has posted shutouts in four straight postseason matches and hasn't allowed a postseason goal in the last 422:17.

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