Cardinal men earn a soccer victory in defensive struggle


Zach Ryan scored an early goal and Stanford’s defense made it hold up in a 1-0 victory for the fourth-ranked Cardinal over host UC Irvine in a nonconference men’s soccer match Monday.

“We were in good positions to attack all night,” Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said. “We just couldn’t find a second goal. In a perfect world, we’d be looking to completely dominate all the way out, but it’s soccer. We’re very happy that we kept a clean sheet and I really felt that it was an excellent game. Irvine, which has had the toughest schedule in the country to start, is a class team. They’re going to have a great season.”

Matt Frank/Stanford Athletics
One week after bagging the winner with 70 seconds remaining in regulation in a 2-1 win at then-No. 3 Akron, Ryan was responsible for yet another winner, this time in the 13th minute.

The sequence began with a Derek Waldeck corner kick from the right side. Waldeck’s service was cleared, but not well enough, and Logan Panchot punched it back into a dangerous area. The ball was batted around in a crowd before Tanner Beason touched it over to Ryan in the center of the box. Ryan’s shot deflected off another body and into the goal for his 12th career score.

The goal was the result of some thoroughly dominating work from Stanford (3-0) that earned the Cardinal six corners to the Anteaters’ zero.

“We had the only corners of the game because we played some great soccer to create those chances,” Gunn added. “In those second phases there are attacking people defending in the box, they switch off and sometimes there are spaces. We never wait for any particular way to score. We’re happy to score from open play and we’re happy to score in set-piece situations, which is a big part of the game.”

Ryan’s winner at Akron a week prior similarly came off a Waldeck corner that wasn’t cleared appropriately and sent back in by Jared Gilbey. Stanford’s redshirt sophomore striker used his head in that one and his right foot on Monday night.

The Cardinal defense put together its second clean sheet off the season in the win. Matt Frank got his first start in goal and played all 90 minutes with Andrew Thomas in Chula Vista, training with the U.S. U-23 men’s national Team.

Stanford returns home Friday night for a 7 p.m. match against Denver in a match to be streamed on Pac-12 Plus.

— Palo Alto Sports Online

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