Thompson's Game-Winner Helps Stanford Stun No. 10 California 2-1
Nov. 3, 2006
STANFORD, Calif.- In a season that featured a couple of unlucky bounces but never lacked effort, Senior Night played out perfectly for the Cardinal.
Galen Thompson (Denver, Colo.), one of four seniors honored during a pregame ceremony in the regular season finale at Maloney Field, scored the game-winner at the 6:33 mark of the first overtime period to lift Stanford to a 2-1 upset over No. 10 California on Friday night.
Thompson, who fired three of his team-high four shots on goal, made a quick run up the sideline and collected a cross from junior Dan Shapiro (New Haven, Ct.). Moving past a defender, Thompson broke free and ripped a shot that sailed past the outstretched arms of Cal keeper Justin Myers, a fixture in the national rankings after allowing just eight goals all year.
With the victory, Stanford improves to 7-7-4 overall and 5-3-2 in the Pac-10. An at-large entry into next week's NCAA Tournament remains a question mark at this point, but head coach Bret Simon and his gritty club could care less.
'I'm really proud of our seniors,' said Simon, who engineered an impressive turnaround following Stanford's 4-11-3 overall performance last year. 'Those guys played with so much spirit and it's nice to see their hard work pay off. I'm also happy that some of our young kids played well and that bodes well for our future.'
The Cardinal might have been looking ahead to the immediate future, in this case the postseason, if not for a few tough losses early in the year. Three of Stanford's first four losses were one-goal defeats and two occurred within the final 15 minutes of regulation. But the Cardinal caught fire at the start of Pac-10 play, secured third place in the conference with tonight's win and now find themselves in a waiting game.
Friday's victory over another nationally-ranked opponent should not come as too much of a surprise though, as Stanford already had blanked No. 9 Washington 2-0 in Seattle last month while playing to a pair of draws against UCLA, ranked at No. 9 and 10 at the time.
In fact, the Cardinal outshot the Golden Bears 13-10 overall and matched up well with California even after an early 1-0 deficit. In the ninth minute, California's leading scorer Javier Ayala-Hill scored the first goal of the match. Luke Sassano fed Ayala-Hill, who fired a shot past Cardinal starter John Moore (Chino Hills, Calif.) for a 1-0 lead.
Stanford picked up the equalizer in the 29th minute, courtesy of Evan Morgan's (Littleton, Colo.) team-leading fifth goal of the year. Thiago Sa Freire (Manchester, Mo.) chipped a ball into Morgan, who slipped by Cal keeper Myers and easily tapped the ball into an open net. The teams would stay tied at 1-1 heading into the break.
The Cardinal outscored the Golden Bears 5-4 in the second half, nearly missing out on attempts by T.J. Novak and Morgan, who collided with Myers in front of the goal on a 50-50 ball.
In the first overtime session, Shapiro found Thompson, who pleased the crowd of 1,451 with the game-winner.
Moore earned the start in goal and made two saves but was replaced at the start of the second half by Brent Stewart (Dallas, Texas). Stewart picked up his first win of the year, making two saves while holding California scoreless over the final 51:33.