Late-Show Rerun for Stanford

Sept. 27, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - After a 1-0 overtime loss to Santa Clara on Saturday night, the Stanford men's soccer team hopes the conference season will begin much better than the nonconference season ended.

Freshman reserve Connor Mitchell ended the match with a 95th-minute golden goal before 1,116 in a Bay Area Classic match at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The loss was Stanford's third consecutive, each decided on tiebreaking goals scored in the final eight minutes.

However, each loss - including to Creighton and Drake last week -- has come with Stanford holding the edge in shots (18-12). Against Santa Clara, Stanford tied its season-high of 18, a figure reached in two consecutive contests.

Yet, it wasn't enough. Now, the Cardinal (2-4-1) embarks on the Pacific-10 Conference season with its offense in high gear, but without the confidence that it can place the ball in the net.

'We're playing just fine,' Stanford coach Bret Simon said. 'Everybody is working very hard and doing the right things. We just can't find a way to finish it off.'

But Stanford was close.

Sophomore forward Bobby Warshaw took a career-high eight shots. His left-footer in the 55th minute struck the right post. His header in the 65th hit the underside of the bar and somehow failed to cross the goal-line.

'We're playing well enough to win our conference,' Simon said. 'The chemistry is getting better between the players and we're molding together as a team.'

Santa Clara (2-4-2) began swiftly, by controlling possession for nearly the entire opening half. Stanford made an adjustment at halftime, moving freshman Garrett Gunther into the lineup, which helped. But the Cardinal, as a whole, began playing smarter soccer, holding the ball and being patient for the right opportunities.

When Mitchell struck the winner, on a 10-yard cross-goal shot from the right side of the penalty area, Stanford had largely been in control of the run of play. Still, the result was eerily similar to last week's.

It also gave Santa Clara a 20-19-8 edge in the 42nd uninterrupted year of the series that began in 1967.

Stanford next travels to the Northwest for Friday and Sunday matches at Washington and Oregon State, respectively. Simon said the opening of Pacific-10 Conference play gives Stanford a reason to wipe the slate clean.

'That's the focus now,' Simon said of the Pac-10 season. 'We know the results in the Pac-10 will show a lot about the character of this team. And I think they'll do fine.'

Santa Clara 1, Stanford 0 (OT)

Santa Clara 0 0 1 - 1

Stanford 0 0 0 - 0

SCU - Mitchell (Zimmerman, Anibaba), 95th.

Records - Stanford 2-4-1, Santa Clara 2-4-2.

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