Stanford Draws in Home Finale
Nov. 9, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - If there was one particular highlight to Stanford's 0-0 double-overtime draw against Oregon State on Sunday, it was Josh Nesbit's first career shutout.
The senior goalkeeper earned his first start since 2005 for Stanford's home finale and played for the first time this season. Though he was not required to make any saves, Nesbit was in the center of the action on crosses and breakaways, and often suffered the consequences.
Nesbit was involved in three major collisions. Besides taking a cleat to the chest and a kick to the ankle, he was flattened by a mid-air crash with a forward.
It didn't matter.
'When you play in only one game,' he said with a smile, 'you can get beat up all you want.'
Stanford (4-10-3 overall, 2-5-2 in conference) recorded its first unbeaten weekend in Pac-10 play, following a 4-2 victory over Washington on Friday. But the Cardinal was unable to complete the sweep, despite two great overtime scoring chances.
However, the result was positive considering that Stanford was missing standout rightside defender Tim Jones - a four-year starter who was serving a one-game suspension for receiving a red card on Friday - and because the team has been suffering from a recent spate of injuries.
Injuries cost the Cardinal lost two more players during the match, testing the team's depth even further.
'The guys played magnificently, given all the injuries,' Stanford coach Bret Simon said. 'It shows why soccer is a team sport. Everyone on the field contributed and every one on the bench fought hard for their teammates.'
Michael Alexander, a senior who has been used mostly a midfield reserve this season, started in Jones place and played the entire 110 minutes with great effectiveness and effort.
And Ryan Imamura, perhaps the team's most consistent player, 'was his usual Superman self,' Simon said.
Imamura, a sixth-year player, provided another strong performance in the central defense, limiting Oregon State standout forward Danny Mwanga to a single shot. Mwanga had scored a long-distance goal in the teams' 1-1 draw in Corvallis Oct. 5.
Stanford outshot the Beavers (5-9-4, 2-5-2) by a 10-2 count in the first half and finished with a 21-12 advantage.
Besides the late opportunities, there were several others for the Cardinal. Among them were Taylor Amman's first-half volley that just missed the upper corner, and a shot barely wide by Alexander on a second-half overlapping run.
Stanford may not have won, but the eight seniors represented themselves well in their final home match, including midfielder Alex Kozachenko, playing for the first time during an injury-plagued season.
'The seniors played great,' Simon said. 'They all did.'
Stanford 0, Oregon State 0
Oregon State 0 0 0 0 - 0
Stanford 0 0 0 0 - 0
Records - Stanford 4-10-3, 2-5-2; Oregon State 5-9-4, 2-5-2.