Stanford wins 2014 Pac-12 men's soccer title on drama-filled final day
The scoreboard might have read 2-2, but the No. 3 Stanford men's soccer team was losing its grip on the 2014 Pac-12 Conference title.
It was Sunday afternoon in Berkeley, and the Cardinal was locked in a tense battle with rival California on the final day of the regular season. Entering the second overtime period, the stakes couldn't have been higher for Stanford. The Cardinal needed a goal to clinch the league championship, and it only had 10 minutes to score. Otherwise, the trophy would belong to the No. 6-ranked UCLA Bruins.
But less than three minutes into the second overtime period in Berkeley, Stanford senior Austin Meyer punched through a goal in traffic to give the Cardinal a 3-2 victory. Meyer soon streaked down the field with his arms outstretched and joined his teammates in a dogpile on the field as the Cardinal celebrated its first Pac-12 men's soccer title since 2001.
[Related: Complete 2014 Pac-12 men's soccer standings]
It stood in stark contrast to the scene in Southern California, as the entire Bruins men's soccer squad huddled around a small monitor from the Pac-12 Networks crew in Westwood. Just minutes earlier, UCLA dispatched San Diego State with a 2-1 victory, but all the Bruins could do was wait hopelessly for the clock to run out on the Cardinal.
Ultimately, Meyer's dramatic goal capped off another scintillating season for Pac-12 men's soccer, as Stanford earned three points to push its season-long total to 21, just one more than UCLA. Considering Oregon State also upset No. 9 Washington, 2-0, on Sunday in Seattle, it was quite the grand finale for the Pac-12.
Five of the conference's six men's soccer teams -- Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Cal and Oregon State -- have strong cases to make the 48-team field for the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament, which will be announced live Monday on NCAA.com at 10 a.m. PT.