Good Game, Tough Loss

Oct. 10, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - If Stanford's men's soccer season could be encapsulated into one match, Friday's 1-0 loss to San Diego State would have worked perfectly.

The Cardinal had great chances and a strong defensive performance during a hard-fought contest, only to give up a late deciding goal.

This time, San Diego State's Raymundo Reza banked in a shot off the right post in the 83rd minute to spoil Stanford's Pacific-10 Conference home opener. It was Stanford's fifth one-goal loss, all on tiebreaking second-half scores.

Stanford (2-6-2, 0-2-1) had its winless streak extended to six despite not being decisively outplayed in any of those matches.

What did coach Bret Simon tell his team after the game?

'I didn't tell them anything except what time practice is tomorrow,' he said. 'They tried hard and had their chances. There isn't much to say.'

It's a theme that continues to repeat for the Cardinal, which outshot the Aztecs, 16-15 count.

San Diego State (3-5-1, 1-0-1), coached by former Mountain View High coach Lev Kirshner, got off the first good shot of the game, on a free kick by Dennis Sanchez that curled around the wall and forced Stanford goalkeeper John Moore off the ground to make the save.

But Stanford countered later in the half when a pass from Bobby Warshaw left Tom Montgomery one-on-one with goalkeeper Brad Byrns, who deflected the ball. But Montgomery collected it back and sent a right-footed shot toward an open goal. However, San Diego State's 6-foot-5 defender Nick Cardenas got in the way just fast enough to block the shot with his head.

In the 67th minute, Stanford had another prime opportunity, when defender Ryan Imamura moved on a corner kick and headed the ball downward past Byrns, only for another defender to save the shot off the line.

Despite being outplayed for much of the first half, Stanford surged back with help from freshmen reserves Cullen Wilson and Alexander Binnie (playing in his first collegiate match) up top and Clayton Holz in the midfield.

Simon praised their energy and it enabled Stanford to come back in the game and appear to take control, until Reza's goal.

Imamura and Tim Jones played their typical strong games in defense and Tom Montgomery gave Stanford ball-winning ability in the midfield, coming from behind to steal the ball away on one play and keeping the ball to set up an attack the other way.

Warshaw nearly had the play of the night, a bicycle kick in the waning minutes that hit the back of the net, only to be taken an instant after the Cardinal was called for offsides.

San Diego State 1, Stanford 0

San Diego State 0 1 - 1

Stanford 0 0 - 0

SDSU - Reza (Rocha), 83rd.

Records - Stanford 2-6-2, 0-2-1; San Diego State 3-5-1, 1-0-1.

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