#SundayGoals men's soccer preview: No. 16 Washington at No. 9 Stanford
Who: No. 16 Washington at No. 9 Stanford
On the call: JB Long and Alyson Wagner
On the home side: Stanford (10-2-4, 7-0-1 Pac-12)
With Stanford and Washington both winning their previous matches, the Cardinal will have a chance to clinch the Pac-12 crown on The Farm on national television with a win or a tie.
In their previous match, Stanford made quick work of Oregon State, defeating them 3-0 in a match that saw standout forward Foster Langsdorf score two goals with an assist to boot. The formula for securing another Pac-12 league title will be simple: Get the offense into rhythm early. The Cardinal were relentless against the Beavers, proving the age-old theory that the best defense is a good offense. It doesn’t hurt to have a fantastic goalkeeper like redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Epstein, either.
Cardinal to watch:
Foster Langsdorf: What more is there to say about the junior from Mountain View, CA? He’s been sensational for Stanford all season, leading his team in multiple offensive categories including a Pac-12-best 11 goals. If Stanford is to clinch on Sunday, the formula will be simple: Get Langsdorf the ball.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) October 28, 2016
Corey Baird: In Stanford’s last 5 games - including 3 against ranked opponents - Baird and Langsdorf have combined for five goals, seven assists and 17 of Stanford’s 40 total points this season. By himself, Baird has been a key player for the Cardinal all season. Pair him up with the league’s leading scorer in Langsdorf and you’ve got something special.
Andrew Epstein: One of the best net minders in the history of Stanford men’s soccer will look to continue his brilliant efforts against Washington. In his last game, the redshirt junior shut out the Oregon State Beavers. In his last eight contests, Epstein allowed only four goals to get past him. If the standout goalie stays true to form on Sunday, the Cardinal will likely walk away with the win and the Pac-12 crown.
On the visiting side: No. 9 Washington (11-4-0, 4-2-0 Pac-12)
Washington will look to keep their Pac-12 title hopes alive when they face Stanford on Sunday. The only option is to win— a tie or loss will result in yet another crown for the Cardinal. The Huskies will face the most potent offense and arguably the best goalkeeper in the Pac-12 if they want to play the role of spoiler. A thrilling OT win over Cal afforded the Huskies this opportunity, so they’ll have no shortage of confidence heading into Sunday’s heavyweight matchup on The Farm.
Huskies to watch:
David Coly: The sophomore forward scored the most important goal of his young collegiate career last Thursday, banging home the game-winning goal against Cal to keep their Pac-12 conference title hopes alive. He’ll need to continue his offensive prowess if his team wants to defeat the top-ranked Cardinal.
Auden Schilder: If the Huskies are to win on Sunday, they’ll almost assuredly need a brilliant performance from their redshirt junior goalkeeper. Schilder’s skill will be put to the test, as he’ll have to face the Pac-12’s leading scorer in Stanford’s Langsdorf. Schilder is playing at an elite level: he’s allowed less than a goal per game in the last nine contests he’s played in.
Stories to watch
It doesn’t get much better than this. On the home side, you have the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal, who’ll be looking to add to their ever-growing trophy case with a win or tie. On the away side, you have a Washington Huskies squad that wants to keep its league title hopes alive.