Early and Often
STOCKTON, Calif. - No. 25 Stanford earned its first win of the season on Thursday, finding the back of the net early and often in a 4-0 shutout victory at Pacific.
The Cardinal featured four different goal scorers as Zach Ryan, Ousseni Bouda, Andrew Aprahamian and Will Richmond each notched their first goals of the season.
"Tonight was the perfect response to the disappointment of the opening weekend," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "We started with great intensity and intent and were able to put Pacific under quite a bit pressure both with and without the ball."
It didn't take long for the Cardinal to assert itself, tilting the field almost immediately in its favor. The opening goal came in the eighth minute off a free kick, as Bouda whipped a ball into the box that was headed home by Ryan for the 27th goal of his career.
Keeping the pressure on, Stanford struck again 20 minutes later, as Richmond played a ball deep into the left side before dishing to Bouda at the top of the box who one-timed a beautiful volley into the back of the net. The goal is the first for Bouda since Oct. 31, 2019, as he sat out the last season with injury.
He wasn't done there, as he notched his second assist of the night just minutes later, finding Aprahamian in the box after a scrum following a corner kick who deflected a ball off a Pacific defender and in. The goal is the first in the career for Aprahamian, who started his 46th game on Thursday.
"Our finishing in the first half was nothing short of magnificent," added Gunn.
Richmond had been knocking on the doorstep all night long and was finally rewarded in the 70th minute, powering a ball through himself off an assist from Mark Fisher.
"Very excited for the players that got their first start, and overall tonight was a well-rounded performance. There are definitely areas we need to keep working and improving on, but I think everybody in the program was much happier with how we went about our work tonight. And as a result, we were given a just reward."
Defensively, the Cardinal shut down a majority of the Tigers' attack, allowing only one shot on goal, and prevented some close call breakaway situations with late recoveries to earn its first shutout of the year.
The Cardinal returns to The Farm for its regular season home opener on Monday, Sept. 6 vs. UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.