One Goal Early, One Goal Late
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford got back to its winning ways on Thursday night, taking down UC Irvine 2-0 behind goals from Andrew Aprahamian and Will Richmond, each of which was assisted by Zach Ryan and Ousseni Bouda.
The win improves the Cardinal to 3-3-1 on the season and breaks the team's longest scoreless streak since 2011.
Stanford showed it was on a mission early on, attacking from the opening whistle with 10 shots in the game's first 17 minutes. The field immediately tilted in the Cardinal's favor, and it didn't take long for Stanford to capitalize. Ousseni Bouda whipped a free kick from the left flank in the fifth minute, grazing off of Zach Ryan and finished home by Andrew Aprahamian for his second career goal, both coming this year.
"I thought we started the game in incredible style," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "We were just so energetic, relentlessly pushing forward. That's probably the most shots we've had in the opening 10 minutes in any game since I've been here. Just a really emphatic way to start the game."
Stanford's opportunities were countless, continuously forcing the Irvine goalkeeper to make plays between the pipes. While UC Irvine stopped the bleeding a bit to end the half, Stanford never allowed its visitors a comfortable attack.
Irvine had two solid opportunities, one off the post in the 19th minute and one that was solidly saved by Stanford's Matt Frank, who finished with three saves in the shutout.
"Scoring the early goal really put us on the front foot," added Gunn. "Just that little thing that we've talked about that's been lacking in good performances from the past. Very pleased with tonight's performance all around, and it's great to get a shutout."
Stanford began to ramp up the pressure again in the second half, seeking another score, and eventually got it after Bouda dispossessed a player outside the box, sending it to Ryan who immediately sent it to Richmond on the far post and into the back of the net. When all was said and done, the Cardinal finished with 23 shots, 15 of which were on goal, both season highs. Stanford had six corner kicks to zero for the Anteaters.
"Looking forward to Monday, hoping to get a great crowd for another exciting game which will be a good test for us."
The Cardinal is back in action on Monday, Sept. 27 at home vs. St. Mary's at 7 p.m.