STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford used a fire-powered and motivated offensive outburst to bludgeon rival California on Sunday night, defeating the Golden Bears 5-0. The win is Stanford's first Pac-12 victory of the season, moving the Cardinal to 4-4-1 overall on the year.
"From start to finish, it couldn't really have gone any better for us tonight," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "Goals win games, it's as simple as that."
It took just a couple of minutes for Stanford to strike first, as the Cardinal unloaded a barrage of shots at the Cal keeper in the third minute. The first, from Zach Ryan, was saved. The second, from Keegan Tingey, deflected off the post. The third would not be denied, as Mark Fisher hammered it home for the early lead.
"Yet again, we came out in great style and managed to finish our early chance. That was huge for the team," added Gunn. "Those were the type of chances we'd been creating early on in previous games, but haven't taken advantage, making the game tighter and tighter when that happens. It was great to bury an early one and give us great confidence."
Stanford was far from done, scoring again in the 17th minute after a free kick from Ousseni Bouda that looped into the box and found the head of both Keegan Hughes and the goal scorer Noah Adnan who directed it into the back of the net.
Just before Stanford's third goal of the night, Cardinal goalkeeper Matt Frank was forced into back-to-back massive saves to keep the visitors scoreless on a counter attack. Stanford capitalized just seconds later, forcing the issue in the attacking third and playing a ball from Gabe Segal, to Ousseni Bouda, to Richmond on the far post who banged it into the upper 90.
"Throughout the game, we we looked lively, looked dangerous."
The second half belonged to Stanford's Ousseni Bouda. Near the top of the nation already in assists, Bouda was eager to score on Sunday, featuring two brilliant goals just over two minutes apart from each other. The first featured a ball from Keegan Tingey, flicked to Bouda from freshman Will Reilly, who found his footing near the top of the box and lobbed in a beauty just above the fingertips of the diving keeper. The second was similar situation, with Tingey sending a long ball up the field to Ryan who found Bouda outside the box where he evaded defenders with a spin move and sent a ground ball past the Cal netminder.
Frank finished with four saves on the night, including one penalty kick stop in the 73rd minute to preserve the shutout. Able to use a handful of subs in the match, Stanford had 21 players enter the pitch.
"Really, a strong team performance. Matt had to earn the shutout. There was a lot of good defending. Good play throughout the pitch and some fantastic goals. We've had games where we played well this year and haven't gotten anything out of it. Glad to feel different tonight."
The Cardinal is back in action on Thursday, Oct. 7, hosting undefeated and highly ranked Washington at 7 p.m.