Off and Running
STANFORD, Calif. - The Cardinal won its first competition of the preseason against Sonoma State on Wednesday by a score of 3-1. This was Stanford's first of two exhibition matches ahead of the 2022 regular season.
"It's always really exciting to get out there and play outside competition," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "I thought the things we've been working on were pretty good and we played a really high tempo."
The Cardinal applied pressure early to the tune of 11 shots over the first 45 minutes and earned the benefits of the offensive barrage. Stanford struck first early in the half after sophomore Jackson Kiil fired in a shot courtesy of great build up from Cam Cilley and Fletcher Bank in the eighth minute of the game.
"I was very happy with the attitude of the group, and I thought everyone was working in the way we want to work," added Gunn. "I felt we created a lot of chances and on another night, maybe we score a few more goals."
Sonoma State found an equalizer with ten minutes to go before halftime, capitalizing on a counter attack. The goal was Sonoma State's only shot of the first half.
"We had one defensive lapse, credit to Sonoma, they punished us for it," explained Gunn. "That's a good lesson to be learned."
Despite the 35th minute score from the Seawolves, the Cardinal headed into the locker room in front thanks to a late strike from Layton Purchase. Carlo Agostinelli fired a shot on goal forcing a save from the Sonoma State goalkeeper and Purchase pounced first, finding the back of the net 58 seconds before the halftime whistle.
It was more of the same in the second half, despite an entirely new lineup for the Cardinal. Stanford piled on 13 more shots along with eight corners, one of which resulted in the third goal of the evening for the home side.
Aiden Weaver's 71st minute cross found the head of freshman Liam Doyle who placed his shot perfectly to the near corner of the goal.
"Overall, very happy with everybody," said Gunn. "It was great to get every healthy player some minutes, and exciting for them to get their reward of getting out on the pitch and competing."
The Cardinal defense continued to stifle the Seawolves' attack, allowing just three shots on the day. Eliot Jones, Rowan Schnebly, and Jack Morris combined in goal for the shutout in the second half.
"We train through this game and play everybody so it's not a high-minute game," said Gunn. "We'll maybe play a little more minutes with some people, but the excellent thing from tonight is that there's a lot of competition for places. It's great that the players are making our job very difficult in figuring out who gets the honor and the opportunities."
Stanford will take on San Francisco in the second preseason game of the week on Saturday evening.