Skip to main content

Kiil's Strike Downs Wildcats

Aug 25, 2022

STANFORD, Calif. - The Cardinal picked up right where it left off in the preseason exhibitions, earning a 1-0 victory over the visiting Villanova Wildcats on Thursday night. Stanford moves to 1-0 on the season and has now won six of its last seven season-opening matches.

"Always good to get off to a winning start, but most importantly I felt we started the game really well," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "We were really positive and I thought we passed and moved the ball well and created a couple of good chances."

Three of the first four shots of the game came from the Cardinal, including Jackson Kiil's opener in the ninth minute. Fletcher Bank threaded a pass through to Cam Cilley whose shot was saved, but Kiil was in the right place to pounce first for the score.

"We were very sharp defensively, so I was very happy with both sides of the ball," explained Gunn. "I think as the game went on, they were definitely playing the ball at us and they had some great physical presences. We were just giving away too many fouls and they were getting to hit the ball at us."

Stanford's defense held strong despite pressure from Villanova, allowing only 11 shots, four of which were on goal. On the other side of the field, the Cardinal launched 17 shots, with ten being on target.

"In the end, the second half ended up quite scrappy," added Gunn. "But even in a scrappy game, our keeper wasn't getting troubled. We definitely want to improve on the ball in the second half, but I'm very pleased with how the boys continued to compete and closed the game out."

In the second half, Villanova had its best chance at an equalizer on a counter attack. But Keegan Hughes made a spectacular sliding block to deflect the shot out of play and keep the Cardinal in front.

Stanford continued to search for the second goal of the game, forcing the Villanova goalkeeper to make nine saves throughout the match. Ultimately, a second strike wasn't needed to get Stanford the win.

"Overall, I'm very please with a lot of very good performances out there," said Gunn. "And as our first game out with some fresh faces, it was a great performance by the team and it gives us a  start to the season."

Stanford featured a veteran back line with seniors and juniors making up the defense in Noah Adnan, Keegan Hughes, Keegan Tingey, and Matt Frank combining for the clean sheet. Joining the experienced players at the back on the pitch were four freshmen and sophomores in Will Cleary, Will Reilly, Fletcher Bank, and the goalscorer, Jackson Kiil.

Thursday's match also marked a milestone for Gunn, the first match of his 11th season on The Farm.

"It's always exciting, every group giving you new energy and new excitement." said Gunn. "It's a different feeling than ten years ago, but the excitement and energy from the players is always great and to watch the young players stepping out there, it's just always an awesome experience to be supporting them."

Stanford returns to action on Sunday at home against SMU at 7 p.m. in Cagan Stadium.