Topped by Washington
SEATTLE - No. 5 Stanford suffered its first defeat of the season on Thursday night, falling to the No. 1 ranked Washington Huskies in Seattle. Stanford moves to 6-1-3 on the season and 1-1-2 in conference play while Washington improves to 10-0-1 and 3-0-0 in conference contests this year.
"Naturally, a very disappointing result," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "I truly feel on the night, we have to give great credit to Washington."
From the first whistle, the two top-five teams battled for control of the match with the Cardinal having the edge early on. Throughout the first 45 minutes, Stanford registered six shots compared to the Huskies' four.
Stanford also earned four corners in the first half to Washington's two, but the hosts were able to find the opening goal in the 29th minute.
Four minutes later, Washington was awarded a penalty. The penalty taker attempted to chip Matt Frank, who made a great recovery and save on the shot. Despite the great play from Frank, it wasn't enough to propel the Stanford attack.
"I thought their forwards were phenomenal tonight, they did a tremendous job holding the ball up, harassing us, and pressing us," explained Gunn. "As a result, we struggled to build and play as well as we can."
Following the break, Washington began putting pressure on the Cardinal. The Huskies then added a second goal 11 minutes after halftime, in the 56th minute.
"The game then got reduced to Washington getting into the final third and creating chances off long throw ins, corners, and set pieces," added Gunn. "We were just constantly on the back foot because of some great pressure."
The game was close in most statistical categories as the Cardinal finished 10 shots, two behind Washington's 12. Stanford held a significant advantage in corners with nine to the hosts' five over the full 90 minutes.
"In the first half I felt we had some great soccer moments, some good passing sequences and we hit the post, so we were very much in it," said Gunn. "But in the second half, they put us under great pressure and they deserved the second goal in that moment of the game."
The third goal for Washington came in the 78th.
"We congratulate Washington on the night," said Gunn. "We have to take it as a great learning experience and know that we can play better, and we will play better."
Stanford returns to action on Sunday against Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon.