MORAGA, Calif - Cam Cilley and Mark Fisher both scored for the second time in as many games to help No. 9 Stanford defeat Saint Mary's 2-0 on Saturday afternoon. It marked the Cardinal's sixth shutout of the season in 12 games.
Stanford improves to 7-1-4 on the season while Saint Mary's falls to 5-6-2 on the year.
"Great performance, great result," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "I felt that we played really well in the first half, created some good chances, but couldn't find the opening."
Throughout the first half, Stanford outshot the Gaels 7-3 and had four more corners than the hosts, but were unable to find the opener. The two teams entered the halftime break scoreless, despite the Cardinal's offensive display.
"There was a period in the first half where Saint Mary's had a succession of opportunities to ask questions of us," explained Gunn. "I felt we defended those moments very well, and so going into the second half, I felt that we'd been the better team in the first half, but it was evenly balanced."
The final 45 minutes featured opportunities both ways, but again Stanford flexed its muscle. The Cardinal fired five more shots compared to only a single attempt from the Gaels.
"The second half started off a little bit difficult," said Gunn. "Then we managed to settle down and we had some really good sequences, great movements, and created good opportunities."
In the 72nd minute, after continued pressure on the Gaels' defense, a defender for Saint Mary's was penalized for a handball. Cam Cilley took the penalty kick and slotted it home perfectly for his third goal in the last four games.
"The game winner comes from the penalty, but that was justified from our great pressure," added Gunn. "To get the second goal put us in that much more comfortable position."
Mark Fisher got in on the scoring only two minutes later, heading home an a free kick from Will Reilly to double the lead. The Cardinal defense held strong throughout the rest of the contest, with Matt Frank making two saves on the day as he earned the clean sheet in goal.
"In the end, I think nobody could argue with the result," said Gunn. "It was just a really solid performance against a very tough team."
Stanford returns to action in Pac-12 play on Thursday, facing off against San Diego State.