Stanford Wins Five Goal Thriller
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Two Cardinal goals inside the final seven minutes of action sealed a thrilling 3-2 victory for No. 5 Stanford on Thursday night against San Diego State. Ryan Dunn scored the fifth goal of the match and his first of the season in the 90th minute to win the game for Stanford.
The Cardinal improves to 8-1-4 and 2-1-3 in conference contests while San Diego State falls to 5-7-2 and 1-4-1 in Pac-12 matches.
"What an incredible result," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "We played very well in the first half and deserved to be a goal up."
Stanford came out of the gates hot and with its first shot attempt of the match, the Cardinal took the lead. Cam Cilley played a long ball for Connor Evans, who served in a cross right in front of goal to the head of Shane de Flores. De Flores headed home the ball for his fourth goal of the season.
The Cardinal continued to control play for much of the first half, but the Aztecs found an answer ten minutes before halftime.
"We were in a comfortable position, but then Blake Bowen, the San Diego State player, scored an absolute rocket," explained Gunn. "It was a tough blow for us to handle because we were playing well and controlling the game."
Despite the momentum shift from the goal the other direction, Stanford battled until the halftime whistle. The two teams entered the locker rooms all tied up at one goal each.
"To be 1-0 up, controlling the game, and then to let in an absolute thunderbolt is very tough to deal with," added Gunn. "But the players stayed composed, even when the game did get quite chippy, ruining some of the flow of the game."
Coming out of the break, it was the Cardinal who again applied the pressure. During the second half, Stanford tallied seven shots, four more than the Aztecs, but it was the hosts who eventually took the lead, scoring from the penalty spot in the 77th minute.
"In the second half, we really tried to stay composed, continue playing, and keep creating the good chances we'd been creating," said Gunn. "We'd been playing well, and then to be at 2-1 down was so frustrating because we'd played well and could have been in a better position."
With 13 minutes left to play, Stanford found itself needing an equalizer. Only seven minutes after conceding the penalty, Jackson Kiil leveled the match at two goals apiece.
Carlo Agostinelli launched in a free kick to the penalty area, finding Shane de Flores who headed it back across the face of goal to Kiil for the tying strike.
"Obviously we were in a huge hole, behind, and with not much time left in the game," added Gunn. "The resilience the boys showed and the mentality they displayed was absolutely phenomenal. To get the equalizing goal was huge, and then to be able to press on and get the winner was just amazing."
In the 90th minute, Carlo Agostinelli sent in a corner kick to the box where it found the foot of Ryan Dunn, who placed his shot perfectly to the bottom corner of the goal. It was Dunn's first strike of the season and his first career game-winning goal.
"I'm so proud of how the boys continued to compete," said Gunn. "I'm so proud of the way they played and am very excited for the team to get that big result in a game that could've gone either way."
Stanford wraps up the Southern California trip on Sunday afternoon against UCLA in Los Angeles at 3 p.m.