Stanford, Calif. – Stanford got one goal in the first half and another in the second to defeat the San José State men’s soccer team 2-0 on Saturday night in Cagan Stadium.
The Cardinal (2-1-0) controlled the play in the first half. They created numerous dangerous chances in the first 20 minutes and broke through at the 24:09 mark.
Jordan Morris, who was called up the U.S. National Team this week, drove down the right side and dropped the ball back to Eric Verso who beat Spartans’ keeper Emmanuel Espinoza (Jr., GK, San Jose, Calif.) low to the left from inside the six.
“Morris is the best college player in the nation,” said Spartans head coach Simon Tobin. “You play him with Zach Batteer and (Stanford) has the two fastest forwards in the country. They are match winners, special players. We gave Morris a couple of good looks and he came through for them.”
The Spartans (1-3-0) didn’t take their first shot, a header by Frankie Beauchamp (Sr., MF, San Francisco, Calif.), until the 30th minute and finished the half in an 8-to-2 deficit in that statistic.
“Stanford is prepped to win every battle,” Tobin said. “They’re physically strong and very fit. I thought we came out a bit tentative in the first half. But, toward the last 10 minutes we saw a little shift in momentum and that continued into the second half.”
The Spartans did a better job of taking the game to Stanford in the second 45 minutes out shooting the Cardinal 9-to-8.
In the 51st minute, Greg Harte (Fr., F, Cork, Ireland) blasted a shot from the top of the 18, which went just wide of the diving Stanford keeper Andrew Epstein.
Then, in the 72nd minute, Victor Parra (Jr., F, Central Falls, R.I.) took a pass from Rory Knibbs (So., F, London, England), split two defenders and hammered a shot that Epstein first deflected and then collected to preserve the 1-0 score.
Harte had San José State’s last quality chance. In the 83rd mintute, he powered a shot from 25 yards out which Epstein had to dive to his right and save in order to maintain his clean sheet.
“We generated chances which we should have scored on,” said Tobin. “Their keeper made a great save on Victor’s shot and well as Greg’s. We have good young attackers, but they are just that…young. This game was invaluable for them.”
Stanford added the insurance goal in the 87th minute when Verso assisted on Morris’ first tally of the year.
“On the second score we were chasing the game. In those situations, a quality player like Morris comes through,” Tobin said. “They’re a top-20 team and will end up there by the end of the year. But for us, I thought the second half was some of the most promising stuff we’ve done this year. Forget the score. This was a bonus game for us. We’re focused on conference play. Playing this team on this field is the biggest challenge we will have during the regular season.”
The Spartans offense was led by four shots from Parra, two of which were on goal. Harte had three shots, one on frame. Beauchamp had two shots. Enrique Montano (Sr., D, Salinas, Calif.) and Johnathan Colunga (So., MF, Lindsay, Calif.) had a shot each.
“I think we’re quite close to being a pretty decent team,” said Tobin. “I was really proud of the way we played in the second half. You’re never happy when you lose a game, but I’m pleased with the way we competed. Stanford comes to battle and you have to match that. In the second half we did.
San Jose State returns to action on Friday, September 12 at Sacramento State. Kickoff on Hornet Stadium is set for 4:00 p.m. Live stats will be available at www.sjsuspartans.com.
San Jose State (1-3-0) vs. Stanford (2-1-0)
Date: Sep 06, 2014 Attendance: 836
Weather: 73 degrees, sunny
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
San Jose State...... 0 0 - 0
Stanford............ 1 1 - 2
1. 24:09 STAN Verso, Eric (2) (Morris, Jordan;Edwards, Bobby) - Morris played through. Dropped back to Verso. Bottom left.
2. 86:33 STAN Morris, Jordan (1) (Verso, Eric;Meehan, Slater) - Flick with outside of left foot to Morris in box. Beats far post.
Shots: San Jose State 11, Stanford 16
Saves: San Jose State 3 (Espinoza, Emmanuel 3), Stanford 4 (Epstein,Andrew 4)