The Dons suffered a disappointing 3-0 loss to the No. 11 Stanford Cardinal on Friday, Oct. 24 at Negoesco Stadium.
The match started with both teams struggling to break down the other’s high pressure defense, but after the first fifteen minutes, the Dons became more assertive on the offensive end. The first quality chance of the game fell to senior forward Miguel Aguilar. In the 25th minute, the ball deflected to senior midfielder Taylor Krueger, who laid it off to Aguilar, but the Dons’ potent scorer directed his powerful shot narrowly wide of the goal.
The defining moment of the match occurred just six minutes later, when freshman midfielder Mitchell McPartland was dispossessed by Stanford’s Zach Bateer near the Dons’ goal. Bateer was able to get the ball past USF senior goalkeeper Chase Hauser, but junior defender Joshua Smith stopped the goal from going in with the use of his arm. The result of the play was a Stanford penalty and a red card to Smith. The Cardinal’s Brandon Vincent converted the penalty, and gave his team a lead it would not surrender.
Without the services of Smith, the Dons struggled to cope with playing a man down and were kept on their heels for the remainder of the game. Jimmy Calinan added to Stanford’s lead in the 54th minute when his shot found the net following a nicely placed pass across the goal from Foster Langsdorf. The final goal of the game came in the 70th minute, after the active Bateer played a ball into the box that was received by Jordan Morris, a 2013 All-Pac-12 First Team selection, who took a touch around Hauser and put the ball into an empty net.
This will be a game of what could have been for the Dons, as they were outplaying the favored Cardinal before Smith’s red card changed the course of the game. The loss moves USF to 8-4-2 on the year with five games remaining on the schedule. The Dons’ next contest comes tomorrow, when they travel to Moraga, Calif. to take on St. Mary’s at 3:00 p.m. in a Halloween matinee.