Stanford's five-match winning streak was snapped Thursday night when a pair of late goals snapped a tie and gave third-ranked Washington a 3-1 victory in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams.
It was a cruel turn of events for the Cardinal (5-2-1, 0-1-0 Pac-12), which, despite falling behind in the 11th minute against the run of play, had controlled the action much of the night, outshooting Washington, 19-12, and tying the match in the 65th minute on Matt Taylor's first collegiate goal.
"On another night I think if we'd won 3-1 I doubt there would be anybody questioning the result, really," Gunn said. "But that's what's important about soccer. We were first in so many categories, created good chances but it's about scoring goals."
The Huskies regained the advantage following a corner kick in the 77th minute.
Darwin Jones swung his kick into the box, where Taylor Peay got his head to it at the far post and bounced it past Drew Hutchins for the go-ahead goal.
The Cardinal made another push forward, but Jones, who had two assists, put the match away in the 87th minute with a blast on the counterattack.
Stanford looks to rebound on Sunday, when Oregon State comes to town for a 3 p.m. contest, to be aired on the Pac-12 Network.
The Beavers lost, 3-1, to top-ranked California on Thursday.
Hutchins drew a yellow card when he questioned whether Washington's Steven Wright had a hand ball before striking it into the net during the 11th minute.
Stanford shook it off and took control of the contest. Aaron Kovar sent a cross into the six-yard box that found Jordan Morris all alone with the goal at his mercy but the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week's header bounced down and hard over the crossbar three minutes later.
JJ Koval forced a save from UW goalkeeper Ryan Herman two minutes later, and in the 22nd minute Brandon Vincent's header missed just wide.
Shots from Koval, Jimmy Callinan and Ty Thompson didn't find the mark before the half-hour, and in the 38th minute Kovar's effort was saved by Herman.
Morris nearly scored a tying goal 18 seconds into the second half, firing a low shot that beat Herman but went just wide past the far post.
Additional Cardinal efforts went wide over the next few minutes, and just past the hour mark Vincent headed Kovar's corner kick just wide.
The persistent Cardinal attack paid a dividend after a Huskies' foul gave the Cardinal a free kick about 40 yards out and to the right of goal.
Kovar's cross was perfectly taken to the far post where Taylor, whose older sister Lindsay Taylor was a standout at Stanford, ran unmarked to the spot and headed it home.
"We create great chances, but again, I think we can do better," Gunn said. "The ball's going to be played across the face of goal. It's nothing tactical at that point, it's about courage and getting your head on the end of it. We just have to keep that determination, of all the great stuff we've been playing it's about throwing a body on the ball."
Thompson blistered the hands of Herman in the 70th minute and Morris fired high five minutes later.
Hutchins did well to redirect a close-range shot from Jones at the near post and the Cardinal defense cleared out the resulting corner kick.
The next corner kick, though, proved decisive for Washington, which plays at California on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Senior Felicia Lee and junior Maddy Schaefer each won two events to help Stanford to a 147-104 victory over visiting Washington State on Thursday.
"I thought it was nice to have Washington State here," Cardinal coach Greg Meehan said. "We're excited about bringing them into the rotation and really appreciate that. It was good to get conference racing underway."
Stanford swimmers won the first 10 races, led by Lee in the 200 free (1:49.82) and the 50 free (23.55).
Schaefer earned wins in the 100 back (55.13) and 100 free (50.33). Five other Cardinal swimmers contributed victories. Stanford opened the meet by taking the top three spots in the 200 medley relay.
"Our 1,000 and 500 swimmers did a good job of splitting their races," Meehan said. "Those who struggled with their details last week were much better. It's good progress and I hope that they can appreciate what we are trying to do and trying to accomplish."
Senior Andie Taylor cruised to a win in the 1,000 free in 9:57.89 and sophomore Julia Anderson posted Stanford's top time in the 500 (4:57.95), although it was an exhibition.
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