Three games, five goals and two game winners. Foster Langsdorf was at it again and the Cardinal men's soccer team continued its unblemished start to the season with a 1-0 win over visiting Northeastern.
Stanford (3-0) has earned wins in its first three matches for the first time since 2002 and did so on Sunday night by battling the Huskies (0-3) to the final whistle.
Langsdorf scored early when Northeastern took a touch too strong that was intercepted by Tanner Beason, who promptly forwarded the ball down the left side to Amir Bashti. Bashti darted into the box, used the outside of his right foot to feed Langsdorf in front and Langsdorf settled and finished for the fifth time already this year.
"Foster surely goes into every game as a marked man and every team is going to hone in on him," Gunn said. "He gets a few extra bruises and a lot more attention, but he's hitting the ball so well and he's working so hard that he's just a handful. Corey (Baird) was out injured today and Amir steps in, plays fantastic and they combine for the goal. If somebody had given a scout and said our two strikers work well together nobody would have known it was a different player in there tonight. Credit to Foster and Amir they kept the team going. We had really exciting chances from great striker combinations."
With five goals in three games, Lansgdorf is on the doorstep of entering the Cardinal record books and with 28 career scores is one shy of tying Roger Levesque (1999-2002) and Jim Talluto (1989-92) for ninth in program history. No Stanford player has reach the 30-goal mark since Giancarlo Ferruzzi (1982-85) scored 32 in the early-to-mid 1980's.
Stanford nailed the post on two occasions and almost found some insurance a number of times, but was never able to deliver the knockout punch. The Huskies nearly equalized in the 76th minute when Harry Swartz dribbled to the top of the box and fired off a shot the was spinning just below the crossbar until Nico Corti parried it away with his right glove for his only save of the game.
In his first three starts, Corti has collected three shutouts and Stanford has extended its streak to over 818 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.
"It was a fantastic strike," Gunn added. "On this type of day when we could have been on two or three but we weren't, if that ball goes in it completely changes the game. Instead it's an unbelievable save and that's what we're looking for out of our players – to make the important plays in the game and Nico certainly did that."
Freshmen created some of Stanford's better opportunities in the second half. True freshman Charlie Wehan wiggled free at the far side of the six and set up Bashti, but his flick skirted wide in the 58th minute. In the 73rd, redshirt freshman Marc Joshua took control from 30-yards away, settled, spun and fired off an attempt with his left that was deflected and ultimately hit the post.
Stanford hadn't started a season with three consecutive shutouts since 2004 and its eight goals through three games are its most since 2002 (10).
"We lapsed in concentration a little bit and it allowed Northeastern to stay in the game," Gunn said. "It wasn't our best performance on the ball, but there were a lot of bright points. We just have to understand that we can't always knock teams out in three rounds. Sometimes we're going to have to keep fighting to the final round. If that's the case, then that's what we'll be ready to do and we succeeded."