Stanford, CA –
Ninth-ranked Stanford shut out #13 Clemson 2-0 (14-5-3) Saturday evening in the NCAA Tournament Round of Eight in front of 2,180 fans at Stanford, CA. The game was played on slick surface at a chilly and humid Maloney Field. It was also the first meeting between the two schools.
Stanford (17-4-2) nearly scored when Taylor Graham’s header off a corner kick just missed near post in the seventh minute. Two minutes later, Chad Marshall headed a corner kick that a Tiger defender saved from going into the net.
The Cardinal broke through with the game’s first goal off a corner kick. Johanes Maliza’s corner kick was headed in by Roger Levesque, his sixth goal of the season, at the 23:20 mark.
Maliza then got into the goal-scoring column at the 31:48 mark when he fired a shot from 15 yards out passed Tiger keeper Doug Warren. The goal was Maliza’s eighth of the season and came just off center of the box. Matt Janusz was credited with an assist. Stanford out-shot Clemson 8-0 in the first half and 11-3 in the match.
The Tigers mustered a scoring chance in the 56th minute. Dimelon Westfield fed the ball into the middle to Brett Branan, whose shot from 14 yards center-out dribbled wide left. Paul Souder’s shot in the center in the 88th minute that was deflected wide by a diving Robby Fulton was the second of Clemson’s three shots in the game.
Stanford advances to the Final Four at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, TX. The Cardinal will face the Boston College-Creighton winner on Friday, December 13 at either 5:00 or 8:00 PM EST. The Cardinal last played in the Final Four in 2001, losing to eventual national champion North Carolina in the semi-finals.
The Round of Eight appearance for Clemson is the fourth in eight seasons under Head Coach Trevor Adair. However, the Tigers have not advanced to the Final Four since 1987, when the Tigers won their second national championship.
Clemson (14-5-3) 0 0 = 0
Stanford (17-4-2) 2 0 = 2
Scorers Stanford – Roger Levesque at 23:20, assist to Johanes Maliza
Stanford – Johanes at Maliza at 31:48, assist to Matt Janusz
Saves Clemson – Doug Warren 5 Stanford – Robby Fulton 2
Shots Clemson 3 Stanford 11
Clemson Head Coach Trevor Adair
“I would like to congratulate Stanford. They played a great game tonight. They deserved to win and were a very good team. I would be surprised if they didn’t win the whole thing. They are the best team that we played all year.” “I don’t think we gave ourselves a chance. We played a lot better in the second half, but for some reason we got intimidated and scared, and didn’t play. I’m disappointed in that. But part is that was Stanford.” “The team showed a lot of character in the second half. We never died. I’m disappointed for the seniors not being able to go to the Final Four and being able to compete for the national championship. But we didn’t deserve it tonight. Things didn’t bounce our way because Stanford made things go their way.” “I think we were worried about giving up a set-piece and we got too stretched with our backs too far back. We adjusted in the second half and did a lot better job.”
Clemson Head Coach Trevor Adair on travel
“I think not being at home was a factor. If this game was at home, it would be a different game and a better chance. This is a good environment. It was a good field on a good night…no excuses. Both teams had to play on the pitch. We just never really got it going. But our travel had nothing to do with it.”
Clemson Head Coach Trevor Adair on Stanford
“They are well organized. They’ve got athleticism, size, and a playing style that suits them. They eliminate the midfield and then battle. They have good enough players all the way around that all know their role. They have depth off the bench. They were much bigger than we were. They are a big set-piece type team. They will be very difficult to beat; they do not beat themselves. You have to find a way to get around their big guys in the back.” “We possessed the ball and knocked it around, but we just didn’t get around them enough on the flank because we weren’t connected. Our game plan was to get an outside fullback around the back and get some splits, but we didn’t do it because they were too far back. In the second half, we played with just two in the back, and they never scored. If we had played like that in the first half, things may have been different. We just didn’t have the numbers to create anything.” “I told them at halftime that I didn’t care if we lose 10-0, but we better go out after the half and at least give ourselves a chance to win the game. They are definitely the best team we saw all year, in the conference or out of conference. They’re good. We just got beat by a team that was more physical.” “We felt confident coming into the game that we could play with them. We watched some video. When they ran at us, we gave the ball away. They closed us down. When we did switch it to the opposite side, they shifted really well. We just didn’t have the numbers once we switched it.”
Clemson Head Coach Trevor Adair on the Tiger seniors
“I’m disappointed for the seniors. Doug (Warren) didn’t have a great first half but played outstanding in the second half after he settled down. Dimelon (Westfield), who scored 20 goals this season, never got on track tonight. He gave us a big lift this year.” “I’m disappointed for Oskar (Bringsved). He battled his heart out. Fabio (Tambosi) along with all of them are special kids. They’ve meant a lot to the program.”
Clemson Forward Dimelon Westfield
“The Stanford defense has a lot of big guys in the back. Every time I got the ball, they had three for four men on me. The defense did a good job of keeping us in front of them and not letting us go behind them. That was a big plus for them.”
Clemson Goalkeeper Doug Warren on the second Stanford goal
“I got screened by one of our defenders on the shot. I felt I was in good position, but I never saw the ball. He noticed that I was screened. By the time I picked it up, it was by me.”
Stanford Head Coach Bret Simon
“We are playing as well as we have all year. We defeated a great Clemson team. We have met all the challenges this year, and I think we are a better team than we were a month ago. We have been a work in progress. We are maybe a notch better this year than last year.”
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