Saturday, October 27, 2007

Men's Basketball Open Scrimmage 10/27/2007

Finally, it's that time of the year again. Basketball is and will always be my favourite college sport and I've been faithfully going to the open scrimmage every year (even last year, when it was way too early for my liking). It's a great time to see the freshmen/transfers play for the first time and see how the returning players look.

Of particular interest was Josh Owens, our only freshman this year. He looked really athletic, exhibiting good rebounding and great shot-blocking ability. He had two big blocks on Law and Fred that had me salivating over his potential. It was also good to see that Brook's suspension had been lifted. He looked pretty rusty in parts and I wish that both he and Robin would attack the basket more instead of settling for shots falling away from the basket.

We sat behind a couple of alums who mentioned that they were in Tuscon for the Arizona football game last week. They were also going to be at the Northwestern, Siena, Oregon and Oregon state games, and were working on the Colorado one as well. Looks like we'll be seeing quite a bit of them on the road!

The second half of the scrimmage was sloppier than the first and Trent had seen enough with about 4.5 minutes left (pretty similar to what happened last year if I recall correctly). This year, however, it didn't end right there. After making them run sprints from baseline to baseline, I was pleased to see them shoot free throws, which I thought was one of our weaknesses last year. Hopefully we're focusing more on free throw shooting this year. Some of the players were pretty winded and badly missed their initial tries.

After the players were done stretching, a group of around 50 little kids descended on the court to take a picture with the team. It was pretty cute.

I was, unfortunately, on the wrong side of the court to get a good picture but if you want to see what it looked like from the back...

All in all, it was great to see the guys on the court. It's a pity there weren't more undergrads but I'm sure the alums and the little kids had a great time. Basketball season is upon us. Hooray!
~ Zhihao

It felt so good to be back in Maples for basketball. Like Zhihao, my heart and soul lie in Stanford basketball, so today felt like a real beginning. It was interesting to see who shined today. Taj and Peter's offensive games looked great, really getting the ball up and finishing it and making good decisions (particularly Taj). Josh Owens was really exciting to watch. Brook looked like he hadn't practiced in a week... which isn't too surprising, but it was also hard for his team to penetrate with the ball so he didn't have much to do (the other team was headed by our starting five until Brook gets back, and they did a much better job). Surprisingly, Landry was completely non-essential from watching game play, and Anthony put the ball up but it just didn't drop. Mitch dropped a couple threes, proving once again that he's capable of shooting if he would take the chance. Our passing looked really sloppy, with three or four passes completely missing their mark or slipping right out of the hands of their recipients. Also consecutive plays with the ball knocked out of bounds by Fred and Taj, who saw a chance for a steal but couldn't finish (with a quite hilarious backslide by Taj for a ball that was way ahead of him). But it's early in the season yet, and we'll learn really fast with four games from Nov 5-11. I'm excited for the season. 9 days!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Softball vs San Jose State 10/25/2007 (Fall Game #1)

San Jose St. 5 5 0
Stanford 4 11 0

Lineup (10 batting)- Alissa Haber CF, Tricia Aggabao not in field, Maddy Coon SS, Rosey Neill C, Michelle Smith 3B, Shannon Koplitz 2B, Missy Penna P, Melisa Koutz 1B, Michelle Schroeder RF, Anna Beardman LF

This was the first of 3 fall games for the softball team in the upcoming weeks. As such it wasn't completely by the rules. Both teams batted 10 players and were allowed to sub and re-enter as they wished with runners. There were a fair number of Stanford parents there, and SJSU also had a sizable contingent of people. I believe this was the first live action for San Jose State as well, and it showed during the game. Both teams were a little rusty in the circle, and we made 2-3 baserunning mistakes that ended up being the difference in the game.

We pitched Missy to start and she went 4 1/3 and gave up 2 hits and 1 run. I believe she had 4-5 K's and probably 4-5 BB as well. She also had a couple of HBPs that came on an 0-2 count and a 1-2 count. Becky pitched the final 2 2/3. She threw OK, but in the end it wasn't enough to hold of SJSU in the last couple of innings. They strung together a couple hits and had two runners score on a bloop hit between Alissa and Anna.

Our hitting will likely be our strength again this year, and we did fairly well against SJSU's pitching. I don't know how much live pitching they've seen thus far, so there's not too much to be taken just yet. The spring will be looking for progress and improvement from game to game. We hit the ball well, we just could have used a couple more timely hits(just like last year). Baserunning slipped twice, which I'm sure Coach wasn't thrilled about. Once was Shannon getting picked off of second base by the catcher. The other was more of a mistake of aggression with Autumn getting thrown out at home trying to score on a wild pitch that ricocheted back to the catcher on a line and then Shannon(I think) was thrown out trying to make it to 3rd during the play.

We lost Lindsay Key and Jackie Rinehart from last year, and judging from the roster and what I saw tonight, Lauren Nydam didn't return to the team this year. We picked up 5 freshmen and Melisa is already starting for now. It may be until Erin's knee is better or she may find her way into the starting lineup like Shannon did last year. We also used Autumn as a pinch runner a couple of times as well. Time will tell on the other three, but I'm sure they'll see time at some time during the season. The final two games are Sunday November 4th starting at 10 am. There will probably be more observations from those two games due to there being more game time and another week of practice.

Inside Stanford Sports: Gordon Biersch 10/24/2007

Starved from Cardinal sports action with most of our teams on the road, we headed to Gordon Biersch on Wednesday to catch the weekly call-in radio show. It was our second time there (the first had been after the USC game). I should add that we're not fairweather radio show fans but just couldn't make it last week!

With Game 1 of the World Series going on, GB was much more crowded than previously. This time, the interview tables were set up in the main restaurant section as opposed to the bar, which was overflowing with Red Sox Fans. We recognised a couple of folks from last time who we figure are Bootleg stalwarts. The Bootleg is a website recognised as the Unathorized Authority on Cardinal Sports and has great analysis, breaking news and discussion on anything Stanford sports related. We've worked out something with The Bootleg where we post these blog entries on their forums.

Alex Fletcher and Chris Marinelli were the two players being interviewed (Tavita and Bradford were the obvious choice after the USC game) and were milling around GB while Harbaugh on the air. Fletch came up and introduced himself to us. Marinelli followed shortly after. We chatted with Fletch about the USC game and how Corvallis and Washington State were difficult to travel to. He thanked us for the support. Nice guy.

We finally got a table as Fletch and Marinelli went on air as Harbaugh left GB. Haven't had a chance to talk to him yet but I definitely plan to thank him for making senior year of football worhtwhile (no matter what the outcome is) at some point. Fletch and Marinelli were entertaining. The O-line and their coaches definitely deserve credit for the dramatic turnaround from last year. The right side (Fletch and Marinelli's side) has being doing its thing and hopefully the line can stay healthy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Women's Soccer vs USC 10/21/2007

Stanford 1 USC 1 (OT)
It was yet another gorgeous Sunday afternoon. The temperature was perfect and there was not a cloud in the sky. I decided to sit in the main section today since 1) it has a better view of the field and 2) the student section was pretty empty when I got there at kick-off. I guess it must be a thing with Sunday afternoons (people getting over their Saturday night hangovers or having work to do). To be fair, the student section did have a decent number of students when I walked by during half time.

I ended up standing directly behind the broadcaster for KZSU. It sounded like he was doing a good job. I had to make an effort not to be too vocal since I'm sure his microphone was picking up background sound. There was a fair contingent of vocal USC fans - mostly family I assume. I wished I had worn my Stanford vs USC Greatest Upset Ever football shirt and was happy to see at least one in the crowd.

We started out the game well, dominating much of the possession. As the half progressed, however, USC started being more physical and we seemed to lose our offensive flow. I don't know if it's something to worry about but in the past two games we just haven't been able to put in the final touch or shot that seemed to come more readily in our previous ones. When Lizzy George scored off a nice set piece at the end of the half, it was a huge momentum booster but not completely indicative of our play (we were out-shot by USC 8-3 in the first half).

During half time, I happened to be standing beside Allison Falk's mum and overheard that her family was preparing for the upcoming Arizona trip. I'm not sure if they were driving or flying but if they were driving, that's a pretty long road trip! I guess we're not the only ones who go to great lengths to watch sports, but then again, they have much more of a vested interest in the games than us.

In the second half, USC brought on the pressure and looked like the team more likely to score. Kira made a great point blank save which gave me hope that we might hang on to a 1-0 win but tiring legs and a relentless USC attack gave them the equalizer. We had one last chance as the final seconds ticked down but the finish was not there. Overtime was much of the same and objectively speaking, 1-1 was a fair result. Hopefully we'll perform better in Arizona.
~ Zhihao

Friday, October 19, 2007

Women's Soccer vs UCLA 10/19/2007

Stanford 0 UCLA 2
The Upper 90 Student section was a sea of red. I was surprised that we had that many student fans. They hadn't shown up during the Cal game last Sunday but then again, you don't usually get to see the top two teams in the nation play each other during the regular season in any sport. It was also a Friday night and there weren't that many sporting events going on. All in all, it was a great turn out.

There was a group of middle school girls from Menlo seated in front of us with their soccer coach. Their assignment was to write down the formation that Stanford was playing and the position of each player. Extra credit would be given if they did the same for UCLA. As Albert commented, our midfield and forwards drop in and out of different formations with regularity so it was no easy task. The best homework submission would receive a prize. I was pretty amused.

As for the game, we looked out of sorts and just couldn't seem to hold onto possession or make that final pass or touch whenever we strung together a nice build up. The penalty we conceded was one of those 50-50 calls and the second goal an uncharacteristic mistake. Full credit to UCLA for their aggressive play and good ball possession. Hopefully we can bounce back against USC on Sunday.
~ Zhihao

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Women's Soccer vs Cal 10/14/2007

Stanford 4 Cal 2

Originally scheduled for Friday, this game was postponed because of rain. It worked out well for us because its Friday start time clashed with the volleyball game and we would have chosen volleyball insetad. We all know how volleyball turned out...

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and there were a number of Cal fans (I would guess mostly family). They must be feeling terrible after their football team gave away the game against Oregon State last night, losing the chance to be the number one ranked team in the nation. Too bad for them.

The game started with a bang when Ali Riley scored her first goal of the season just over a minute into the game. Kira Maker (our goalie) made a pivotal point blank save to preserve our 1-0 lead before we reeled off 3 straight goals. Our third goal was a spectacular swerving drive by Lizzy George which brought her cheering section to their feet. The fourth was through what I thought was a questionably-awarded penalty kick. If only we had this ref against Santa Clara.

Cal scored 2 late goals but the result was never really in doubt. I'm definitley looking forward to the games next week against UCLA (#1 this week) and USC.
~ Zhihao

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Football vs TCU 10/13/2007

Stanford 36 TCU 38

Would the momentum from the win against USC carry over or would we suffer a letdown? It was a gorgeous sunny day and with it being Homecoming weekend, there was a tailgate for the students. The food was decent but the beer they promised us sadly didn't materialise. The tailgate was also supposed to last till 2:30 when kick off was at 2! Outside the stadium, the 6th man club (basketball student section) was promoting an event next Saturday inside Maples. I like how they're having more of these events (there was the White Plaza thing as well) even if the men's basketball team is probably the last team that needs it. Speaking of them, "midnight madness" happened last night at Cal State Stanislaus.

There was a decent sized contingent of purple-clad TCU fans in the stands. Quite an impressive road trip if they made it all the way here from Texas. This time, however, they weren't in the usual visitor's corner diagonally across from us but in the corner on our side. I have to say that their horned frog mascot (Superfrog) looked pretty lame. The band was reinforced by alums and their sheer numbers were impressive although the older cheerleaders got a chuckle from the students in the first few rows. As is the Stanford tradition for sporting events, seats only really filled up 5 minutes before kick off. One cool thing was the Captain Comeback Corner by the player entrance area:

When the game started, Pritchard and his receiving corps looked tentative with one overthrown ball, which would have led to a TD on the first play from scrimmage, and several drops. The defense brought its usual bend but do no break scheme and when Prithcard finally settled down and Harbaugh went for it on 4th down, the throw to Sherman was clutch and on the money. From that point onwards, we looked great offensively except for the series when TC inexplicably came in and took 2 sacks after holding onto the ball for too long when we were in good field position. I couldn't see where Pritchard was during that series. He looked fine prior to it though. Defense and those face mask penalties were another story though.

Half time brought on a massive LJSUMB show which was ok but by no means a home run. The Class of 1957 took the field too. Without a doubt, the best part was the highlights from the USC game:

The second half started off well too and the offense looked great. When we took a 14 point lead, the thought of how big a win this could be crossed my mind. It was clearly premature as we couldn't quite recover that kick off fumble and our defense failed to get a stop for what seemed like the entire half. That one face mask penalty on what turned out to be TCU's game winning drive seemed pretty questionable to me. At the end of the day, Tavita couldn't quite manufacture another miracle comeback even though he gave it a good run. It appeared to me that the O-line just couldn't buy him that extra time in the second half, after looking great in the first.

A win would have been huge and made a bowl seem very possible but at least our offense looked good (and we don't even have Toby Gerhart back yet). Hopefully we'll get him for Oregon State and at the very least, Washington at home. As for our defense, I guess we can't expect to play against Booty every week.
~ Zhihao

Friday, October 12, 2007

Women's Vball vs Washington 10/12/2007

Stanford 2 Washington 3 As I made my way to Maples, there was some light rain. It briefly crossed my mind that this Seattle-like weather could be an ominous sign. I was informed that Washington had lost in 5 to Cal the previous night, preventing our game from being a battle of the unbeatens. Good thing too - otherwise Washington would have sole posession of first place in the Pac-10.

I was initially pretty disappointed with the turnout (seeing as this would probably be our last big Pac-10 home game) but students slowly trickled in and attendance was significantly better than the previous night. By the end of the first game, the Block party section was pretty packed and the atmosphere was great with alumni back for Homecoming. A group of former Cardinal volleyball greats were also honoured during half time.

The refereeing was rather suspect in the first two games with several botched calls and harsh double hit calls on Bryn. Dunning was so upset that he received a yellow card. I don't think any of us had seen that happen before. It seemed that we got off to a great start in each of the first 4 games only to have Washington battle back thanks to service errors and terrible passing on our part as well as inspired defense by Washington. When we needed a strong start in the 5th, we just weren't able to string points together even though the opportunities were there.

Oh well, we're no longer undefeated. We might even drop down to #3 in the polls. I think it'll be a good wake up call for us to address certain aspects of our play. Plus, we won't have the pressure of maintaining an unbeaten record. We should be alright.
~ Zhihao

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Women's Vball vs Washington St 10/11/2007

Stanford 3 Washington State 0 Still unbeaten after the Oregon road trip, Stanford came back to the friendly confines of Maples to face a team that was 0-5 in the Pac-10. Needless to say, there wasn't much of a build up for the game and it was reflected in the poor fan turnout. I counted about 30 students in the block party section and probably another 30 in seats. There were no signs for the freshmen this time although Cassidy appeared to have some of her dorm-mates in the Block Party section.

As I'm sure Albert will touch on, our play wasn't that inspired and it was a very sloppy game. We definitely need to be firing on all cylinders against an unbeaten Washington team tomorrow. Hopefully there will be more fan support with it being Friday and all.
~ Zhihao

Washington State is not a good team. Unfortunately, we decided to play down to their level instead of blowing them completely out of the gym like we should have. Or maybe we did? This was one of the most boring volleyball games I've been to in my time at Stanford. I remember telling Zhihao I wouldn't have much to say about this game, and I'm going to hold to that. We did have a good number of aces in this game, even though many them were due to poor serve receive on Wazzu's part. If we play like we played tonight, we will have trouble against UW.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Football @ USC 10/6/2007

Stanford 24 USC 23

As our first real road trip approached (Cal doesn't count), my friends thought I was nuts. We had just gotten blown out at home by Arizona State and were going to be slaughtered by the Trojans. I didn't disagree with their sentiments either, especially as the point spread rose from 37.5 to 41 points after TC's seizure. But as I commented to everyone who would listen, it was the Coliseum. This was senior year. When would I ever have the chance to see us play the #1 team in the nation? Besides, USC was such a storied program and the Coliseum, a tremendous sporting venue. Was there a part of me that actually thought that we could win? I'd say no but maybe it's one of those things where your subconscious doesn't want to entertain the possibility of something that sounds so irrationally far-fetched that it makes you sound silly.

We rented a car from Enterprise and embarked on the long drive around 9am. We arrived in the USC vicinity around 3. It was highly appropriate that the first person in Stanford colours we saw was Stanford super fan Cliff. For those of you who don't know Cliff, he is a constant fixture at all Stanford sporting events and leads the cheers at the "smaller" ones such as soccer, water polo and tennis. He was also there with Albert at last year's women's volleyball Final 4 in Nebraska. Already, our trip was off to a good start.

We found parking on the top floor of a multi-storey parking garage. Not knowing where exactly the Coliseum was, we followed the crowd and very soon, the difference between Stanford and a football school became apparent to me. Almost everyone was wearing USC jerseys/colours and students were tailgating in their version of White Plaza. It was a fun environment to be in and since Stanford and USC colours are pretty similar, we blended right in. I even had some USC fans ask me to take a picture for them (I naturally obliged), only realising that I was a Stanford fan after the shot was taken. I also noticed a girl wearing a T-shirt which specifically referenced the USC vs. Stanford game. I found it rather odd that they would even acknowledge the game. Upon closer scrutiny, I realised that our game fell during Greek Week. I'm sure those shirts won't be worn again.

It was still half an hour till kick-off and I had a ticket to sell. A friend from the Class '07 had asked me to get a ticket for him, but something came up at work. Talk about bad timing. There were fewer scalpers than I expected and for some reason, no one was buying. That was unfortunate. As we first entered the stadium, we saw some players' parents (The Shermans, Maynors and Lorigs). There were many more in the stands. After some initial confusion, we made it to our nose bleed seats all the way in the corner. They were the worst in the stadium and described by an alum as "near Palm Springs". Here's the view of the field from our seats:

The Stanford contingent was sizable. There were players' friends and family, alums with their kids, the band and most impressive of all, 50 or so current Stanford students. That was great to see. The pre-game festivities involved Navy Seals (I think) parachuting and landing on the field. I thought it was a tad excessive, especially with one of them holding a Trojan banner, but I guess it's one of those American displays of patriotism.

Even though we were in the visitor's section, there were numerous Trojan fans around us. As the game started, one became increasingly obnoxious. He was wearing one of those red and white football jerseys (he had number 56) and was talking trash even when USC was just up 3-0. He also had one of those crazed stares and every time USC made a big play, he would turn around, indicate for the band to be silent, and stare at us with crazy eyes. I found it rather amusing when he started a premature TD celebration when the USC player stepped out of bounds at the 2, and was talking trash to us with his back towards the field when the extra point was blocked. That's not to say that we didn't have obnoxious fans as well. The whole we have lives outside of football and are going to be successful in life spiel came up when we were down 0-9. I thought one graduate took it too far when he said repeatedly: "I'm 22 and make $100,000 a year." He might have been drunk, but seriously?

The goal-line stand at the end of the first half definitely fired up our section of the stadium and the band's half time show, where they introduced the great schools in Southern California (UCLA, CSUN, UC Riverside) but left out USC and also referenced OJ's connection to the school, kept the spirits up. I enjoyed their exit where the announcer's comment of please boo if you truly enjoyed our performance was met by a chorus of boos. USC re-creation of "The Play", complete with people dressed up as LSJUMB members, initially struck me as clever but now that someone mentioned it, I'm pretty sure they've done it before.

With fears of a second half defensive collapse entering my mind, the 3 and out was a great way to start the half. The subsequent pick 6 - even better. Even if we lost, it would be respectable. And that was more than I had hoped for before driving down. The bend but try not to break defense was holding its own and Booty didn't look good at all. I can't say when I believed that we had a chance. Deep down I'm sure I entertained the thought, but I had seen us come close with no cigar so many times that I didn't want to get my hopes up only to have them dashed. A win in the Coliseum where USC hadn't lost in 6 years would have been colossal, but hadn't we felt that way when we were on the verge of beating USC at home 3 years ago, Notre Dame 2 years ago and made a game of it against Cal last year?

That final drive was the stuff of legends. I don't know how the players felt, but as a fan it was almost paralysing to watch with the penalties, the 4th downs, the catches and the replays. Just when you felt that everything was slipping away and the dream of beating USC crumbling to the ground, a spectacular play completely re-energised you, only to have it reviewed for what seemed like an eternity. Bradford's catch, it's a blur. The joy, the excitement, the disbelief, the lengthy review, the fear that we would miss the extra point and even then, the fear of special teams coverage and the time remaining on the clock.

When the flag was thrown for a face mask on the return, I felt sick. Would we give the game away? How could we after that amazing drive? The sack made me feel better. The poor throw on 3rd down was a relief. The interception - pure unbridled joy. Friends have asked me what it was like in the Coliseum. How did the USC fans react. I have no idea. It was pure bedlam in the Stanford section. I was soaking in and celebrating the historic moment too much to notice USC fans. All I remember was having an alum standing behind us take our picture. He then asked me to take a picture for him and gave me his business card so I could e-mail it to him:
Another alum did the same. Both were at the game with their kids. I can't imagine what type of a bonding moment it must be to experience such a momentous occasion with your kid; to be able to look back one day and say you were with your dad at the Stanford vs. USC upset. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be a players' parent, knowing all they had gone through to reach this moment. All I know was that it was without a doubt, the greatest sporting moment of my life.

As the Coliseum emptied, Albert and I stayed on and partied with the band as they played through a repertoire of songs. The drum major, who was outfitted in a penguin costume, considered rushing the field but was promptly stopped by stadium security who seemed intent on confining the band to their corner of the stadium. Some students tried to rush the field as well but I don't think they were successful. It was especially satisfying to see the forlorn Trojan band leave the stadium before us. As one of the last people to leave the stadium, we didn't encounter many USC fans or hear many reactions. We did pass by some folks who were watching the LSU-Florida game on a plasma TV. When we asked for the score, they were nice enough to congratulate us on the win and wish us a safe drive back. Pretty classy after experiencing your first loss in 6 years.

The parking garage was a nightmare to get out of. We had hoped that people would have cleared out by the time we got back but that was not to be. It took just under an hour to leave and people were getting increasingly frustrated by the lengthy waiting time. Winning cures everything though, and Albert and I listened to a post-game show, which involved a tremendous amount of Carroll bashing. It was a nice change from the pre-game show where there had been much Harbaugh mocking.

Throughout the night, we received reports on the campus craziness and plans for greeting the football team outside Maples. People who I would not have expected to go, attended the event. It was amazing. Phone calls and the euphoric state we were in sustained us through the long drive back (Thanks for driving, Albert). We finally got back around 3:15AM and briefly contemplated driving past Maples, but figured that the party would have long moved to somewhere else. And that was it. Not bad for our first road trip. To think that this whole odyssey started one day when we decided that we should do something special for our senior year of Stanford sports. Thank you Jim Harbaugh and Stanford football. The ride has only just begun!
~ Zhihao

Trip Stats
Game time: 3.6 hr
On the Road: 14.9 hr
Miles travelled: 724 miles
Total cost: $233.20
Result: Priceless win

We Were There

Wow. It's the morning after our 18 hr road trip and highly improbable victory. I feel a mix of disbelief and jubilation. It's like waking up from a dream. I definitely realised the enormity of the moment during those tense closing minutes and after the game, but coming back and reading about the craziness that ensued on campus and the national headlines we made, it's pretty hard to fathom that we were there for one of those history-in-the-making moments. During the half time show when USC re-created "The Play" against Cal, a Stanford alum told his daughter that he was there. This game will be part of Stanford folk lore. We were there!

As a member of the class of 08, it's especially satisfying after experiencing 3 disappointing seasons. It feels like we've come full circle - from almost upsetting USC at home during freshman Orientation (a victory that I would not have fully appreciated since I had just come to the US and it was my first ever football game) to doing the unthinkable, senior year. Albert commented after the game that the win completely validated his Stanford football experience. I can't say that I've shared his fervour for Stanford football throughout these 4 years, but this win will be remembered and treasured dearly.

A detailed recap of our usual observations and comments will follow but we're still savouring the moment and getting some much needed sleep!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Women's Soccer vs Santa Clara 10/5/2007

Stanford 0 Santa Clara 0
Judging from the number of Santa Clara supporters during the Stanford Invitational a couple of weeks ago, I expected a decent turnout. I never expected the game to sell out with many students relegated to watching it from outside the stadium. Depsite the chilly night, many of them stayed till the end. Of the many Santa Clara fans in attendance, there were a couple who were especially boisterous. That is what makes college games so much fun.

The game itself was probably the most exciting, yet frustrating goal-less draw. We created so many chances, hit the post so many times and failed to get some 60-40 penalty kick calls. What heartened me the most was that we thoroughly outplayed the #5 team in the nation (which at one point was #1). Santa Clara came in with a defensive mindset and seemed to be clinging on for a goal-less draw the entire game. We created great chances but just couldn't seem to finish. That hasn't been a problem in previous games so I'm not too worried.
~ Zhihao