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Heartbreaker: Washington falls short of Pac-12 title in overtime loss to Stanford

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Heartbreaker: Washington falls short of Pac-12 title in overtime loss to Stanford

Ryan Crowley tumbles after getting fouled during Washington's game against Cal on April 3, 2021. Washington fell on the final day of the Pac-12 regular season in a 1-0 overtime loss to Stanford. 

With the Pac-12 title on the line, the No. 6 Washington men’s soccer team fell short, suffering a 1-0 defeat to No. 8 Stanford in overtime.

Although the match was highlighted by strong defensive structure, the Cardinal (9-2-1, 7-2-1 Pac-12) produced the pivotal attacking moment, scoring a dramatic winner in the 97th minute. Stanford forward Zach Ryan got the final touch as he saw his header beat Sam Fowler in the UW goal. Ryan came off the bench to score, only playing for 47 minutes of the match. The goal secured the Pac-12 title for Stanford and denied Washington of a second consecutive title. 

A tough physical battle between two of the Pac-12’s best teams was characterized by a total of 30 fouls, 17 from the Huskies (10-3-0, 7-3-0 Pac-12) and 13 from the Cardinal. The game’s deciding goal was the result of one of those fouls, with Stanford taking advantage of a free-kick to score the winner. This was the second time the Huskies have gone to overtime this season and their first loss in the extended period.

Washington, coming off a five-goal performance in their previous match, failed to find an offensive spark. The Huskies only created five shots with none of them hitting the target, their lowest total this season. For comparison, Stanford had 12 shots with three of those testing the UW goal. Saturday’s match marked only the second time this season the Huskies have been shut out.

Although Washington failed to secure the Pac-12 title, the Huskies will likely get a chance to redeem themselves in the NCAA Tournament. After an impressive season, ranking within the nation’s top-10 teams throughout, the UW will look to produce a deep tournament run.

The tournament is scheduled to start April 29, 2021 in Cary, North Carolina. Selection for the tournament is scheduled for Monday, April 19.

Reach reporter Luka Kučan at Twitter: @luka_kucan

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