MSOC I Gaels Win in Double OT at Stanford

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Saint Mary's Men's Soccer Team won a thriller at Stanford on Monday night in the 106th minute on Philippe Van der Lof's game-winning goal. A corner kick from Riley Lynch was handled by Jayden Smileski who fed Van der Lof on the left side of the net and he banged it home from seven yards out. The Gaels stormed the field and mobbed the senior from Waalwijk, Netherlands after the sudden death victory for the program's first win against the Cardinal.

The Gaels faced an early onslaught from the Stanford Cardinal in the first 15 minutes of the match that would make the shutout by Saint Mary's that much more impressive in the end. The defense did just enough to stop the Cardinal opportunities with Christian Engmann breaking up Stanford crosses all night long and the Cardinal fired high or wide a couple of times early in the game.
After withstanding the initial punches from Stanford, the Gaels were still standing and slowly but surely began to find their footing and take the game to Stanford as they possessed the ball more than the Cardinal from the 25th minute on. Bourdanné Ngongfor used his speed to create opportunities for his teammates with some good runs. The Gaels generated four shots, with one on goal in the first half, and created a couple of corner opportunities before going into the break tied nil-nil.

Stanford's best scoring chance came in the 59th minute but keeper Nicholas Lapinid was up to the task with a diving stop to his right. Lapinid gathered another shot in the 63rd minute cradling it safely in the six-yard box on the way to his second 1-0 shutout of the season.
In the 67th minute Smileski put a scare into the Cardinal as he fired one from the right side back across to the left that trickled just wide of the net. Just three minutes later, Lynch turned on the speed and fired a left-footed shot at the top of the box that the Stanford keeper corralled after a diving out to make the save.
The Gael's best opportunity before the game winner came in the 77th minute, as Cade Cowen intercepted a pass and raced in on goal to fire a rocket that required a brilliant, diving save at point-blank range by the Stanford keeper to thwart the Gaels breakaway shot.
Lapinid handled a header in the 80th minute for the Cardinal's last shot on goal in regulation, and in the the first overtime Ngongfor set up Lynch for a header of his own that drifted just wide in the 97th minute.
But the second overtime belonged to the Gaels from the get go with multiple opportunities and pressure from the Saint Mary's side. And in the 106th minute the Gaels broke through for the game winner to improve to 7-3 on the season.

The Gaels will begin conference play at home on Saturday, October 2 at 1 p.m. against the University of Portland at Saint Mary's Stadium. The team will honor their alumni and have a special section available for the former Gaels players.

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