WEST POINT, N.Y. Tunji Munabi’s goal in the 70th minute Sunday lifted visiting Stanford to a 2-1 victory over Army at West Point’s Clinton Field under beautiful skies, comfortable temperatures and a cool fall breeze.
Munabi gathered in a nifty little back-heel flick from teammate Evan Morgan and wheeled off a blast into the lower left-hand corner of the net from 10 yards away that broke a 1-1 tie almost midway through the second half. It didn’t take long for Munabi to make his presence felt. The sophomore midfielder had just subbed into the match a little more than one minute earlier.
Stanford (1-2-1) applied the pressure on Army’s goal after a restart and Morgan was able to cradle a loose ball in the area and find Munabi with his defender on his back hip set up in the middle. The goal was the first of the season for Munabi and proved to be the game-winner.
The Black Knights (0-3-1) had tied the contest six minutes before halftime. John Borland played a long ball to defender Daniel Newell, who got in behind the defense and beat Stanford’s goalkeeper one-on-one for his first career goal. The play was something that Army had been preparing in anticipation for Stanford.
“Great ball,” Army head coach Kurt Swanbeck commented. “Probably the best ball we have hit all year. We talked about that in the locker room before the game. We wanted to look for that back midfielder on a back-post run, and it worked like a charm.”
Stanford snapped a 297-minute scoreless streak on the season with its first goal of the campaign just seven minutes into the game. Bret Shimizu corralled a cross in the top right-hand corner of the penalty area and pushed the ball over to teammate Michael Brown, who was able to bury his shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net past a diving John-Michael Gallogly of Army. The Cardinal were shot out in their first two contests of the season and played Princeton to a 0-0 overtime tie on Friday before invading West Point.
“That first goal was really important,” Stanford head coach Bret Simon said. “We’ve suffered some injuries up front.
“But to Army’s credit, they didn’t let us get on a roll. The fact that they were able to withstand that initial goal and gain a lot of momentum heading into halftime showed a lot about their character.”
Army retaliated with many more opportunities on the afternoon. However, a second goal could not be found.
“We were just off on some of our touches,” Swanbeck said. “But other than that, I think we were right there in the game with them. We have actually outplayed a couple of our opponents and lost. But the important thing is that we are creating opportunities. We aren’t waiting. We are going out and getting our goals.”
Stanford keeper John Moore recorded two saves, as did Gallogly for the Black Knights.
Army returns to action on Friday night when Iona visits Clinton Field for a 7 p.m. contest.