Golden goal gives No. 1 Cardinal Pac-12 crown

[CALIFORNIA-STANFORD: Men] Fifth-year senior Austin Meyer, already an English graduate and working towards his master’s in journalism, scored in the 103rd minute to give No. 1 Stanford a 3-2 win at No. 17 California for its first Pac-12 title in 13 years.

Stanford needed to win to hold off No. 2 UCLA for the Pac-12 title, The winner was set up by a senior-freshman-senior connection. Zach Batteer controlled the ball at the top of the box and laid it off to Corey Baird, who threaded the needle at an almost impossible angle to Meyer camped in front of goal. His winner, just the third goal of his career, found its way past Alex Mangels.

“At the beginning of overtime, I went over to my center-mid partner Ty Thompson, who usually has a bit more freedom to go forward while I quarterback in front of our back line and I told him, ‘I’m feeling a shot, just let me get forward a little bit [and] you hold for me,'” Meyer said. “He let me do that, Corey [Baird] slipped me a great pass and then it was just instinct from there.”

First-half goals by Eric Verso and Brian Nana-Sinkam gave the Cardinal 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but the Golden Bears came back back each time on goals by Stefano Bonomo and Bobby Sekine.

“It was a great game by two outstanding teams,” said Cal coach Kevin Grimes. “The game could have gone either way. We are super proud of our nine seniors and the way they played today. It was a fantastic way to end our season with the performance that we had.”
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