Jordan Morris leads Stanford to first ever national championship
In what may have been his last college game, Stanford star Jordan Morris bagged a goal in each half to lead Stanford to its first ever national championship in a 4-0 win over Clemson in the College Cup final.
Morris, a Seattle Sounders homegrown target who also has offers abroad, broke a College Cup stalemate dating back to last year’s semifinals with a goal 88 seconds into the match on Sunday afternoon.
The first goal of this year’s College Cup – both semifinals were scoreless draws that ended on penalties – was set up by Corey Baird, who started the play with a steal at midfield and later sent a cross into the top of the box that Morris dummied to Eric Verso. Verso drew two defenders, fed Morris the ball with the outside of his foot and the Pac-12 Player of the Year and MAC Hermann Trophy finalist blasted the shot past Andrew Tarbell for the eventual game-winner.
Clemson didn’t go quietly, gaining momentum in the latter part of the first half and had appeals for a penalty that could have turned the game around when Saul Chinchilla was taken down in the box by Cardinal keeper Andrew Epstein. Just when it looked like Clemson might make a game of it, it was Morris again with a dagger in the 51st minute on a long pass from Foster Langsdorf that he collected and fired past Tarbell after spinning his way through two Clemson defenders.
Morris added to Clemson’s woes once more 20 minutes later when he was taken down just inside the box by Paul Clowes to set up Brandon Vincent’s penalty kick. Verso added a fourth goal in the 74th minute to make the Cardinal the first team since St. John’s in 1996 to score four goals in a College Cup final. Their 4-0 win was the largest margin of victory in a final since St. Louis beat San Francisco 4-0 in 1969.
The national championship was the first for Stanford and incredibly marked the 40th year in a row that a Cardinal athletic program has won a national championship. Cardinal coach Jeremy Gunn joined some rare company too with his Gatorade bath at the end of the game. The fourth-year head coach became just the fourth to win a national championship in Division II and Division I.