A strong performance in the second period led the No. 17 Stanford field hockey team (8-3, 3-1 NorPac) to a 6-0 shutout over a struggling Harvard squad last Friday at the Varsity Turf. The Stanford women held Harvard to zero shots in that period after coming off a 4-2 victory over No. 8 Wake Forest and a 2-1 overtime win against UC-Davis last weekend. Harvard, on the other hand, came into the game having won only one of its last eight matches.
Less than two minutes into the first half, a right-side cross from junior forward Stephanie Byrne led to a tap-in goal for sophomore forward Alysha Sekhon and a quick 1-0 lead for the Card. However, Stanford was unable to capitalize on its initial lead until the end of the first period.
Fortunately for the Cardinal, Harvard’s offensive effort was unsuccessful, as the Crimson missed its only two shots of the game–a penalty corner lobbed wide of the left post and another shot missing to the right.
But in the second half, Stanford would strike early once again, with a goal by sophomore defender Becky Dru in the 41st minute. Scoring off a penalty corner shot, the goal was Dru’s fourth of the season. Fifteen minutes into the second half, Stanford pulled ahead to a solid 4-0 lead, with goals by senior defender Katherine Donner and senior midfielder Xanthe Travlos, assisted by senior forward Katherine Swank and Dru, respectively. The Cardinal would end the match with two more goals by Byrne and Donner.
Donner’s two goals were her first of the season, and Byrne contributed to the second-half Cardinal effort with two assists.
In a dominant offensive display by Stanford, the team managed to outshoot the visiting Harvard squad 22-2. Along with a 10-0 difference in second half penalty corners, this dominance kept the ball predominantly in Stanford possession and gave little action to the Cardinal defenders. Redshirt freshman Julia LaSalvia and junior Allessandra Moss split time at the goalkeeper position.
With five games left in its regular season, the field hockey team is headed for three games on the road, beginning with No. 9 Syracuse (8-4) this Friday. The team’s East Coast tour will continue with matches at Rutgers (5-9) and Northeastern (6-7) the following Sunday and Monday.