Field Hockey: Battles on the East Coast

Nov. 20, 2010, 1:20 a.m.

For the third time in four years, Stanford won the NorPac Tournament, won an NCAA Tournament play-in game and lost in the first round of the of the tournament to one of the nation’s best teams.

Field Hockey: Battles on the East Coast
(SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

The Cardinal (15-6, 5-1 NorPac) won the regular season league title and then defeated Longwood, Appalachian State and rival Cal to win the conference tournament. The NorPac Conference champion is not guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament field, but instead must win a play-in game to qualify. Stanford was sent east to take on Atlantic-10 champion Massachusetts (15-7, 7-0 Atlantic 10) for a shot at the field.

In the play-in game in Amherst, Mass., the Cardinal extended its season-high win streak to six games with a 2-1 victory. Sophomore Kelsey Lloyd broke a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 44th minute.

Stanford’s victory earned it a rematch with No. 2 North Carolina—the Cardinal lost to the Tar Heels 2-1 earlier in the season. This time around, North Carolina won, 3-1, after pulling out to an early 3-0 lead in the first half. Stanford’s only goal was a second-half strike from redshirt senior forward Kat Swank.

The loss not only ended its season, but also moved Stanford to 0-10 all time in NCAA Tournament games.

Still, this season will likely be seen as a success as Stanford defeated ranked teams (No. 8 Wake Forest, No. 18 Massachusetts) and ended the year as conference champions. It also showed that field hockey is not just an East Coast sport—Stanford also forced national power Syracuse to overtime and lost a close game to Michigan State.

Stanford will, however, lose three starters to graduation: defenders Heather Alcorn and Camille Gandhi and midfielder and the team’s second-leading scorer Xanthe Travlos.

There are a number of bright spots returning to next year’s squad, namely sophomore Becky Dru, who led the team in scoring with 13 goals and 10 assists this season. Also back will be the team’s third-leading scorer, junior forward Stephanie Byrne.

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