No. 18 Stanford field hockey (7-4, 3-0 AEC) ended the weekend with a 3-2 shootout win against Cal and a 3-0 shutout against Pacific. These two wins solidified the Cardinal’s undefeated record in the America East Conference and kept them in the top 20 of the NCAA rankings.
The Cardinal’s win against conference rival Pacific (9-4, 0-1 AEC) on Sunday shattered the Tigers’ nine-game win streak while advancing Stanford’s own streak of wins to six. Not only did the Cardinal advance their own winning record, but they also shut out the nation’s top-scoring team.
Stanford started Sunday’s game-dominating possession. Within the first 10 minutes of the game, freshman attacker and leading goal-scorer Jessica Welch fired in a shot from the top of the circle that blew by the Tigers’ goalkeeper. The remainder of the half saw offensive progression and multiple shots on goal from both teams. At halftime the Cardinal went into the locker room leading the Tigers in shots 6-4 and on the scoreboard with a 1-0 goal lead.
Coming into the game, Stanford’s objective was to develop its passing and finishing game. “We wanted to improve our connection between lines, specifically in our attacking 25,” said junior midfielder Millie Stefanowicz about the team’s game plan for Pacific.
The second half saw just that. Stanford was transitioning the ball fluidly from the backfield to the goal and the Cardinal’s offense was finishing almost every ball that came their way. In the 41st minute of play, fifth-year senior Lucy Dikeou dove for the ball and tipped it in for her first goal of the season. Not long after that, a similar play led to Stanford’s second goal of the half. Junior attacker Marissa Cicione and senior attacker Kristina Bassi had a give-and-go play that advanced the ball quickly up the field and was swept across the cage towards senior attacker Casey Deeds, who was wide open at the net.
Stanford’s attackers were not the only ones who shone. The Cardinal’s resilient defense only let the Tigers put up six shots on goal the entire game.
“Today’s game was great for us,” Deeds said. “The past couple of games, we have been generating our attack well but just have not seen the results we wanted, so it is really nice to have a big win.”
Stefanowicz added, “We played as a team today. Our structure and defense all over the field was strong.”
The Cardinal’s goal for the season is to “rise as one” in winning the conference championship. Their 3-0 victory over Pacific proved that they have the components needed to be successful in the conference and potentially bring home the trophy for their program.
Moving forward, Stanford heads into the week with only a rematch against the Tigers ahead of them. The game will be played on Pacific’s home turf on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.