Tensions were running high on Thursday as No. 12 Stanford (4-2, 1-0 America East) took on No. 24 Pacific (3-5, 0-2) at home in a rematch of last year’s America East Field Hockey Championship. In that November matchup, the Cardinal scored in the 16th minute and held on to win 1-0 for their first conference title in program history. Thursday’s game also only needed one goal. Behind a second-half strike from fifth-year senior attacker Kristina Bassi and shutdown goalkeeping by sophomore Kelsey Bing, Stanford withstood early pressure from the Tigers to take a close 1-0 victory.
The Cardinal defense was tested in the first half with six quality shots from Pacific. While Bing continued to show her dominance, Stanford showed a complete team effort throughout the half. The Tigers had one of their best chances of the night on a 16th-minute penalty corner opportunity, but senior midfielder Millie Stefanowicz made a clutch stop near the goal-line to keep the score knotted at zero. Later in the night, sophomore defender Nina Randolph came through with another defensive save, making her contribution to the Cardinal’s first shutout of the season.
Stanford’s golden opportunity came in the second half. The team pressured Pacific with eight shots, twice as many as in the first half. In the 58th minute, the team finally broke through. Freshman attacker Corinne Zanolli used a creative move through the legs of a Pacific defender to send a cross pass to Bassi. Bassi finished confidently, banking the ball into the middle of the goal for the eventual game-winner.
Riding a four-game win streak, Stanford will travel over the weekend to take on three conference opponents. The Cardinal will fly to Massachusetts to play Massachusetts-Lowell on Thursday at noon before heading to Durham, N.H. for matches against New Hampshire and Maine on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.