No. 14 Stanford field hockey (7-5, 4-0 America East) currently sits second behind Cal Berkeley (7-5, 2-0) in the America East Conference West Division with five conference matchups left in the season. Currently on a three-loss skid, the Cardinal have an opportunity this weekend to get back in the win column and claim the top spot in their division ahead of postseason play. Stanford will hit the road on Friday to take on the UC Davis Aggies (1-11, 0-1) before facing rival Cal on Sunday.
After boasting a seven-game win streak, the Cardinal have had a rough start to October, falling in three consecutive matches against No. 25 Ohio State, No. 18 Rutgers and No. 3 Michigan. The first two losses were in extra time, as both the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights came back from early deficits to tie the game before taking the victory. Against the Wolverines, Stanford’s defense held tough but suffered some costly penalty corners and the offense was stifled by a Michigan team that holds the nation’s highest save percentage.
The Cardinal will need to put the past two weeks behind them as they focus on America East Conference opponents UC Davis and Cal. The Aggies have struggled this season, with their only win coming Sept. 15 against Bryant University. UC Davis is averaging just one goal per game on the year, so Stanford will rely on dominant sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Bing to deliver another strong performance in order to seal the match.
Sunday’s matchup with Cal should prove to be an exciting one. The Golden Bears have also been struggling as of late, with back-to-back road losses against No. 6 Penn State and Ohio State. Stanford and Cal will play twice in as many weeks, with the Cardinal set to host the Golden Bears on Oct 22. Both matches will be crucial as Stanford fights for conference position heading into postseason play.
Friday’s match will begin at 4 p.m. The Stanford vs. Cal game on Sunday will start at 1 p.m. and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.