Sitting as the No. 1 seed in the Western Division and the defending America East Champions, No. 18 Stanford field hockey (10-7, 5-2 America East) made short work of UMass Lowell (9-11, 3-5) in Thursday’s 5-1 quarterfinal victory in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The Cardinal offense took control early in the match and retained momentum for the majority of the game, piling on 26 shots to the River Hawks’ 13 shots. It was Stanford’s third consecutive win by a four-goal margin, with goals coming from four different Cardinal players.
“The team today was dedicated to working for each other, to ensure success for one another – as noticed by our intensity,” said head coach Tara Danielson. “Multiple players contributed to the result of today, showing the team’s effort in working towards a united goal.”
Freshman attacker Corinne Zanolli got the scoring started early with a penalty corner tip-in goal from fellow freshman Sarah Johnson in the eighth minute of play, her 14th goal of the season. Zanolli was recently named America East Rookie of the Year.
“All of the upperclassmen embraced us as a freshman class and have made us feel really welcome and comfortable,” Zanolli said. “Coach [Danielson] places a lot of emphasis on the team playing with each other and for each other, and that has made this season special. It’s great to go out and play with your best friends.”
Stanford proceeded to score three goals in a six-minute span, expanding its lead in a dominant first half. The first of the three came off a corner opportunity, when senior attacker Katie Keyser put in a straight shot from the top of the circle.
Minutes later, sophomore attacker Emma Alderton batted a ball out of the air and into the back of the net for her first goal of the season. Sophomore midfielder Phoebe Crosthwaite followed up with her first of the year on a reverse shot from the middle of the circle that extended the lead to 4-0 headed into halftime.
Stanford’s defense, along with goalkeepers sophomore Kelsey Bing and senior Maddy Belin, held off the River Hawks in an early second half surge, where UMass Lowell put up five shots in six minutes. Bing has played excellently the entire season, and recently received the America East Goalkeeper of the Year award for her efforts.
The River Hawks broke through in the 53rd minute, when attacker Anouk Lalande, the team’s leading goal scorer, capitalized on a breakaway change in front of the net. The Cardinal followed up with an insurance goal from Zanolli with just over eight minutes left in the match, her second of the night, bringing the final score to 5-1.
“We keep saying that this is the time to do,” mentioned Zanolli. “Right now it’s win or go home. We have to play every single second and every single ball like it’s the last chance we have.”
Saturday’s semifinal matchup will start at 11:30 a.m. Stanford will play the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal between No. 24 Pacific and No. 25 Maine.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.