Penalty stroke sends field hockey to conference championship

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Time and time again, with the fate of the game on the line, there has been no one that No. 19 Stanford (9-2, 6-2 America East) would rather turn to than Corinne Zanolli. 

The senior attacker had 14 goals in the regular season — including two game-winners — and was recently named the America East Offensive Player of the Year for the third-straight season. Her 89 goals over the course of her 75-game Cardinal career are the most in program history.

It was only fitting, therefore, that Zanolli was awarded a penalty stroke with the score knotted at one in the 58th minute against Maine (7-4, 7-1 AE) in the America East semifinals. And once again she came through for the Cardinal, slotting the shot into the upper left corner of the goal and sending the team to the America East Championship game.

The shot not only prolonged the current season but the program as a whole, as the team is set to be discontinued by Stanford after this academic year. In response, the team has continued to wear uniforms with “Stanford” crossed out by black tape.

Zanolli also played a hand in the Cardinal’s first goal, feeding the ball to redshirt junior defender Sarah Johnson who found the back of the net for the third time this season.

Stanford outplayed the Black Bears in nearly every offensive category, tripling their shots on goal (15 to five) and the number of corners taken (six to two). However, Maine goalkeeper Mia Borley allowed just two shots to reach the back of the net, compared to six saves. 

Cardinal junior goalkeeper Hannah Santos finished with two saves in less opportunities, as the team was consistently able to pressure Maine downfield.

Stanford is now set to face No. 20 Monmouth on Saturday with an America East Championship and automatic NCAA Tournament berth on the line. The game will take place at 9 a.m. PT in West Long Branch, N.J.

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Jeremy Rubin is a managing editor in the sports section. He is a sophomore from New York City studying Human Biology and is an avid Yankees, Knicks and Jets fan who enjoys long walks and good podcasts. Contact him at jrubin 'at' stanforddaily.com.