Field hockey’s unlikely run ends in conference championship stroke-off to UAlbany

Nov. 6, 2022, 10:10 p.m.

No. 22 Stanford field hockey (10-9, 4-4 American East) reached the championship match of the American East Conference tournament but fell to No. 16 UAlbany (15-4, 6-2 American East) on Sunday afternoon to end its season. The Cardinal led 1-0 at the half until UAlbany evened the score, and eventually won the stroke off 4-1.

Stanford was conference champion in 2019 and 2020, but lost in the first round in 2021, also to UAlbany. This season, they entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed and reached the final with two match wins. 

In Sunday’s championship, junior midfielder Caroline Guden scored her second goal of the season for the Cardinal’s only goal in regular time. Sophomore midfielder/defender Cara Sambeth and freshman defender Scout Butler recorded the assist. Stanford took six other shots over the course of the match, but did not manage to find the back of the net again. On defense, freshmen goalkeepers Daisy Ford and Kendall Dowd tallied two and six saves, respectively. 

After UAlbany’s goal, the match went into two overtime periods. The Cardinal took four shots in overtime, but none succeeded and the match ultimately required a stroke off to crown the conference champions. Sambeth was up first and scored on her attempt, but the Cardinal followed with two misses against three UAlbany goals to lose the match. 

Goals may have been lacking for the Cardinal in the championship stroke off, but not in the tournament as a whole. In the quarterfinal game, the Cardinal’s first of the tournament, the team defeated Vermont (13-5, 5-3 American East) after a game-winning goal from junior attacker Haley Mossmer, who scored her fourth game-winner of the season with just under two minutes remaining in the match. Freshman midfielder Tottie Taylor added to the score with her first-career goal. 

In the semifinal, Mossmer recorded the team’s first hat trick since 2020 as Stanford upset No. 23 Maine (14-5, 8-0 American East). It was the highest scoring game of Mossmer’s career and left her with 11 goals on the season. Additionally, senior attacker Lynn Vanderstichele tallied a career-high two assists, and goalkeepers Ford and Dowd made two and three saves. 

With its second-place finish in the tournament, Stanford finished its season with 30 goals overall of 197 shots, 98 of which were on goal. Further, the Cardinal tallied 82 saves this season, after playing the majority of last season without a goalkeeper. 

Mossmer led the team with 11 goals, followed by Vanderstichele with five. 10 Cardinal players scored this season, including rookies Taylor and Butler. Graduate student midfielder Fenella Scutt posted a team-high six assists. On defense, goalkeepers Ford and Dowd had 41 and 38 saves, respectively. Ford had a save percentage of 0.707 on the season, while Dowd’s was 0.792. 

Next season, the Cardinal will look to make their eighth American East tournament appearance in the past nine years. With eight freshmen, two of whom are skilled goalkeepers, Stanford’s young team will be one to watch in 2023.

Maya Somers is a staff writer in the sports section. She is a junior from Seattle, Washington interested in studying Human Biology. She enjoys drinking coffee and watching professional tennis highlight reels. Contact her at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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