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79-77 is your final from Provo after a furious comeback falls barely short at the end. Card get No. 9 Texas in Austin next. Tough draw.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Card looked sloppy and lost at times, but this team's resiliency is really something else. Just won't go away easily.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Stanford and Randle got the looks that they wanted at the end, and the shots just didn't fall. That happens, not much you can do about that.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Card get the ball back down 79-77 with 4.8 to go, and Randle misses the buzzer-beater. BYU wins by that final score.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
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Travel. Stanford down 2, gets the ball back and can kill the clock.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Randle with the clutch 3! We have a two-point game, 79-77 with just under a minute to go. ESPNU. Don't miss this ending.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Two forced turnovers later, it's back to a 77-72 game. Stanford doing whatever it can to stick around.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Stanford playing sloppy ball, BYU playing clean, foul-free ball on the other end. It's 72-59 Cougars, who have opened it up with 5 to play.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Miscues and sloppy passing from Stanford cue another BYU run, and the lead is back to 9 at 68-59 with 6 minutes to go.: 9 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport

Field Hockey: Tar Heels end Stanford’s NCAA Tourney run

The No. 11 Stanford field hockey team’s 2012 campaign came to a close on Saturday morning in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Cardinal (16-7, 6-0 NorPac) was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament with a 4-1 loss to No. 1 North Carolina. Four different Tar Heels registered goals, while Kelsey Harbin scored for Stanford.

Stanford had its NCAA Tournament hopes dashed by No. 1 North Carolina in a 4-1 loss.

North Carolina, the two-time national runner-up, opened the scoring just 10 minutes into the game when sophomore Charlotte Craddock blasted a hard shot from the top of the circle.

In the 28th minute, the Tar Heels doubled their lead when Emma Bozek put a shot past Stanford goalkeeper Dulcie Davies and into the upper left corner of the cage.

Davies and the Cardinal defense fought off five penalty corners in the first half to keep the deficit at two through halftime; in the final game of her freshman season, Davies tallied four saves.

Immediately after the break, North Carolina took a 3-0 lead on a deflection from the left side of the net.

The Cardinal finally answered in the 60th minute, when Harbin scored her fifth goal of the season on a penalty corner assisted by senior Becky Dru. Until the sophomore’s goal, Stanford had not scored in an NCAA Tournament game since 2010, also against North Carolina.

Stanford had 10 shots and four penalty corners on the day but was unable to add a second goal. Cardinal attackers Dru, Harbin, Alex McCawley and Maddie Secco each had two shots as Stanford unsuccessfully tried to close the gap and extend its season.

In the 68th minute, the Tar Heels all but put the game out of reach when junior Sinead Loughran finished a cross from Bozer for a 4-1 lead.

The Cardinal previously lost to the Tar Heels 6-2 in September. With this most recent loss, Stanford fell to 0-12 in NCAA Tournament games.

Stanford ended the year with a 16-7 record and a NorPac championship.

“This season was a great success,” said head coach Tara Danielson. “We were absolutely undefeated in our conference and decisively, I should say, won our conference.”

According to Danielson, the team’s tough nonconference schedule was designed to prepare them for the postseason. Stanford played three of the four NCAA semifinalists in the regular season. Stanford also played the nation’s top team (at the time of the game) four different times over the course of the year. Although it never defeated the top-ranked team, the Cardinal did record signature wins against then-No.10 Iowa and then-No. 18 Drexel.

“Our path in preparation for November was aggressive,” Danielson said. “We really controlled the controllables. The only way to get to the top is to play against the top teams. The experience of this season will build upon itself moving forward into next season as well.”

This Cardinal will lose six seniors from the 2012 squad. Dru, Emily Henriksson, Kelsey Lloyd, Katie Mitchell, Colleen Ryan and Alysha Sekhon recorded a 65-22 overall record during their careers–the best four-year record in school history. They also won three NorPac championships and qualified for the NCAA tournament in all four seasons.

“They’ve done a fantastic job and they’ve obviously had a lot of success,” Danielson said. “Being diligent and working hard over time caused them [that success].”

Dru’s presence will be especially missed as she graduates as one of the best players the program has ever seen. The 2011 All-American and two-time NorPac Player of the Year compiled 54 goals and 36 assists during her time on the Farm.

“[Dru’s] a stat leader, but she’s also a good team leader. She led by example, she played hard and she has a big heart. Her legacy is her passion to play and leave it on the field,” Danielson said. “She did a good job [improving the team] through being competitive and bringing the best out of her teammates. That’s the true sign of a good leader.”

Despite the losses, the future is bright for the Cardinal. Eight of 11 NCAA Tournament starters, including five All-NorPac selections, are likely to return for the 2013 season.

“There’s a lot of motivation to work hard over the winter and strive to get that win in the NCAA tournament, to be part of the Elite Eight and the Final Four,” Danielson said. “This group is very capable of getting there and having that success. I think it’s kind of put out there that now it’s close. The girls have seen what the top looks like and that’s going to be a real motivation factor going forward.”

 

About Jana Persky

Jana Persky is the president and editor in chief of Volume 246 of The Stanford Daily. She previously worked as a sports desk editor, news desk editor and managing editor of staff development at The Daily, and is majoring in Public Policy. Jana is a junior from New Canaan, Connecticut, who doesn't want to tell her mom and dad she likes the West Coast better. To contact her, please email eic@stanforddaily.com.