In a bitter NorPac field hockey rematch Friday night, the Stanford Cardinal bested the visiting UC-Davis Aggies 5-0. After losing 3-2 in a gripping overtime match last Sunday at Aggie Stadium, Stanford rebounded with the decisive shutout victory. Then, on Sunday, Stanford topped Yale 4-0.
Senior attacker Courtney Haldeman opened the scoring just 1:10 into the match, a shot that ended up being the game winner. Cardinal sophomore goalie Dulcie Davies needed only one save to shut out the visiting Aggies.
Maintaining possession for the majority of the first half, the Cardinal looked dominant. Anchored in the midfield by juniors Kasey Quon and Alex McCawley, Stanford deftly maneuvered through a fatigued Aggie defense. Forcing four corners in the opening half, Stanford remained a potent offensive threat throughout, rarely allowing the Aggies to mount an attack.
The few drives UC-Davis had were easily contained by a stringent Cardinal defense led by junior Kelsey Harbin. In an especially strong showing, the Card held the Aggies to just two shots and no penalty corners.
Offensively, Stanford benefitted from a two-goal effort by senior forward Hope Burke. Burke has shown tremendous leadership this season and was instrumental in a key game against Davis.
“The win against Davis was great,” said Burke. “It marks the starting point for the rest of the season. We took last Sunday’s loss really hard.”
The team took the field Friday determined for revenge and after goals by Haldeman and Burke, rolled into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
“Scoring in the first two minutes was thrilling,” Burke said. “It gave us a calm confidence going forward.”
The momentum soundly with the Cardinal, the second half yielded goals from sophomore attacker Clemence Couteau, Burke and McCawley. Much like in the game against Pacific, Stanford recorded goals from a variety of players, hinting at a chemistry that seemed to be missing in Sunday’s loss at Davis.
“We refocused as a team on and off the field,” Burke said. “We came back with a new passion for the remaining regular season games.”
Stanford rode the excitement of its 5-0 win into Sunday’s game against unranked Yale. Midway through the first half, Harbin recorded her sixth goal of the season on Stanford’s first penalty corner of the game. The Cardinal has struggled with corners this season, but had a breakout performance against the Bulldogs, going 3-3. The second goal came with a minute and a half remaining in the first half as sophomore attacker Lauren Becker converted, assisted by Harbin and sophomore midfielder Jessica Chisholm.
Coming out of halftime leading 2-0, the Cardinal kept up the pressure and secured a 4-0 win, adding goals from senior midfielder Elise Ogle and a third corner strike from Quon.
Davies — Cardinal of the Game against Yale — had a much more active day than Friday, recording seven saves in the team’s second consecutive shutout win.
“Shutouts are huge for team morale,” Davies commented. “[A shutout] creates a confidence in the defense that spreads to the offense, and the whole team plays more confidently.”
A passionate Yale team, hindered by four injuries during the game, was able to penetrate the Stanford defense a few times, working 11 shots over the course of the match. With her defense looking a bit shaken, Davies took control, quickly and efficiently settling her teammates’ nerves.
“It’s my responsibility to organize the defense on counter attacks, make sure everyone’s in position,” Davies said. “It takes a lot of communication.”
Davies, just a sophomore, leads the defense with poise.
“Sometimes I just have to remind the team we’re fine. Like today I just told them, we’re winning by 4, we’re okay.”
Stanford hits the road for its upcoming slate, playing at Wake Forest and Duke before returning home to battle Michigan on Oct. 25.
Contact Carlie Tenenbaum at carliet ‘at’ stanford.edu.