In one of the most tightly contested games of the season, the No. 11 Stanford Cardinal field hockey squad toppled the Michigan Wolverines 2-1. It was the Cardinal’s final match outside its league as the team looks to finish the regular season with two NorPac games.
Michigan (10-7, 2-2 Big Ten) got out to an early lead, taking a 1-0 advantage on Shannon Scavelli’s goal in the fourth minute. Playing from behind, Stanford (12-4, 3-1 NorPac) kept a very high tempo. The Cardinal mounted pressure against the Wolverine defense, led by goalie Haley Jones, tagging her with six shots in the first half alone. However, Michigan proved to be very tenacious, and the game became a battle for possession as each team struggled to gain offensive dominance.
The stalemate, interrupted by a few shots for Stanford, was broken by a goal in the 18th minute by dynamic Stanford freshman Fran Tew. Capitalizing on a penalty corner, Tew knocked in the rebound to draw the Cardinal even.
“It was a really big rush,” Tew exclaimed. “It was so exciting in the moment.”
The equalizer marked Tew’s fourth goal of the season — her last was the overtime winner against Wake Forest. Though Stanford carried a 6-1 shot advantage, the teams entered halftime knotted at 1-1.
Stanford came out of halftime invigorated. Taking a few quick shots, the Cardinal appeared to have the Wolverines on their heels. But Michigan bounded back, reverting the game to its first-half deadlock.
Though Stanford held a huge penalty corner advantage in the second half (5-1), it was not until the 56th minute that senior Hope Burke was able to convert one into a goal. In a flawlessly executed play, Burke netted the rebound off the initial shot by Jessica Chisholm.
Holding a narrow 2-1 lead, Stanford showed tremendous defensive poise, containing a fast and powerful Michigan offense. Contributing a one-on-one save, goalie Dulcie Davies was lights out after allowing the early goal. The Cardinal managed to hang on to the one-goal lead and improve to 12-4 on the season. The win was a crucial one, bringing momentum back to the Card after a tough loss to No. 8 Duke.
“It was a big upswing to beat a good team like Michigan. It puts us in a good place in the West,” Tew commented.
Stanford will finish the season with two NorPac games: a home game against University of the Pacific today, and a road contest at Cal on Thursday.
In the Card’s only other meeting with Pacific this season, Stanford secured a 6-1 victory. The game showed excellent potential for Stanford as it was able to record six goals from six different players, varying in grade level as well.
The Cardinal will need to maintain a high-pressured offense to overtake the capable Pacific squad that was able to force corners and work shots against the Stanford defense.
Though Pacific will enter the game with a sub-.500 record (4-11), it boasts a split in conference play (2-2) and certainly will not be going down without a fight. The game will be the Cardinal’s senior night, as it wraps up the home regular season.
Tonight’s game will begin at 7 p.m. on the Varsity Turf.
Contact Carlie Tenenbaum at carliet ‘at’ stanford.edu.