By Lucy Svoboda
The Stanford-Cal rivalry is off to a good start for the Cardinal this season after the women’s field hockey team trounced the Golden Bears 3-0 in its NorPac opener Friday afternoon.
The match marked the sixth straight victory for Stanford, which demonstrated its offensive power throughout the Friday game with advantages in shots (18-1) and penalty corners (9-0). The game was also a testament to the Cardinal defense, which, anchored by goalkeeper Dulcie Davies, secured their fourth shutout in a row.
“We were well pleased with the win,” said head coach Tara Danielson. “We felt the team had a total team effort. We were able to move the ball really well from left to right, front to back, and so that created a lot of opportunities for us in the second half.”
Stanford (6-1, 1-0 NorPac) started the match off strong and took the lead in the eighth minute when junior Alex McCawley rocketed her first goal to the top right corner of the goal. She became the ninth Stanford player to record at least one goal this season.
The Card controlled the majority of the play in the first half, allowing only one shot from Cal’s Nicole Wallstedt right before halftime, the first shot allowed by Stanford at home in over 100 minutes of game action spanning three matches. Stanford also extended its shutout streak to 348:89, dating back to the second minute against No. 20 New Hampshire on Sept. 6.
One shot was enough to make Stanford tighten its grip on the Golden Bears, as the Cardinal dominated the ball in the second half. Stanford brought its shot total for the game up from seven to 18, scoring two goals off of key penalty corners.
Junior Kelsey Harbin continued her scoring prowess, knocking in her fourth goal of the season in the 49th minute. The goal was set up nicely by fellow juniors Hannah Thiemann and Shannon Herold, who provided essential ball movement throughout the game.
Harbin, joined by freshman Fran Tew and senior Anna Simmons, successfully held down the back third of the field throughout the game, denying the Golden Bears any scoring opportunities in the second half.
“We knew that they were going to be a tough team, so we came out raring to go and it was really positive for us,” Tew said. “It was a really good opening rivalry game for me and just a ton of fun to play.”
The third Cardinal goal came from McCawley again, who pounced on a rebound after Cal made the initial save.
While it was a sweet victory for the Cardinal, Stanford heads right back to work for a key date with No. 5 Syracuse in Albany, N.Y., on Saturday.
“Every next game is a big game,” said Danielson. “We are looking to refine and make our game a little bit more efficient. It took us a little while to kind of get going, so what I’m really looking to focus on next week is starting the game right from the get-go with a high tempo and being able to move the ball and capitalize on our opportunities.”
Stanford’s match at No. 5 Syracuse is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday. Stanford will then play Albany on Sunday at 10 a.m. before heading back to the Farm.
Contact Lucy Svoboda at lsvoboda ‘at’ stanford.edu.