By Lucy Svoboda
The No. 6 Cardinal field hockey team faced fierce offenses this weekend on the East Coast, suffering its first loss since the beginning of the season. Despite the 3-1 defeat at the hands of No. 5 Syracuse on Saturday, Stanford was able to bounce back on Sunday by holding off No. 11 Albany 2-1.
The loss to Syracuse (8-1, 0-1 ACC) on Saturday was the first for Stanford (7-2, 1-0 NorPac) since a 2-1 double-overtime decision against No. 4 Connecticut on Aug. 31, ending the team’s six-game winning streak. Although it pulled off the win on Sunday, the Card was outscored overall this weekend — a shock to the team after a four-game shutout streak in which it allowed only nine shots on goal.
Despite the goals she allowed, Cardinal goalkeeper Dulcie Davies stepped it up in net by making a season-high six saves on Saturday and then breaking her record the following day with a career-best 16 stops.
Syracuse senior defender Laura Hahnefeldt started the scoring for the Orange in the 19th minute on Saturday when she converted on a penalty corner. It was the first goal Stanford had allowed in 366:44. Syracuse dominated the game throughout the first half with five shots to Stanford’s two and three penalty corners to Stanford’s one.
The Orange headed into halftime with a 2-0 lead when sophomore midfielder Alyssa Manley scored her sixth goal of the season by knocking in a rebound off a penalty corner.
The Cardinal came back strong in the second half, however, showing clearer signs of the NorPac frontrunner the country has seen so far this season. With help from fellow juniors Kelsey Harbin and Shannon Herold, midfielder Alex McCawley was able to put Stanford on the board in the 60th minute of play by deflecting a penalty corner for her third goal of the season.
Stanford held strong through the last 35 minutes — it outshot Syracuse 6-5 and held a 5-1 penalty corner advantage in the second half — but it was too little, too late for the Cardinal.
The Orange sealed its victory with a little over five minutes to play, when sophomore forward Emma Russell scored off of a spin move.
The Cardinal encountered another challenging start on Sunday, when Albany dominated the first 14 minutes of the game with seven shots and two penalty corners (leaving Stanford with zero in each). Davies was on her game, however, making five of her 16 saves during this span.
After a Stanford timeout in the 17th minute, the Cardinal translated Davies’ intensity to the rest of the field and closed out the half with four shots and three penalty corners.
Despite the loss of Alex McCawley early in the first half to a yellow card, Stanford got on the board quickly when junior midfielder Kasey Quon tipped in a penalty corner.
Raring to go, the Cardinal put another one in 30 seconds later when sophomore midfielder Jessica Chisolm tipped in a shot fired from outside the circle. Paula Heuser scored 44 seconds later for the Great Danes, cutting Stanford’s lead in half.
Stanford was outshot 15-5 in the second half, but the Cardinal defense held strong for the rest of the game with Davies making nine saves, six of which were in the final 15 minutes.
While the Cardinal faced fiercer competition this weekend, it ended with a solid win and was able to hand Albany its first loss of the season. Stanford will look to get back on its winning streak at home where it faces Pacific on Oct. 4 and UC-Davis on Oct. 6.
Contact Lucy Svoboda at lsvoboda ‘at’ stanford.edu.