Coming off back-to-back losses to start the season, No. 13 Stanford field hockey (3-2) returned to the Farm with a point to prove, searching for its first win of the year. The team stepped up to that task in a huge way, taking down three ranked opponents in No. 17 Iowa (2-3), No. 22 Massachusetts (2-2) and No. 20 Harvard (2-1) in thrilling fashion. Led by stellar goaltending from sophomore Kelsey Bing, the Cardinal played strong defensively while finally breaking out on offense — putting up eight goals over the three matches after being held scoreless in their first two games of the season.
Friday’s match against Iowa was highlighted by impressive home debuts from several freshmen. Attacker Corinne Zanolli put two on the board, including the game-winning goal, and defender Kaylie Mings tallied early in the second half in a well-rounded 3-2 win over the Hawkeyes.
The Cardinal fell behind early in the first half as Iowa scored in the fourth minute off a low strike by senior Mallory Lefkowitz. Stanford would not allow the Hawkeyes to take the lead into halftime, however, as Zanolli converted on a penalty corner as time expired with assists from freshman defender Sarah Johnson and senior attacker Katie Keyser.
Although Stanford came out of halftime with a 39th-minute goal from Mings, Iowa soon answered as Lefkowitz tipped in a penalty corner rebound to earn her second goal of the night and knot the score at 2-2. The Cardinal were not to be outdone. In the 62nd minute, senior attacker Marissa Cicione fought for a steal and sent a pass through the middle of the circle to Zanolli, who one-touched the ball into the back of the net for the game-winning goal.
Cicione stayed hot in Sunday’s game against UMass, posting a career-high two goals in the game to lead Stanford to a 3-1 win over the Minutewomen.
In the game’s second minute, Cicione one-touched a shot to the back left corner off a cross from junior defender Emma Christus to take the early lead. The Cardinal would double their lead in the 10th minute. Although Massachusetts finished the match with 11 penalty corners to Stanford’s one, the Cardinal made their lone opportunity count as Johnson and Keyser set up Zanolli for a rocket to the top shelf.
The offense clicked again in the 51st minute, as Cicione put in a rebound to make the game 3-0. The goal gave Stanford some insurance, as UMass converted on a one-touch shot against senior goalkeeper Maddy Belin in the 64th minute, its lone goal of the game.
Stanford carried confidence into Monday’s match against Harvard, which turned into a 2-1 shootout thriller. Both teams brought their best defense to the field, shutting down opportunities throughout the first half and remaining strong in the second and extra time. The Cardinal allowed only three shots in the first as the period ended in a scoreless tie.
The first strike came in the 46th minute, as senior midfielder Sarah Helgeson crashed the net to finish off a shot to the top corner. With Stanford defense playing securely, the game seemed over before a last-second corner by the Crimson. Senior Hannah Wellington delivered the tip-in to tie the score at one and send the match into overtime.
Harvard rode its momentum into the first overtime period, putting up five shots while Stanford managed just one in return. Bing held strong and made three huge saves to send the game into double overtime. Both teams fell short offensively in the second, and a game that featured strong goaltending throughout would fittingly be decided in a shootout.
Kelsey Bing did not disappoint.
The sophomore stopped the first Harvard attacker before senior midfielder Millie Stefanowicz converted to give Stanford a 1-0 advantage. Bing again turned away a shot and Zanolli succeeded to make it 2-0. A penalty on Bing and subsequent stroke cut the Cardinal advantage in half and Harvard kept the match going with another tally to tie the shootout 2-2.
Bing held off two quality shots from freshman Hannah Pearce to set up a game-clinching goal from Keyser.
Stanford will get a well-deserved long break before taking on America East rival Pacific at home on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.