Taking on Miami (Ohio) University (12-8, 8-0 Mid-American) at home in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, No. 18 Stanford field hockey (13-8, 4-2 America East) couldn’t hold off the RedHawks in the second half, falling 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon to finish the 2017 season.
Fifth-year senior attacker Kristina Bassi got the Cardinal on the board in the 25th minute of off a pass from freshman midfielder Frances Carstens for her career-high 12th goal of the season. The RedHawks quickly tied it up as junior Paula Portugal backhanded a shot into the net to make the game 1-1 heading into halftime.
While the match was pretty even throughout the first half, Miami came out firing in the second. Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Bing made five saves in the half to keep Stanford in the game, but costly penalty corners kept the Cardinal in their defensive end for much of the period. With under two minutes to go in the game, Portugal struck again after beating three Cardinal defenders and putting a shot in on the left side. Miami will now go on to face No. 2 Duke in the semifinals.
Thus ends the 2017 campaign for Stanford field hockey. The team made the NCAA Tournament for its fourth straight season and earned its second consecutive America East Conference title last weekend. Stanford exploded out of the gate, racking up a seven game win streak before hitting a rough patch in the middle of the season. In their final two matches of the season against Pacific and Cal and through the America East Conference tournament, the Cardinal came together to produce impressive offensive showings, scoring 22 goals in five games before Wednesday’s loss.
The team will bid farewell to six graduating seniors: Goalkeeper Maddy Belin, midfielders Millie Stefanowicz and Sarah Helgeson and attackers Katie Keyser, Kristina Bassi and Marissa Cicione. Part of four NCAA Tournament appearances and three conference titles, the group led a young Cardinal team this season and left their mark on Stanford field hockey history.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.