No. 21 Stanford field hockey (9-4, 2-0 America East) is hosting a game against No. 29 William & Mary (7-4, 3-0 CAA) today at 3:00 p.m. The Cardinal are coming off of a dramatic 3-2 victory over their arch-nemesis, No. 29 Cal (3-9, 0-2 America East). The Cardinal executed a flurry of superb performances this past Saturday, including a series of miraculous saves by junior goalkeeper Kelsey Bing. This was the same defense that launched Stanford into an eight-game winning streak that was only just broken last week.
Although Stanford demonstrated its iconic field finesse against Cal, the Cardinal still had to put in some bitter work. Senior attacker Emma Christus led the charge on Saturday with a goal in the fifth minute. Coupled with Bing’s wall-like defense, Stanford had all the synergy it needed to take down a formidable foe. Sophomore attacker Corinne Zanolli put in the second goal of the game for the Cardinal on a methodically executed penalty corner. Immediately after half-time, the Golden Bears responded with freshman attacker/midfielder Megan Rodgers’s goal from center. Zanolli put in the third for Stanford after a deflection from the Cal goalie, and although Rodgers retaliated with another goal in the final moments of the game, the Cardinal were able to hold down the fort.
These were two highly offensive teams; the goals from this past game put Zanolli at 18 and Rodgers at 12 for the season. Zanolli’s two points this match also places her at second in the nation for goals scored. The Cardinal clearly brought offensive prowess to the match, but Bing truly secured the Cardinal victory with her trademark gravity-defying saves. In the 56th minute, she demonstrated lightning-quick reflexes when she knocked a rapid Cal strike into the air and out of harm’s way. Bing and Zanolli have both been named America East Players of the Week twice so far this season.
The Cardinal have clearly spent time mastering every element of the game, striking a deadly balance between offense and defense — this is exactly what they need to employ in their bout against W&M today. The Griffins have won their past four consecutive games, overpowering Pacific (8-6, 2-1 America East) on Saturday in a 5-0 domination. In fact, W&M’s defense has denied its opponents every goal opportunity in the past three games. It will be fascinating to see how Stanford’s legendary offensive line will take on this heavily fortified foe, but the Tribe’s strengths don’t stop there. On the W&M offense, junior attacker Woodard Hooper is the reigning CAA Player of the Week after a hat trick against Towson (1-12, 0-3 CAA), and senior midfielder Estelle Hughes has truly stolen the show by leading the conference with 19 points. W&M also touts its conference’s top two players in assists, juniors Annie Snead and Christie van de Kamp. It also happens that van de Kamp is set to play on the Junior National Team for the second year in a row.
The Tribe is a neutral 8-6 all-time against California teams, but considering W&M’s recent conference-wide conquest, it’s clear that today’s match will be nothing less than a coastal clash for the history books. This trip is also a turning point for the Griffins because it marks the first time they have ever traveled for a field hockey match past the Mississippi river. Get ready to watch history in the making today at 3:00 p.m. on Varsity Turf.
Contact Arman Kassam at armank ‘at’ stanford.edu.