No. 23 Stanford Field Hockey (0-1) opened the season at home Friday morning for the first time since 2016 with a faceoff with No.15 Northwestern (1-0). Both the Cardinal and the Wildcats put in strong performances, but Northwestern eked out the win 4-3 in a shootout.
The match served as the debut for freshmen midfielder Megan Frost and defender Rose Winter. Three fouls were called early against Stanford in quick succession, and Northwestern made several substitutions to find the right combination of players.
At the 5:40 mark, junior attacker Corinne Zanolli scored the first goal of the game for the Cardinal, and the season, on an assist from Frost and redshirt sophomore defender Sarah Johnson. In an effort to respond, a shot was fired off by Northwestern’s forward Bente Baekers but flew wide. Another Wildcat shot effort by midfielder Sabrina Solomen was blocked by Stanford goalkeeper senior Kelsey Bing. Stanford held the lead to end the first half on top.
The second half began with energy, and Zanolli capitalized with two shot attempts, but both went high. At the twenty minute mark, Zanolli tried her luck again, but the Northwestern goalkeeper denied the efforts. The Cardinal offense kept Northwestern on its toes as the entire Wildcats defense put in strong defensive play to limit further Stanford advances. Northwestern’s defense turned into offense, and Baekers carried out a solo run and with a shot from the left side tied up the score 1-1 in the 27th minute.
With no change in score, the game was sent to extra minutes. The first overtime period saw even more action with both teams making advances to break the deadlock. After a Wildcat penalty corner and a shot launched off by Northwestern’s forward/midfielder Lakin Barry, possession switched in Stanford’s favor and the Cardinal put another goal on the board. Zanolli scored her second of the game and surpassed the 100-point mark for her career.
In her debut, Frost got a good look at a goal in the 39th minute but the shot was blocked. At the 40th minute possession returned to Northwestern and the Wildcats capitalized. In rapid succession a shot attempt, penalty corner and score by Maren Seidel knotted the game at 2-2. On a run, Northwestern added a goal by Baekers to take a 3-2 lead at the end of the first overtime period.
Northwestern flipped the script on the first half so that it was now Stanford’s keeper Kelsey Bing working to deny Northwestern attempts. Bing finished with a career high 14 saves in the cage. Against the run of play, Stanford tied the score at 3-3 with an impressive shot from Winter, marking her first career score. Neither team could break through before the final whistle of overtime, sending the game to a shootout.
Stanford made the first attempt, but missed three of the next four. Northwestern squandered the first, but buried the next three in succession to claim the shootout 3-2, and open the season with a win.
Stanford will next play No. 4 Connecticut on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT.