No. 18 Stanford field hockey (4-3, 0-1 American East) could not overcome second-half struggles in its conference opener, falling 3-2 at New Hampshire (2-3, 1-0 America East). The loss snaps Stanford’s win streak at four games, two of which were against top-10 teams, and is the first loss to an unranked opponent this year.
Notably absent on Friday was the efficiency, particularly in goals per shots taken, that Stanford has displayed in other games this week. The Cardinal outshout the Wildcats 14-10 and took five penalty corners to the Wildcats’ three, but the net proved elusive for Stanford’s offense.
Going into Friday’s matchup, approximately 74% (54/73) of Stanford shots this season were on goal, meaning that either a goal was scored or the opposing goalkeeper made a save. As recently as Thursday’s win over No. 10 Harvard, Stanford shot 87.5% (7/8) on goal.
Friday was a different story, as just 64% (9/14) of Stanford shots were headed for the net. The Cardinal finally broke through with four minutes left in the first half, as senior midfielder Phoebe Crosthwaite notched her second goal of the season to give Stanford a 1-0 lead. But Stanford’s failure to score more early points proved devastating when New Hampshire turned up the heat in the second half.
The Wildcats outshot the Cardinal 6-1 in the third quarter, netting back-to-back goals in the same two-minute span to claim a 2-1 lead. Having already assisted Crosthwaite’s first-half goal, senior attacker Jessica Welch scored a goal of her own in the 57th minute to knot the game at 2-2.
But the Wildcats connected on a penalty corner less than one minute after Welch’s goal, securing a 3-2 lead that would prove insurmountable for the Cardinal.
For the first time this season, junior attacker Corinne Zanolli walked away from a game without a goal to her name.
With Friday’s loss, five of Stanford’s seven games this season have been decided by just one point, and three of them have gone to shootouts. The Cardinal are now 2-3 in these narrow contests, having come out on top in two of the shootouts.
Stanford will stay in New Hampshire for the finale of a four-game road trip in which the Cardinal are thus far 2-1. They will aim to maintain a winning record overall and secure a .500 conference record in a matchup against Vermont (2-2, 0-0 America East) on Sunday at 9 a.m. PT.
Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.