By Arman Kassam
No. 15 Stanford field hockey (6-5, 1-0 AEC) suffered a 3-1 loss to No. 21 Wake Forest (4-5, 0-1 ACC) and a 1-0 loss to No. 2 Duke (8-1, 0-1 ACC) this past Friday and Sunday, respectively. The Cardinal’s tour of North Carolina brought on tough battles and even tougher decisions, as Stanford just barely dropped the ball against the Demon Deacons and could almost taste a tie against the Blue Devils in the second half of Sunday’s match.
The Cardinal came off of a glorious 2-0 victory over rival Cal (3-6, 0-1 AEC) on Sept. 20, having now won 14 of the last 16 confrontations against the Golden Bears since 2016. A third-quarter goal by junior attacker Corinne Zanolli broke a 0-0 deadlock against the Golden Bears, and then another from the All-American sealed the deal in the 58th minute.
The battle against Wake Forest was a different story. Cut off in Demon territory, the Cardinal gave up two goals in the fourth quarter. Zanolli added another to her nation-leading 15 goals in the second quarter — a missile from the top of the circle. But in the third quarter, the Deacons’ junior forward Alexis Grippo returned the compliment with her first goal of the season. And like the gelatinous blobs that constrained Mr. Incredible, the Deacons suppressed the Cardinal and popped in two more goals in the second half at the hands of Grippo and sophomore midfielder Laia Vancells with less than five minutes remaining.
The Stanford loss had hope to be redeemed in Durham, not too far from Chapel Hill, the home of No. 1 University of North Carolina (9-0, 2-0 ACC), Duke’s next opponent. Here the field hockey team ventured into the unofficial capital of the collegiate sport, the Mordor of hockey-dom. The Devils, the equivalent of the Ringwraiths and true servants of Sauron the Deceiver, were able to score a point in the 18th minute. Duke beat Stanford in terms of shots (11 to 7), shots on goal (4 to 3) and corners (4 to 2). Although the Cardinal made valiant attempts at putting one on the scoreboard, their momentum was not enough to topple the tower of Barad-dur and truly usher in the fourth age. Freshman attacker Lynn Vanderstichele, a London native, was able to place two shots on target for the Cardinal and freshman defender Rose Winter added one.
Stanford’s next opponent is Syracuse (7-2, 1-1 ACC), which they will face on Oct. 5 at 2:00 p.m. PT in Berkeley, CA.
Contact Arman Kassam at [email protected]