By Jeremy Rubin
With the season and program on the line, senior attacker Corinne Zanolli once again came through when her team needed her most. Set up by a penalty corner in the third minute of overtime, Zanolli fired a shot into the back of the net to give field hockey (11-2, 6-2 America East) a 5-4 win over No. 16 Miami (Ohio) (13-2, 10-0 MAC) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The score, which was assisted by senior midfielder Frances Carstens and sophomore midfielder Megan Frost, ensures a rematch against No. 1 North Carolina (16-1, 9-1 ACC) on Sunday. The two teams faced off in 2019, when the Tar Heels got the best of the Cardinal in a 4-0 shutout.
Although the RedHawks scored first less than a minute into the game, Stanford scored three straight unanswered to enter halftime with a 3-1 lead. Zanolli had each of the first two, and junior defender Juli Porto found the back of the net for the third. Porto added another midway into the second half to make it a 4-2 game. Her pair of scores and Zanolli’s three accounted for the entirety of the team’s scoring and a combined 11 shots.
Miami (Ohio) chipped away following Porto’s second goal to tie the contest with just over a minute and a half left in regular time. The RedHawks outshot the Cardinal 9-1 in the fourth quarter and 18-15 on the game and also held a significant 12-7 penalty corner advantage.
Much like the team’s America East Championship win, however, Stanford once again found a way in overtime. The team has now won four straight games, three of which have gone to overtime.
The Tar Heels are on a 15-game winning streak of their own and, much like Stanford, each of their previous four contests were decided in overtime. The entire tournament is taking place on North Carolina’s field in Chapel Hill, where the team is undefeated on the season.
The rematch will commence on Sunday at 9 a.m. PT.