STANFORD, Calif.- No. 12 Stanford scored twice in a 10-minute span during the second half, blanking VCU 2-0 on Sunday afternoon to close out a four-game homestand at the Varsity Turf.
Stanford (3-1, 0-0 NorPac) ambushed VCU early and often, attempting 12 of its 19 shots in the first half. The Cardinal, which also held a commanding 11-0 advantage in penalty corners, showcased a balanced offensive attack throughout the game. Kelsey Harbin led the Cardinal with four shots while eight other players registered at least one attempt.
Meanwhile, VCU (1-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10) was held without a shot attempt and struggled to generate consistent pressure inside Stanford territory.
Sunday’s contest represented the first time Stanford held an opponent without an attempt since Oct. 14, 2005, when the Cardinal owned a 40-0 shot advantage in a 3-0 shutout of Longwood at the Varsity Turf.
The result might have been even more lopsided if not for the impressive play of VCU goalkeeper Megan Botteri, who single-handedly kept the Rams within striking distance. Botteri racked up 15 saves, several of which required diving stops or leaping break-ups while off balance.
After a scoreless first half, Stanford’s persistent attack finally paid off at the 44:35 mark, when Clemence Couteau scored her first career goal. Couteau, who was attempting only her second career shot, dribbled past the left side of the cage and quickly beat Botteri to the near corner.
In the 55th minute, Courtney Haldeman put Stanford ahead 2-0 when she scored unassisted by tapping in a rebound near a scramble in front of the cage.
Dulcie Davies recorded her eighth career shutout.
Stanford next hits the road for the first time, facing Central Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 12 p.m. PT in a neutral-site game to be played in Iowa City. The Cardinal then takes on No. 13 Iowa the following afternoon.
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NOTES: Stanford blanked La Salle 10-0 in last year’s season opener, limiting the Explorers to just one shot … Clemence Couteau became the eighth different player to score a goal for Stanford this year … Kelsey Harbin leads the Cardinal in shots (14) … Courtney Haldeman’s next goal will be the 20th of her career … Stanford has won three in a row since a 2-1 double-overtime loss to No. 4 Connecticut in the season opener … The Cardinal has scored nine of its 13 goals after halftime … Stanford owns a 33-8 edge in penalty corners over its opponents.