STANFORD, Calif.- No. 12 Stanford continues its four-game homestand later this week, hosting No. 20 New Hampshire on Friday (6 p.m.) and VCU on Sunday (2 p.m.) at the Varsity Turf.
The Cardinal (1-1, 0-0 NorPac) will face its second nationally-ranked opponent of the year when No. 20 New Hampshire (0-2, 0-0 America East) visits The Farm. The Wildcats enter Friday’s contest winless in two attempts, but that’s a bit deceiving. New Hampshire’s first loss was an 8-4 defeat to No. 2 Maryland, but the Wildcats scored three of the game’s final four goals. The following day, New Hampshire dropped a 3-2 decision to Ohio State after the Buckeyes scored with five seconds left in regulation and eventually won the game in a penalty shootout.
VCU (0-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10), which squares off against Pacific on Friday night, came up short in its season opener at William & Mary last weekend, falling 4-2. The Rams received the bulk of their offensive production from Stephanie Demasi and Kendell Combs, with both players accounting for one goal and one assist while combining for eight of VCU’s 12 shots.
Stanford came away with a split last weekend but should be encouraged by both performances.
Facing No. 4 Connecticut in the season opener, Stanford nearly knocked off its highest-ranked opponent since a 2-1 upset of No. 3 Michigan State on Aug. 31, 2001. The Huskies prevailed 2-1 in double-overtime, but the Cardinal settled down after a slow start and proved to be the more aggressive team after halftime. Jessica Chisholm tied the game at 1-1 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation while overtime near-misses from Alex McCawley and Hope Burke nearly won the game for Stanford, which owned advantages in shots (15-7) and penalty corners (5-2).
Rebounding emphatically two days later, Stanford easily dispatching Michigan State 5-2 for its first win in the series since 2011. Burke and Maddie Secco scored two goals apiece, leading an efficient offensive attack in which Stanford found the cage five times off 11 total shots. Lauren Becker was credited with one goal and one assist off the bench while Kelsey Harbin registered the fifth defensive save of her career.
Meanwhile, Burke was named the NorPac's West Division Offensive Player of the Week. The senior captain attempted a team-high five shots and scored twice over two games. Against Connecticut, Burke tallied a team-best three shot attempts. Two days later, she scored twice against Michigan State in her fourth career multi-goal game.