Aug. 26, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford has established a reputation as one of the country's fast-rising programs over the last five seasons, shattering school records along the way while remaining a fixture in the national rankings.
No longer satisfied with simply being included in the national discussion, the Cardinal was trying to make a bigger statement on Sunday afternoon with No. 1 Maryland visiting The Farm in one of the most highly-anticipated games in school history.
The end result might have been a hard-fought 3-2 double-overtime loss, but Sunday's inspired effort served notice that Stanford is quickly closing the gap on the sport's national title contenders even more.
Katie Gerzabek's goal with 24 seconds remaining in the second overtime period lifted two-time defending NCAA champion Maryland to a thrilling 3-2 victory over No. 11 Stanford in front of a large, energized crowd at the Varsity Turf.
Less than one minute away from participating in its first shootout since 2008, Stanford suffered a heart-breaking defeat when Gerzabek tapped home a loose ball near the cage at the 99:36 mark following a scrum that developed after a penalty corner.
About 30 minutes earlier, it looked as if Sunday's contest might actually be won in regulation. After erasing a 1-0 halftime deficit, Stanford (1-1, 0-0 NorPac) appeared poised to notch a program-defining upset after scoring two goals in a four-minute stretch early in the second half. However, Jill Witmer scored the second of her two goals in the 67th minute to knot the game at 2-2 and force overtime.
"We just needed to settle down early on and once we started to play our game, we were able to see results," said head coach Tara Danielson. "I'm really proud of how we played. Dulcie (Davies) was fantastic. But we're not satisfied. I'm not satisfied. The team isn't satisfied. On the other hand, it's game two. So this helps reveal where we are and what we need to work on."
As expected, Maryland (2-0, 0-0 ACC) controlled the flow of play over the first 35 minutes. The Terrapins held a 10-3 shot edge at intermission and attempted four of its 10 penalty corners during that stretch. Witmer's unassisted goal in the 31st minutes gave the Terrapins a 1-0 lead.
It may have been worse for Stanford if not for a tremendous effort in the cage from freshman Dulcie Davies, playing in only her second collegiate game and facing a much stiffer challenge than Friday's 10-0 rout of La Salle. Davies kept Stanford within striking distance throughout the contest, repeatedly denying point-blank shot attempts among her nine saves while displaying composure in her organization of the Cardinal defense.
Alex McCawley tied the game at 1-1 with her second goal of the year in the 38th minute, blistering a shot into the top of the cage. Two and half minutes later, Jessica Chisholm knocked in a loose ball through traffic near the goal for her first career score. Suddenly, Stanford was in front 2-1 and owned all the momentum.
Maryland pulled goalkeeper Natalie Hunter in favor of an extra field player with six minutes left in regulation. The strategy paid off when Witmer slipped a goal past Davies at the 66:41 mark.
The teams proceeded to play 29 minutes of scoreless overtime, with both clubs showing increased fatigue at times as the contest progressed. In fact, Maryland was a player down for most of the second overtime after Megan Frazier was issued a yellow card in the 91st minute.
Gerzabek then ended any chance of a shootout, burying the game-winner past Davies following a scrum near the goal.
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NOTES: Talk about entertaining TV: Sunday's contest was shown live on the Pac-12 Networks, representing the first-ever televised contest from the Varsity Turf ... Stanford lost in overtime for the first time since Oct. 18, 2010, falling 2-1 at Northeastern ... Maryland held advantages in shots (19-14) and penalty corners (10-4) ... The Terrapins were cited with four cards in the game, including a green card issued to the bench in the 59th minute ... Maddie Secco led the Cardinal with three shot attempts while Hope Burke, Chisholm, Kelsey Harbin and McCawley each tallied two ... Stanford had won nine consecutive regular-season home games entering Sunday's game ... Maryland has lost only eight games combined over the last four years ... Stanford is back in action on Wednesday, Aug. 29, hosting No. 20 Northwestern in a 12 p.m. contest.