STANFORD, Calif.- Katie Mitchell's goal in the 61st minute propelled No. 16 Stanford to its fourth straight victory, a 2-1 triumph over No. 18 Drexel on Sunday afternoon at the Varsity Turf.
The Cardinal's four-game winning streak comes on the heels of its first three-game losing skid in four years. Sunday's victory, coupled with Friday's 3-2 win over No. 10 Iowa, wrapped up a successful homestand for Stanford (5-3, 0-0 NorPac), which enters a 13-day break.
Sunday's contest was the latest in a stretch of three consecutive victories decided by one goal.
"I think our team is showing growth, trying to improve their game as individuals and learning from mistakes," said head coach Tara Danielson. "We had to mix some things up today and test our depth. Drexel is a good, feisty team with a strong presence on the ball. I thought we did a good job of handling that and showing resolve."
In an evenly-played contest, Stanford held a 10-8 advantage in shots while Drexel owned a 6-3 edge in penalty corners.
For the first time in three games, the Cardinal struck first. At the 12:28 mark, Courtney Haldeman emerged from a scrum in front of the goal to tap home her fourth goal of the year and put Stanford in front 1-0 at halftime.
Drexel's pressure eventually paid dividends in the 53rd minute, when Kristen Focht received a pass from Amanda Fleischut and found an opening to the right of the cage to make it 1-1.
Nine minutes later after a penalty corner, Mitchell slipped past her defender and notched her fourth goal of the season following an assist from Becky Dru.
For the second consecutive game, no Stanford player finished with more than two shots. Lauren Becker, Haldeman, Alex McCawley and Mitchell each recorded two attempts.
Dulcie Davies was outstanding in goal, denying a few point-blank attempts while making five saves.
Stanford was without the services of regular starters Kelsey Harbin and Maddie Secco, with both players missing the next two games and three overall as they participate in the Junior Pan American Championships, set for Sept. 10-23. Harbin is a member of the U.S. team while Secco has a spot on Canada's roster.
Stanford is back in action on Saturday, Sept. 22, against Radford in a neutral site game to be played at Chapel Hill, N.C.
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NOTES: Stanford has faced four top-25 teams through eight games, compiling a 2-2 record ... Courtney Haldeman and Katie Mitchell share the team lead with four goals ... Of Stanford's 24 goals so far, 12 have come in the first half and 12 in the second half. Of the Cardinal's 132 total shots, 64 have occurred in the first period and 63 in the second period ... Becky Dru dished out her team-high fourth assist of the year ... The Cardinal has only three home games remaining: Oct. 5 (UC Davis, 7 p.m.), Oct. 19 (Pacific, 4 p.m.) and Oct. 23 (California, 7 p.m.). The season finale against the Golden Bears will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.