Oct. 30, 2011
NorPac Championship Central
ANN ARBOR, Mich.- No. 9 Stanford stands three victories away from setting a single-season school record.
More impressively, the Cardinal's latest win might have secured a spot in the postseason.
Notching arguably its biggest victory to date, Stanford blanked No. 7 Michigan 3-0 on Sunday morning to come away with a signature win that should only enhance the Cardinal's chances for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth.
Taking down its sixth top-20 opponent while improving to 8-2 in games played away from home, Stanford (15-2, 6-0 NorPac) completed a sweep of its two-game road trip to conclude the regular season. Sunday's win over Michigan, the Big Ten champion also ranked No. 8 in the RPI, was especially important for Stanford, which is ranked No. 4 in the RPI.
Having already matched a school record with nine consecutive wins earlier this year, Stanford is riding a five-game winning streak heading into next weekend's NorPac Championship. The Cardinal, which will open play as the West Division's No. 1 seed against Appalachian State on Thursday at 1:30 p.m., is the four-time defending champion of the event.
Sunday's victory over Michigan (13-5, 5-1 Big Ten) was especially impressive, considering the Wolverines had won eight in a row at home.
Stanford, which had lost to Michigan in all six previous meetings, joined North Carolina as the only teams to shut out the Wolverines in 2011.
Michigan controlled play with edges in shots (19-5) and penalty corners (10-6), but it was Stanford that executed perfectly to claim the win.
Stanford went ahead 1-0 with just 15 seconds left in the first period, as Hope Burke converted on a shot from the left post following the first of two assists from Becky Dru.
In the 44th minute, Shannon Herold scored her second goal in as many games, with Dru providing another assist.
The Cardinal added insurance at the 68:47 mark, when Dru tallied her team-leading 14th goal off a penalty corner with assists from Burke and Stephanie Byrne.
Michigan's Bryn Bain led all players with six shot attempts.
Goalkeeper Ale Moss came up with her best performance of the year, making a season-high nine saves (seven in the second half) and turning the Wolverines away at every opportunity.
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NOTES: Stanford has scored at least three goals in all but two games this year (a 4-2 loss at Connecticut on Aug. 28, a 1-0 victory over Robert Morris on Oct. 30) ... Becky Dru's goal was the 40th of her career. Her 14 goals this year represent a career high after tallying 13 goals in each of her first two seasons ... Stephanie Byrne leads the Cardinal with 13 assists, the most for any Cardinal player in a season since Nora Soza racked up 17 in 2009 ... Anna Simmons was credited with a defensive save, increasing Stanford's total to six ... Michigan lost for the first time to a team that did not appear in the 2010 national semifinals. The Wolverines had previously lost to North Carolina (twice), Maryland and Ohio State, all of which competed in last year's national semifinals.