STANFORD, Calif. Tied at 2-2 through the first 20 minutes, No. 6 Stanford responded with five unanswered goals to claim a 7-2 victory over Davidson on Friday afternoon in the semifinal round of the NorPac Championship.
Winners of seven straight, Stanford (17-2, 6-0 NorPac) advanced to Saturday's title match against No. 16 California (15-3, 4-2 NorPac) at 1:30 p.m. The last five NorPac Championship title games have resulted in a Stanford-California matchup, with the Cardinal defeating the Golden Bears four straight years. California posted a 3-1 win in the 2006 championship game.
Stanford is now one win away from establishing a single-season school record for victories. Friday's win matched the total produced by the 2009 squad.
Alex McCawley and Stephanie Byrne each scored twice to pace a dominating Stanford attack that featured advantages in shots (22-5) and penalty corners (8-3).
After a flurry of action early on, play eventually settled down and the Cardinal controlled the action until the final horn.
Davidson (11-8, 4-2 NorPac) produced goals on its first two shot attempts of the game, with Christine Rua scoring the first of her two goals just 52 seconds into the match thanks to an assist from Meg Jarrell.
Becky Dru scored her team-leading 16th goal on a textbook penalty corner play, followed by Emily Henriksson netting her seventh goal of the year unassisted after she converted following a steal.
Trailing 2-1, Rua evened the contest at 2-2 in the 19th minute, with Finley Amato providing an assist on the play.
Stanford then ambushed Davidson with three goals over a four-minute span late in the first period, putting the game away.
McCawley's first goal came unassisted at the 28:06 mark, taking advantage of a scramble inside the circle off a rebound.
Back-to-back goals from Stephanie Byrne pushed Stanford's lead to 5-2 heading into halftime.
McCawley added another score in the 40th minute, beating the defense with a low strike following a well-centered pass from Devon Holman.
Courtney Haldeman rounded out the scoring at the 50:11 mark, scoring unassisted when the ball glanced off the end of the stick and over the head of Davidson keeper Sarah Fisher.
Dru led all players with six shots, while McCawley chipped in with five attempts and Byrne contributed four.
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NOTES: Stanford and California will be meeting for the third time on Saturday. The Cardinal won both regular-season games by a 3-2 score ... Saturday's NorPac Championship can be heard live at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu, and selecting KZSU-3 ... Of Stanford's 72 goals, 36 have come in the first half and 35 in the second period ... Becky Dru's 39 points (16 goals, 7 assists) are the most for a Cardinal player since Sara Hallock's 52 in 1993 ... Davidson snapped Stanford's string of four consecutive shutouts ... 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).