Nov. 10, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.- No. 11 Stanford's impressive season came to an end on Saturday morning, as No. 1 North Carolina prevailed 4-1 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The loss wrapped up another strong campaign for Stanford (16-7, 6-0 NorPac), which both reached the NCAA Tournament and captured the NorPac Championship for the fifth time in six years. The Cardinal, which has been a fixture in the national rankings for all but one week over the last three years, navigated through a grueling non-conference schedule in which it played four games against the nation's No. 1-ranked team at the time.
That was the case again on Saturday, with Stanford unfortunately and perhaps unfairly drawing a challenging first-round matchup in North Carolina, a program which owns six NCAA titles to its credit while finishing as the national runner-up two straight seasons.
The first-round pairing represented a rematch from earlier this season, when North Carolina defeated the Cardinal 6-2 back on Sept. 23 in Chapel Hill, N.C. In that game, the Tar Heels held advantages in shots (18-6) and penalty corners (7-4).
Stanford fared much better in Saturday's contest, nearly matching North Carolina in those categories as the Tar Heels owned a 16-10 shot edge and attempted six of the game's 10 penalty corners.
Kelsey Harbin accounted for the Cardinal's only goal, taking an assist from Becky Dru and scoring for the fifth time this year in the 60th minute. Harbin's goal was Stanford's first in an NCAA Tournament game since Katherine Swank in 2010 and only the fifth postseason tally in school history.
The Cardinal, which is 48-17 in three seasons under head coach Tara Danielson and has won at least 15 games in four consecutive years, remains winless in 12 NCAA Tournament appearances.
North Carolina applied pressure from the outset, with Charlotte Craddock scoring her 21st goal of the year unassisted after a hard shot from the top left of the circle.
Emma Bozek padded the Tar Heels' lead in the 28th minute, scoring unassisted with a shot into the top left corner of the cage and allowing the hosts to take a 2-0 advantage into halftime.
Less than four minutes after intermission, Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany scored on a deflection from the left side of the cage following an assist from Kelsey Kolojejchick.
North Carolina held a 3-0 lead until the 59:25 mark, when Harbin scored on a penalty corner with Dru providing her team-best 12 assist of the year. Harbin, who missed the first earlier meeting while representing the U.S. team at the Junior Pan American Championships, made her presence felt on Saturday with two of the Cardinal's 10 shot attempts.
Sinead Loughran officially put the game out of reach in the 68th minute, finding the cage off a cross from Bozek.
Harbin, Dru, Alex McCawley and Maddie Secco all tallied two shots apiece for Stanford.
Freshman Dulcie Davies, the Cardinal's lone goalkeeper on the roster, made four saves in the loss. Davies closed out a solid rookie season, posting seven shutouts and playing all but 6:23 in goal when Stanford shifted to an empty net.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
NOTES: Arguably the best player in school history, Becky Dru's career came to an end on Saturday. In 87 career games, Dru totaled 54 goals, 36 assists, 144 points, 311 shots and 15 game-winning goals. The Buckinghamshire, England, native was named an NFHCA First Team All-American in 2011 and will merit serious consideration again this year ... Stanford is now 0-12 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, having also made appearances in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2000, 1995, 1991, 1990, 1987, 1986 and 1985. The Cardinal owns a 4-1 record in NCAA Play-In games, which are not counted in the overall record ... Stanford's six-member senior class of Dru, Emily Henriksson, Kelsey Lloyd, Katie Mitchell, Colleen Ryan and Alysha Sekhon compiled a 65-22 overall record while qualifying for the NCAA Tournament all four seasons. That's the best four-year stretch in school history ... Stanford finished 6-2 at home, 3-4 on the road and 7-1 in neutral site games ... Stanford outscored its opponents 67-36 and outshot its foes 364-190. The Cardinal also attempted 159 penalty corners while allowing 90.