Nov. 14, 2009
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PRINCETON, N.J.- No. 14 Stanford's record-setting season came to an end on Saturday morning in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, as the Cardinal fell to No. 4 Princeton 4-0.
Saturday's loss closes out a terrific 2009 campaign for Stanford, which established a school record with 17 victories, captured the NorPac Tournament championship for the third straight season and remained a fixture in the national rankings for more than two months.
The Cardinal (17-5, 5-1 NorPac), making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and first since 2007, was looking for its first postseason victory. Meanwhile, No. 4 Princeton was playing in its 14th NCAA Tournament after securing the Ivy League's automatic bid. The contest represented a rematch of last year's NCAA Play-In game, in which host Princeton defeated Stanford 8-2.
A shutout of Stanford has been rare. Princeton (15-2, 7-0 Ivy League) became the first team to hold Stanford scoreless since Radford posted a 1-0 overtime shutout back on Sept. 19, 2008- a span of 34 games dating back to last year.
Stanford's record-setting season was due in large part to its high-powered offense, as the Cardinal established single-season school records in goals (87), assists (60), points (234) and shots (410). But that wasn't the case on Saturday, with Princeton's defense locking up Stanford's top two scorers, junior Xanthe Travlos and freshman Becky Dru, and holding both players without a shot attempt.
Instead, Princeton owned a 25-4 shot advantage, including a 12-1 margin over the final 35 minutes. Katie Reinprecht led all players with seven shots while Kathleen Sharkey added six.
The Tigers also held a 5-2 edge in penalty corners, which was Stanford's primary method of scoring throughout the year.
Stanford was led by senior Midori Uehara's two shot attempts (one of which was on frame), while juniors Jaimee Erickson and Camille Gandhi each added one.
Stanford and Princeton remained scoreless until the 30th minute of the first half, when Katie Reinprecht tallied her 14th goal of the year for a 1-0 lead. Julia Reinprecht was credited with an assist on the play, her first of two in the contest.
It looked as if Stanford would trail only 1-0 heading into the break, staying within striking distance despite being outshot 13-3 in the first half. But with 17 seconds left in the period, Christina Bortz dribbled into the circle and fired a shot past outstretched Stanford keeper Alessandra Moss for a 2-0 Princeton lead at intermission.
The Tigers tacked on a pair of second-half goals, with Michelle Cesan scoring at the 45:16 mark and Rachel Neufeld finding the cage with seven minutes remaining in the contest.
Moss made 10 saves in goal, helping keep Stanford close during the first half. She also denied a penalty stroke attempt in the 58th minute by Princeton's Kaitlyn Perrelle. Regarded as one of the nation's best penalty stroke stoppers, Moss has now turned away five of the nine chances she has faced over her first two seasons.
Only one penalty corner was attempted in the second half, with Princeton awarded an opportunity with 23 seconds remaining.
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NOTES: Stanford is now 0-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, having also made appearances in 2007, 2000, 1995, 1991, 1990, 1987, 1986 and 1985. The Cardinal owns a 2-1 record in NCAA Play-In games, which are not counted in the overall record ... For only the fifth time in 22 games this season, Stanford failed to score at least three goals in a match ... Stanford's 17 wins are a school record, shattering the previous best mark of 14-6 established during the 1997 campaign ... Head coach Lesley Irvine is now 69-73 in seven seasons at the helm. She was named 2009 NorPac Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the second time in three seasons ... Xanthe Travlos finished the year with 17 goals, the most for any Cardinal player since Sara Hallock found the cage 25 times in 1993 ... Nora Soza (17) and Jaimee Erickson (14) wrapped up their seasons among the nation's leaders in assists ... Becky Dru closed out an impressive rookie year with 13 goals, seven assists, 33 points and 67 shots ... Stanford outscored its opponents 87-36 on the year and outshot its foes 410-220 ... Saturday marked the final career game for six seniors: Rachel Bush, Jennifer Luther and Rachel Mozenter, Marlana Shile, Nora Soza and Midori Uehara.