For the second time this month, Stanford heads to the East Coast for a two-game road trip. The first was marked by a pair of overtime victories against ranked teams. This one should be difficult as well for the No. 13 Cardinal, which plays at Cornell on Tuesday at No. 6 Notre Dame on Saturday in a rematch of last year’s NCAA first round contest. Notre Dame represents the highest ranked team on Stanford’s schedule this year.
Stanford returned 11 starters and 96 percent of its goals from last year’s team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Stanford opened with two home victories before failing to protect a five-goal lead in a 16-15 overtime loss to Vanderbilt. However, Stanford has since won four straight, including a pair of road overtime victories over No. 11 Towson and No. 14 Georgetown.
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Tuesday’s Opponent, Cornell: The Big Red is 4-3 after winning four of its first five and then dropping its past two games. Cornell is coming off a 10-6 season in which the Big Red placed fourth in the Ivy League with a 4-3 record. Lindsay Toppe leads the team in goals with 22, and Emily Tripodi has 18 assists.
The Stanford-Cornell Series: Cornell leads the all-time series, 6-2. This is their first meeting since 2008 when visiting Stanford lost, 13-9. All the previous meetings took place between 1999-2008. This will be the first in the series for Amy Bokker, who took over as Stanford’s coach in 2009. Cornell is 3-0 against the Cardinal in Ithaca, but Stanford has won two of the past three meetings.
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Saturday’s Opponent, Notre Dame: The Irish (8-3, 1-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) are led by freshman Cortney Fortunato, who has 28 goals and 10 assists. The team’s only losses are to teams ranked Nos. 1, 2, and 5 in the current IWLCA poll — all members of Notre Dame’s new conference, the ACC. Senior Margaret Smith leads the ACC in caused turnovers, with 2.00 per game.
The Stanford-Notre Dame Series: Notre Dame leads the all-time series, 9-5. The teams met twice last year, including in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Evanston, Ill. Stanford won 8-7 on Hannah Farr’s free-position goal with four seconds left in frigid conditions. In the 2013 opener at Stanford, Notre Dame won 12-10. The teams have played four times in the past three years, with the teams splitting 2-2. Except for 2010, the teams have played annually since 2002. In games at Notre Dame, the Irish lead 3-2. Stanford most recent victory at Notre Dame was in 2005, by a 6-5 score.