Lucy Dikeou scored four goals, including the winner with 4:05 left, to give No. 6 Stanford an 11-10 victory over No. 7 Notre Dame on Saturday.
With piles of snow lining the field on a chilly day, Stanford (8-1) scored four consecutive goals to erase a 9-6 second-half deficit.
“They’re fighters,” Stanford coach Amy Bokker said. “They go down swinging every time they step on the field.”
With the score tied, 10-10, and Stanford up a player up because of a Notre Dame penalty, Dikeou found an opening on the right side and bounced a shot past goalie Liz O’Sullivan.
“Lucy has great speed and is really quick with the stick,” Bokker said. “She creates a lot of opportunities, not just for herself, but for her teammates.”
Stanford’s Hannah Farr won the draw, but the Cardinal was unable to run out the clock when a missed shot gave Notre Dame possession. In the tense final stretch, the teams exchanged turnovers before Stanford’s Megan Lerner drew a charge with 17 seconds left and the Cardinal was able to run out the clock.
During the turnover sequence, Adrienne Anderson defended one of Notre Dame’s top offensive threats out of the play.
“It was good team defense,” Bokker said. “They took good angles to the ball and were ready to help if they needed to.”
Indeed, Lerner and Rachel Kalick closed down on Notre Dame’s Stephanie Toy, with Lerner getting to the spot first to draw the foul and create the turnover. Lerner then leaped into the air in triumph.
Notre Dame (8-4) represented the highest ranked team Stanford will play during the regular season. The game also was a rematch of last year’s 7-6 Stanford victory in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Stanford’s first-ever NCAA victory.
The game featured four lead changes and four ties. However, Notre Dame appeared to take command when it took a 9-6 lead with 21:12 left on the 29th goal of the season and third of the game by freshman Cortney Fortunato.
Stanford countered with a goal by freshman Kelsey Murray, who scored twice within 6:06 to draw Stanford even at 9-9, and Alexandra Crerend capped the rally by putting the Cardinal in front, 10-9, with 9:49 left.
“Possession was the key,” Bokker said. “In the first half, we were losing draw controls.”
Stanford made adjustment, with Ashlynn Goerz playing a big role. The freshman earned two draw controls herself, but also did a strong job boxing out and allowing her teammates to gain possession.
Dikeou’s four goals tied her collegiate career high. She also caused four turnovers, had two ground balls, and earned a draw control. Murray and Farr each scored twice.
The rally was similar to Stanford’s rally from a 10-4 deficit at then-No. 14 Georgetown on the way to an 11-10 double-overtime victory on March 9. In fact, Stanford has beaten all four opponents currently ranked in the IWLCA top 20 and could be in line to play host to an NCAA tournament game if the Cardinal can take care of business in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play.
That task, however, will be difficult, with a visit from 2013 regular-season champion Denver on Friday (7 p.m.) at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
March 31, 2014
Syracuse (+2): A win over Notre Dame — and winning the faceoff battle, no less — was a strong response to a shellacking at the hands of Duke a week earlier.
Penn (+2): A 6-5 win over Yale could have gone either way, but the Quakers avoided dropping to 0-3 in the Ivy League.
Fairfield (+2): The Stags quietly keep moving up the rankings but are far from a sure thing. Through the non-conference season, Fairfield beat UMass and Yale, but lost to Hofstra and Providence. A key ECAC tilt with Ohio State doesn’t come until April 26.
Princeton (-4): The Ivy League is competitive, but an 11-10 loss to Brown may say more about where Princeton is the national scheme of things.
Albany (-3): You could say the Great Danes are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. Albany lost to unranked Canisius 14-10 on Tuesday, just two games after the Golden Griffins had beaten first-year program Monmouth by just a goal. The Thompsons head to Homewood Field for a Friday night showdown with Johns Hopkins.
Hofstra (17): The Pride has clinched a CAA post-season berth already, a welcome note considering they missed the conference postseason all together last year. This Hofstra edition is looking rather strong as the calendar flips to April.
St. John’s (19): It’s dangerous to use the transitive property, especially when it comes to teams ranked 15 and below. But, for comparison’s sake, as St. John’s enters the Top 20 they beat Providence 14-7. Bryant, ranked 13th, also beat Providence, but by a 7-6 score earlier in the week.
Drexel (20): The Dragons return to the Top 20 after beating Delaware on Saturday, but their re-apparance has more to do with the season at large and circumstance, as Drexel holds wins over Albany and St. John’s earlier in the year.
Penn St. (18): The at-large-or-bust Nits are below .500 after losing to Villanova. If this team’s NCAA hopes weren’t dashed this time last week, they are now.
Towson (19): The Tigers had a chance to remain in the rankings with a matchup with Hofstra on Saturday night, but fell 9-7.
Colgate (20): The gritty Raiders just missed the cut after playing Loyola tough in a 10-8 loss.
March 31, 2014
Northwestern (+3): Back in the Top 10 this week, the Wildcats handed Massachusetts its first loss of the season, a little reminder that Northwestern is still out there for anyone who wants to conveniently forget about the seven-time NCAA champions.
Ohio State (+3): With Northwestern netting a big win and the Buckeyes going 2-0 this week, Ohio State had nowhere to go but up, particularly since some teams ahead of them fell last week.
Stanford (+2): If you didn’t think the Cardinal were for real, perhaps the win over Notre Dame this week (and the improvement in stature of that wins over Ohio State and Vanderbilt got this week) will.
Johns Hopkins (-4): A tough drop after reaching the Top 10 just last week, the loss to unranked (but tough) Vanderbilt and the weakening of last week’s win over Georgetown gave them the double-hit.
Massachusetts (-3): Another first-time loser, the Minutewomen stay in the Top 10, but won’t face another team that was even considered for the rankings until the final regular-season game on April 27 against currently 9-1 Duquesne.
Louisville (18): Returning to the rankings once again, Louisville has only one win against a Top 20 team (Denver), but played Duke, Ohio State and Notre Dame tough and has gotten back-to-back quality wins over Vanderbilt and Georgetown.
Denver (19): The only blemish for the Pioneers so far is a loss against Louisville at the beginning of March. Denver takes on Stanford in a huge MPSF battle on Friday night in northern California.
Georgetown: It’s a tough call to say that the Hoyas aren’t among the Top 20 teams in the nation, but right now, a 3-6 mark and three straight losses have them on the outs.
Brown: Two losses this week leave Bruno on the outside looking in.