Tribe 9, Stanford 7
p. Five consecutive first-half goals and a spirited defensive effort were enough to earn the Tribe a 9-7 victory over no. 10 Stanford University Tuesday at Albert-Daly Field. The win snapped the College’s six-game skid and improved the Tribe’s record to 3-6.
The College went on a five-goal tear early in the first half and held a 7-4 lead at the break before a torrid Cardinal attack cut the Tribe advantage to two with just over 14 minutes remaining. It seemed as if Stanford (6-3) was in position to make a run at the College’s lead, but a rally never materialized after Tribe Head Coach Christine Halfpenny called a timeout at the 12:20 mark.
“Our coach called us in and told us we could not be afraid to lose and we had to go and win it,” junior defender Kate Lawlor said. “I think we played with confidence. We didn’t panic, we didn’t freak out. It was just a matter of having pride in our own game.”
The timeout helped settle the Tribe, as the team proved to be up to the task of stopping Stanford. Freshman goalie Emily Geary recorded 12 saves, eight of which came in the second half, to shut down the Cardinal attack.
Stanford’s final scoring opportunity caromed off the crossbar with 12 seconds left and Geary was able to secure the ball to preserve the College’s victory.
“It feels great to win,” Halfpenny said. “We finally put our full game plan together and our kids were really disciplined. We’re very young, but at the same time I was very proud of our composure tonight.”
Geary was one of six freshmen that started for the Tribe, and each made a significant contribution in the win. Freshman attacker Ashley Holofcener notched three goals while fellow freshman midfielder Grace Golden scored two.
“They didn’t play like freshman,” senior midfielder Jamie Sellers said. “They really showed their experience and today it worked out for them.”
Sellers extended her goals-scored streak to 25 games with the Tribe’s first tally of the night, a shot that rocketed past the Stanford goalkeeper just over five minutes into the game. The senior struck again at the 25 minute mark of the second half in what would be the game’s decisive score, and added an insurance goal three minutes later.
The win couldn’t have come at a better time for the Tribe, with conference play just around the corner. The College had suffered three consecutive losses to ranked opponents entering the night, but the lessons learned in those defeats were evident in the Tribe’s mature play down the stretch.
“Our coaches prepared us really well for what was going to come,” Lawlor said. “It was all a matter of working together and communicating through picks and screens. We just came together and we weren’t afraid to go after it.”