Stanford cruises past Iona in quarterfinal round of national championship
BOSTON -- Stanford advanced to the semifinals of the national championship with a 20-3 win against No. 7-seed Iona Friday at Harvard's Blodgett Pool.
The Cardinal will take on UCLA in the next round.
After taking a four-goal lead in the opening eight minutes, Stanford broke the game open with six goals in the second period en route to a 10-0 halftime lead.
For the Cardinal defense, which entered Friday's game allowing just 4.52 goals a game, the result marked the 11th time this season that it has held an opponent to less than three goals. Goalies Kate Baldoni and Gabby Stone anchored the effort, combining for eight saves. Stone started the contest and played the first, third and fourth periods, allowing the three Iona goals, while Kate Baldoni did not concede in the second frame.
"We were pleased with the start. I liked how we played on defense, we got things going in the second quarter, but even in the first quarter when we weren't scoring the ball I liked what we were doing," Stanford head coach John Tanner said. "Our possessions were good, we were passing well and seeing opportunities. Jillian [Garton] created a bunch of chances and was doing a nice job controlling our offense."
At the other end of the pool, senior Melissa Seidemann led 10 Cardinal scorers with four goals. Junior Annika Dries posted a hat trick of her own, while Ashley Grossman, Maggie Steffens and Anna Yelizarova each scored twice. Additional goals were scored by Cory Dodson, Kaley Dodson, Jillian Garton, Alexis Lee, Kaitlyn Lo, Kiley Neushul and Lexie Ross.
The teams exchanged possessions in the opening minutes until Seidemann broke the deadlock with a strike at the 6:14 mark. The momentum built for the Cardinal as Dries scored 28 seconds later, while Grossman scored the third at 1:07 and Seidemann netted her second with nine seconds remaining.
Seidemann had her hat trick in the bag just 23 seconds into the second frame, beginning Stanford's six-goal burst. Steffens added her first two goals of the game in the ensuing minutes as the Cardinal all but ensured passage into Saturday's semifinal.
Meanwhile the Cardinal defense continued its dominance behind the field play of senior captain Jillian Garton and others. Iona was held scoreless for the game's first 22:44 until Amy Olsen scored from the angle with 1:16 left in the third period to put the Gaels on the board.
"What we really try to focus on is pressing for as long as we can and if we need to get back into a help we do," Garton said. "I think that we did a good job fronting the scheme and keeping them out of the two-meter line. We also did a really good job of getting in their faces and not letting those five-meter fouls really happen."