LOS ANGELES -- Kiley Neushul scored four times to pace top-seeded Stanford to an 18-2 win against No. 8 Indiana in Friday’s National Collegiate championship quarterfinal at Uytengsu Aquatics Center in Los Angeles.
Neushul was one of 10 Cardinal goal scorers as Stanford (23-1) advanced to Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. ET semifinal round, where it will face California.
Along with Neushul’s four goals, Annika Dries and Maggie Steffens netted hat tricks with three goals each, Kaitlyn Lo scored twice while Kaley Dodson, Ashley Grossman, Dani Jackovich, Kaitlyn Lo, Sophia Monaghan, Kelsey Suggs and Anna Yelizarova scored a goal apiece. The Cardinal got seven goals in the third period to help put Indiana (23-6) away.
“I don’t think we overlooked them at all. There are only three games left, and they’ve beaten some very good teams in the east,” junior two-meter Ashley Grossman said. “We came out knowing their main shooters and knowing that they’d be very physical on offense. Our 5-on-6 and execution on most of the opportunities we were given helped us prevail.”Stanford took control early on as Neushul powered home the game’s opening goal on the 6-on-5 after just 51 seconds. Dries also scored on the 6-on-5, this one coming with 3:44 to go in the frame as the power play would become a deciding factor in the contest for the Cardinal, which converted eight of its nine extra-attacker opportunities Friday. Stanford also scored on its only five-meter penalty attempt as Neushul cashed in the opportunity.
“I thought we were very efficient with our opportunities,” Stanford head coach John Tanner said. “The real story of the game was the 5-on-6. [We were 8-for-9 and] they were I think 1-for-12.”
Maggie Steffens put the Cardinal up 3-0 with 2:42 left in the period before Candyce Schroeder got Indiana on the board at the 1:21 mark. Schroeder would account for both Hoosier goals Friday, but her second would not come until 5:15 remained in the third period, as the Cardinal went on an 8-0 run to essentially put the game away.
The Cardinal defense continued its stifling play throughout, holding the Hoosiers to just one power-play goal over 12 chances. Sophomore Malena Masson highlighted the defensive effort late in the third period, getting good lift out of the water to steal a Hoosier pass and snuff out Indiana’s 6-on-4 opportunity.
“We played really scrappy defense. We were active and made a lot of blocks and won a lot of loose balls,” Tanner noted. “I’m really happy with that, and really happy that that one’s done.”
Goalie Gabby Stone started and made eight saves over three periods of work before giving way to Emily Dorst, who stopped four shots and did not concede a goal.
“They were a very physical team and they tested us on the post-up defense,” Kaitlyn Lo said. “We’re just excited for any challenge that comes our way.”
Lo’s goal with 10 seconds left in the first period opened the Cardinal’s eight-goal run, which was continued with four second-period goals from Grossman, Neushul, Kaley Dodson and Steffens. Stanford would wear down Indiana in the third period to the tune of seven goals, including four over a span of just 2:21.