Season in Review
STANFORD, Calif. – In what could be described as a bittersweet season, the Stanford field hockey team is focusing on the positives.
After making its eighth consecutive NorPac Championship game, the Cardinal fell to Liberty 2-1, and was not selected as an at-large team for the NCAA Tournament. It was the first time in seven years the NCAA Tournament did not include Stanford.
Despite not receiving a bid to the championship tournament, the Cardinal continued to showcase throughout the 2013 season why it is the premier team in the West and one of the country’s top programs.
The Cardinal recorded its fifth consecutive 15-win season, finishing 16-5 overall, and claimed its fifth straight NorPac West regular season title.
Stanford spent each week ranked 13th or higher in the Longstreth/NFHCA Coaches’ Poll, including matching a program-best No. 6 ranking in two consecutive weeks.
The national respect Stanford received can be partly attributed to its success against one of the nation’s top nonconference schedules. The Cardinal played seven teams that earned bids in the NCAA Tournament and went 4-3 against top-20 opponents, with three of those wins coming on the road.
“There’s a real sense of achievement with this group,” said head coach Tara Danielson. “They were really dedicated and committed to one another and because of that, the work was welcomed. It was a very resilient and inspired group.”
Danielson claimed her third NorPac Coach of the Year honor in the past three years after leading Stanford to a 5-1 NorPac regular season record.
One of the defining attributes of the 2013 team was its focus on team defense and keeping opponents off the scoreboard. Stanford recorded 10 shutouts and was ranked in the top five in goals-against average and save percentage for almost the entire season. The Cardinal ranked first in goals-against average and save percentage multiple times throughout the year.
“We really started placing some focus on how Stanford defends and immediately we saw results of that focus,” said Danielson.
Junior Kelsey Harbin anchored the backline and earned Longstreth/NFHCA First-Team All-America honors, was an All-Region selection and was named the Norpac West Player of the Year.
“The honor of being a first-team All-American is quite the honor and that’s an attribute to the work she’s put in, not only during the season, but in those moments that you don’t see her – when she’s away from campus, when she’s out of season,” Danielson said. “She’s been dedicated to improving herself and making this program and team better.”
Expectations will remain high for a Stanford team that returns all but three seniors in 2014. Though the trio of graduating seniors – Hope Burke, Courtney Haldeman and Anna Simmons – will be tough to replace, Danielson says she believes the younger players will benefit from the leadership the seniors showed moving forward.
As the team heads home for winter break, Danielson is excited for the coming year as the team begins to refocus and prepare for 2014.
“There’s going to be a certain kind of resiliency and grittiness to the future of the team,” she added.
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Below is a list of team accomplishments from the 2013 season:
- Won 15 games for the fifth consecutive year, finishing 16-5
- Earned its fifth consecutive NorPac West regular season title
- Appeared in its eighth straight NorPac Championship final
- Went 4-3 against top-20 opponents, with three wins coming on the road
- Held a top-five ranking in the NCAA in goals-against average and save percentage for almost the entire season
- Spent every week ranked 13th or higher in the coaches’ poll
- Matched a program-best No. 6 ranking in the coaches’ poll for two consecutive weeks
- Four Longstreth/NFHCA All-Region selections, including Kelsey Harbin and Hope Burke on the First Team, and Alex McCawley and Maddie Secco on the Second Team
- Kelsey Harbin named a Longstreth/NFHCA First Team All-American
- Kelsey Harbin named the NorPac West Player of the Year, marking the sixth consecutive season a Cardinal has claimed the award
- Four NorPac West All-Conference selections, including Maddie Secco, Kelsey Harbin, Alex McCawley and Hope Burke
- Hope Burke earned the Sheryl Johnson Academic Award
- Tara Danielson named NorPac Coach of the Year for third straight season (Stanford is 64-22 overall under Danielson, 22-2 in NorPac regular season play over past four seasons)
- Went 2-2 against teams that reached the NCAA Quarterfinals
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Below is a list of individual awards earned this season:
Hope Burke, Sr., AttackLongstreth/NFHCA All-Region First TeamNorPac West All-ConferenceSheryl Johnson Academic Excellence AwardNorPac All-Academic TeamThree-time NorPac Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 4, Oct. 15, Oct. 29)
Clemence Couteau, So., AttackEarned NorPac Offensive Player of the Week honors (Sept. 17)
Dulcie Davies, So., GoalkeeperFour-time NorPac Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 10, Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Nov. 5)
Kelsey Harbin, Jr., DefenseLongstreth/NFHCA All-America First TeamLongstreth/NFHCA All-Region First TeamNorPac West Player of the YearNorPac West All-ConferenceTwo-time NorPac Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 22, Oct. 29)
Alex McCawley, Jr., MidfieldLongstreth/NFHCA All-Region Second TeamNorPac West All-ConferenceEarned NorPac Offensive Player of the Week honors (Sept. 24)
Maddie Secco, So., MidfieldLongstreth/NFCHA All-Region Second TeamNorPac All-TournamentNorPac All-Conference
Anna Simmons, Sr., DefenseNorPac All-Tournament
Fran Tew, Fr., DefenseFour-time NorPac Rookie of the Week (Sept. 10, Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5)
Tara Danielson, Head CoachNorPac Coach of the Year