WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Corinne Zanolli's penalty stroke in the 58th minute propelled No. 19 Stanford to a 2-1 victory over Maine in the semifinals of the America East Championship on Thursday afternoon.
Stanford (9-2, 6-2 America East) avenged the first of its two losses, as Maine (7-4, 7-1 America East) snapped the Cardinal's 7-0 start last week.
Thursday's result was similar to last year's defensive-minded America East Championship semifinal, which Stanford won 1-0 despite holding the edge in all offensive categories.
That formula worked again, with the Cardinal outshooting the Black Bears 15-5 and owning a 6-2 advantage in penalty corners.
Sarah Johnson's third goal of the season, following an assist from Zanolli, made it 1-0 two minutes before halftime despite the Cardinal dominating the first two periods.
Maine equalized three minutes into the third period as the pace of the game began to slow.
With overtime looming, Zanolli converted Stanford's first penalty stroke attempt of the season for the game-winner. Zanolli, who on Wednesday was named the America East Offensive Player of the Year for the third straight season, is the most prolific goal scorer in school history and has scored 89 career goals in 75 games.
Zanolli produced a game-high seven shots while Frances Carstens added four. Hannah Santos preserved the win in goal, making two saves.
Stanford faces host No. 20 Monmouth on Saturday at 9 a.m. PT with the conference's automatic NCAA berth on the line. It's a rematch of the 2019 final, which the Cardinal won 2-1 thanks to a goal from Johnson in the final minute.
Stanford has won three of the last four America East crowns and made 17 NCAA Tournament appearances, compiling a 2-17 record in those matches.