Cicione clinches American East Conference opener for Cardinal


A career-best hat trick from Marissa Cicione coupled with the highest Cardinal shot output since 2015 powered No. 12 Stanford to a 4-3 win over UMass Lowell in America East Conference action, pushing Stanford's win streak to five.

The first half was an offensive assault by the Cardinal (5-2, 2-0 AE) as it posted 22 shots in the period – nearly doubling its highest shot output in a game this season. Stanford struck first as a great dish from Kennedy Schumacher found Marissa Cicione, who knocked in her third goal of the year in the ninth minute.

The Riverhawks (4-5, 0-1 AE) were only allowed four shots in the half, but made them count as the first UML shot of the day found its target with Kelsey Bing facing a one-on-one situation that Anouk Lalande capitalized on for her eighth goal of the year. UML struck again in 27th minute after two incredible saves by Bing, but a rebound bounced the way of Sophie Gehrels who gave the Riverhawks a 2-1 lead.

The Cardinal offense kept putting in work and finally struck goal in the 30th minute as a penalty corner set up a shot by Millie Stefanowicz that Kristina Bassi deflected in to tie it 2-2 and send it into the half.

The second half was the Cicione show as she needed only three minutes into the period to break the tie score as a penalty corner set up by Bassi and Zanolli found the senior attacker with a tip in to make it 3-2. The Riverhawks kept grinding though, knotting the score for the fourth time in the game in the 56th minute as a lapse in defense allowed Christa Doiron to carry the ball in and put one past a diving Bing.

Stanford's offense kept the heat up throughout as the team posted 34 shots in the game – the highest tally since the Cardinal's 35 shots against Saint Louis on September 12, 2015. With less than two minutes remaining a coast-to-coast play saw Bassi send a pass from the end line to the near post that Cicione finished off to close out the win.

Stanford is back in conference action again Friday as the Cardinal sets to face New Hampshire at 3 p.m.

— Stanford Athletics

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