Stanford's first-year coach Tara Danielson will feel right at home when the Cardinal field hockey team travels to meet Massachusetts for the NCAA Play-In game Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Danielson graduated from Massachusetts in 1994 with a degree in sport management. She was a four-year player for the Minutewomen and served as team captain. She helped guide Massachusetts to a pair of Atlantic 10 championships and four NCAA Tournament berths, including a record-breaking 1992 campaign that resulted in a trip to the national semifinals and the program's winningest season in school history.
Stanford (14-5) can gain its third NCAA tournament appearance in four years with a victory over the Minutewomen (15-6).
Both schools have spent time in the national rankings and are the top two among those receiving votes in the latest poll.
Massachusetts beat Lock Haven, 2-0, Saturday to win its third Atlantic-10 Championship in four years and extend its winning streak to 11 games.
Massachusetts has scored 38 goals, compared to Stanford's 65. The Minutewomen make up for it defensively and allowed 22 goals. Keeper Alesha Widdall has made 88 saves, recorded eight shutouts and posted a GAA of 1.02.
Stanford and Massachusetts share two common opponents:
Northeastern (Stanford lost 2-1 in overtime on the road, UMass won 2-1 on the road)
Syracuse (Stanford lost 2-1 in overtime at a neutral site, UMass won 2-0 at home)
Stanford senior setter-hitter Cassidy Lichtman earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, it was announced Monday, for her efforts in helping the second-ranked Cardinal beat UCLA and USC over the weekend.
Lichtman, who was honored with his first career weekly award, averaged 3.29 kills, 7.57 assists, 1.86 digs, 4.07 points and 0.86 blocks in the two matches.
Against the Bruins on Friday, Lichtman recorded her team-leading 11th double-double of the season with a season-high 17 kills and 29 assists. She also added seven digs and five blocks.