The defending national champion Stanford women's golf team picked up where it left off by charging to the first-day lead in the season-opening Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational on Monday at the University of New Mexico Golf Course, hosted by New Mexico in Albuquerque.
With four players placing in the top 10, the Cardinal combined for a 36-hole score of 18-under-par 566, 12 strokes ahead of second-place Northwestern. The 18-team field will play the final round Tuesday.
Senior All-American Mariah Stackhouse led the way on the par-73 layout with rounds of 69-71-140 and is the individual leader. She had four birdies and two bogeys in the afternoon round.
Junior All-American Lauren Kim and sophomore Shannon Aubert are tied for second at 141. Kim shot rounds of 73-68, making six birdies in the afternoon. Aubert also fashioned six birdies, posting scores of 71-70.
Junior Casey Danielson is tied for 10th at 144. She played error-golf in the morning, firing a bogey-free 5-under 68, and shot 76 in the afternoon.
Junior Quirine Eijkenboom shot 79-83-162 and is tied for 91st.
"I am thrilled with the team play today," said Stanford coach Anne Walker. "We saw four different players go really low and make a lot of birdies. We were very prepared coming into this event and it paid off. Tomorrow, we will keep the same strategy and mentality. If we do that well, we will hopefully be on pace to match our round today."
Stanford recorded an 11-under total of 281 in the morning, eight strokes better than Northwestern. Stackhouse blitzed the front nine with a 5-under par 31, making birdies on five of the first six holes.
Aubert also played a solid round, finishing with three birdies and one bogey, while Kim played the front nine in 3-under 33.
Stanford, ranked second in last week's Golfweek preseason poll, returned all but one player from last season's team.
The Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational is one of four events on the fall schedule.
Stanford goalie Dulcie Davies was named America East Defensive Player of the Week, as announced Monday by the conference.
Davies (science, technology and society) was a key part of Stanford's undefeated road trip, which included wins over No. 15 Iowa, St. Louis and Kent State.
A senior from London, England, Davies had a 2.06 goals against average and a .852 save percentage for the weekend. She made 23 saves on the trip, helping Stanford reach its current six-game winning streak.
In the first half of Thursday's game against No. 15 Iowa, Davies came up huge with two saves in quick succession. Those stops led to a Stanford counter-attack, resulting in Fran Tew's opening goal.
In Sunday's win against Kent State, Davies made 14 saves, including two timely stops at the end of regulation to preserve the Stanford lead. Her 14 saves were the most since her career-high 16 against Albany in 2013.
The Cardinal returns to action on Friday when it takes on California at 1 p.m. The match will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.