The Stanford women’s lacrosse team took down St. Mary’s, Fresno State, and UC Davis last Saturday in a round-robin playday, a good start to the season before the team heads to Philadelphia this weekend.
Because the official lacrosse season does not start until winter, the games were informal and no official scores were kept. Nevertheless, the Cardinal had no trouble dusting off all three opponents, clearly outplaying and outscoring all three.
Head coach Amy Bokker complimented the three MPSF foes for their solid play, saying, “Fresno State now has a couple years under their belt–they seem to have more experience. UC Davis has always been right there in the MPSF–they held their own. St. Mary’s looked pretty competitive, too, but mainly it was just nice to get out and play against three conference opponents.”
Stanford started the day with a 9 a.m. match against St. Mary’s. The Cardinal dominated the time of possession and got its fair share of turnovers, but had some trouble scoring when close to the goal.
“I thought we had a lot of good looks and great opportunities, for us. We either kept missing the cage or they were clanging off the posts,” Bokker said. “We wanted to keep momentum and it’s hard when you keep shooting and missing.”
In the second game, Stanford faced off against UC Davis, who Stanford only defeated by a score of 17-14 on their last visit to the Farm. Stanford had far less trouble with the Aggies on Saturday, notching a 15-9 victory.
The Card ended the day against Fresno State, and commanded both time of possession and faceoffs on their way to a 13-3 victory. Stanford started off quickly, and used the fast break to their advantage, whipping any missed shot by a Bulldog down the field, resulting in several quick scores for the Card.
“We really wanted to utilize our team speed, which I think looks great,” Bokker said. “Our goal was to finish on five fast break opportunities each game, and we did that in every game except the first one, where we only had four.”
The top players of the day were the attackers for the Card, who feasted on those fast break opportunities. Junior Emilie Boeri, sophomore Jennifer Lang, and freshman Rachel Ozer scored multiple goals in all three games.
Another high point for the Cardinal was the goalkeeping of freshman Lyndsey Munoz and senior Annie Read, who split time and managed to hold both the Fresno State and UC Davis offenses to single-digit scoring.
Bokker said she was very happy overall with the team’s play, but noted, “I was a little disappointed because our settled defense looked really great against Cal last week, and there were times when we looked a little bit unorganized today. That comes with a little bit more practice and getting used to one another.”
Saturday also marked a busy recruiting day for the lacrosse team, which hosted 26 high school juniors from across the country, some of whom were visiting Stanford for the first time.
The Cardinal’s next test comes this weekend, as the team heads to Philadelphia to take on Maryland, Penn, and Virginia on Saturday, all of whom finished ranked in the top ten in the nation last season. Maryland headlines the class, as the Terrapins finished ranked number one after taking home the national title over Northwestern with a 13-11 victory in May.
The Cardinal will be looking to avenge their 20-8 loss to the Terrapins last season, where the Terps had a first half run of ten straight goals and a second half run of seven straight goals. Although Stanford cut the lead to only 13-7 at one point in the second half, Maryland was too strong, outshooting the Card 43-16 overall.
After Saturday’s draw against the top quality competition, the Card will then take on Drexel, St. Joseph’s, and Temple on Sunday. St. Joseph’s struggled to a 2-14 record last year, while Temple finished 7-10 and Drexel completed a 10-7 season.
Stanford announced the 2011 spring schedule last Thursday, which will feature four matchups against top 15 teams from last year, including number two Northwestern, number 11 Notre Dame, number nine Syracuse, and number ten Vanderbilt.