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W. Lacrosse: Card closes fall season with UC-Davis playday

After a long weekend away from the Farm, the Stanford women’s lacrosse team heads to UC-Davis for a playday to wrap up its fall schedule. The Cardinal will take on UC-Davis, St. Mary’s and California–three familiar foes for Stanford, as all three teams are Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) opponents.

The Card continued to roll through a difficult fall schedule after completing an undefeated visit to Philadelphia last weekend, going 6-0 against a schedule that included Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, the defending national champions.

Coach Amy Bokker raved about her team’s competitive fire and team speed.

“I thought we looked great, we set up a rotation that everybody was playing through almost all of the games, we had great fast breaks in transition and defensively we made some really nice stops,” she said. “It was a great experience on the whole, because a lot of players are from the East Coast, so parents set up tailgates and food for us. It’s exciting that our fan base is just as big out on the East Coast as anybody else’s.”

Senior Leslie Foard, no. 15 above, has scored 33 goals for the Cardinal this season. (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

Bokker also said that a weekend against the best teams in the nation had proven to her that this Cardinal team was ready to compete for another NCAA championship.

“I think we’re right there in the mix, more so than any other year I’ve been here, to compete against the top teams in the nation,” Bokker said.

The head coach gave credit to the midfielders for a terrific performance, highlighting juniors Emilie and Anna Boeri and senior Leslie Foard for their “real spark” on the fast break. Bokker complimented freshman Megan Lerner for her defense, and said that Lerner and other players will be fighting for playing time after an excellent weekend.

“Some of our players who didn’t have as much experience had great weekends, like Jen Lang, Maria Fortino and Ryan O’Shea, who all played great,” Bokker said, mentioning that their play had “absolutely” earned them playing time this weekend at UC-Davis.

After its whirlwind weekend on the East Coast, the Cardinal hopes to finish off the fall season strong in the UC-Davis Halloween Playday. The Card took on Cal in a scrimmage game on Oct. 1 in a game on the Farm and tangled with St. Mary’s and UC-Davis two weeks later in a playday at Stanford. The Cardinal emerged victorious in all three matches, and the Cardinal has not lost a game to any of the three opponents since an 11-9 loss to Cal in February 2008.

That said, the Cardinal will still be looking to improve on its past performances against its MPSF opponents.

“We want to raise the bar from what we did last weekend,” Bokker said. “We’re looking forward to another chance to put on the uniform and to get out against teams other than ourselves. You can practice all you want, but when you put on that uniform, it’s a totally different atmosphere.”

Stanford defeated Cal twice last year, taking down the Bears with a 12-7 victory in the regular season and a 9-7 victory at the MPSF Tournament in Denver. The Cardinal defeated St. Mary’s 21-5 on Senior Day last year, the biggest margin of victory for the Card all season, outshooting the Gaels 34-14. Stanford defeated UC-Davis 17-14 in the Card’s final home game last year to cap off a 15-5 regular season with a 5-1 conference record.

After this weekend, the lacrosse team will take a three-month hiatus before returning to competition on Feb. 5 with a Stanford playday. The Cardinal hosts its official home opener on Feb. 13 against No. 11 Notre Dame.

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