In its final weekend of the fall, the Stanford women’s lacrosse team took home four more wins over Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) foes to complete an undefeated fall season. The four wins stretched the Cardinal’s record this fall to an unblemished 14-0, including 10 straight wins in the last two weekends away from the Farm.
By knocking off California, UC-Davis and St. Mary’s twice, the Cardinal ended the fall on a high note.
“We played well, rotated everybody through the lineups, and we executed our game plan,” said head coach Amy Bokker. “We felt a good sense of control all weekend.”
Bokker said the weekend was a good one for her team to end the fall season, and highlighted the Card’s excellent offense.
“We scored a ton of fast-break goals, so that was nice to see,” Bokker said. “We felt like we struggled with our draw controls in Pennsylvania, so that was something we really focused on this weekend, and our transition game was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.”
The playday at UC-Davis on Saturday was the last time the Card would take to the field before the spring championship season begins in February, so the team will have plenty of time to prepare for its home opener against Notre Dame on Feb. 13. Bokker says that the team is going to continue to work hard to improve on last year’s 15-5 season during the winter break.
During the offseason, NCAA rules stipulate that a team can have organized activities for eight hours per week—and only two of those hours can be spent actually playing lacrosse.
Bokker sees the break as an opportunity to prepare physically and mentally in ways other than just practice.
“We’ll continue with small group work until Thanksgiving,” Bokker said. “Sometimes we’ll do film study, but we’ll work on some of the individual skills like eight-meter shooting, draw controls, some of that stuff.”
The fall season is the equivalent of Major League Baseball’s spring training or the NFL preseason—the games don’t count, but they do matter. Bokker simultaneously praised her team for its excellent play and made sure to emphasize that the team will not rest on its laurels.
“We want to put our best product out on the field, so I think it’s nice to say that we went undefeated,” Bokker said, “But we’re not results-driven during the fall; we’re about accomplishing our small goals.
“The only time that scores were kept was Saturday at Penn, which was the three best opponents that we played,” she continued. “That weekend showed we have the team speed to play an up-tempo game and dictate the pace. That puts us in a good place heading into the spring.”
The spring will bring a schedule that features games against five opponents that finished in the top 20 last season, including a road trip to Evanston, Ill., to end the regular season against Northwestern, last year’s NCAA runner-up.
Bokker said that the team’s travel schedule this fall put it in good condition to compete for an NCAA title.
“It gave us a taste of what’s going on nationally and it gives our players a lot of confidence that they can compete with some of the best teams in the country,” Bokker said. “I’m hoping that confidence will carry over when we start to have those opponents here [at Stanford].”
It’s a long time before the Card needs to worry about its next opponent, but the team and the coach already know how they are going to approach the season.
“Our preseason focus is about us, we want to come out hard,” Bokker said. “We’ll focus in on the other teams as we get closer to the season.”