The Stanford women’s lacrosse team dropped the last two games on its East Coast trip to finish a grueling nonconference schedule with a 2-7 record. The team ended its eastern road trip winless after previously losing to Brown, falling behind early and failing to find the back of the net. But despite the losses, the elite competition may have paid off for the Card, which routed Fresno State 20-3 on Tuesday night in its first conference matchup of the season.
The Harvard defense proved to be impenetrable and led the team to a 10-4 victory. However, the final score did not reflect the statistics of the game–both teams won eight draw controls, and Stanford actually outshot the Crimson 18-14. The shots simply did not fall for the Card, and Harvard entered the break with a 5-0 lead and added two more in the early minutes of the second period before freshman Hannah Farr finally put the Cardinal on the board. The opposing offense quickly bounced back and scored three more times to pull ahead 10-1. Stanford would eventually score three more goals of its own in the last four minutes of regulation, but the team never came close to closing the gap.
The Cardinal offense found more of a rhythm against Albany, but it never retook the lead after falling behind 5-1 and ultimately lost 11-9. Both senior Emilie Boeri and freshman Emily Newstrom finished the game with hat tricks, but it was not enough to overpower the opposing attack. Three of Boeri’s four goals evened the score at 9-9, but the team was never able to pull ahead. Albany outshot Stanford 29-18 and won 13 of 22 draw controls, but sophomore goalie Lyndsey Muñoz’s nine saves kept the game competitive.
The disappointing results will hopefully provide valuable experience for the Cardinal as it kicks off Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) conference play looking for more success. The high caliber of opponents–both Harvard and Albany consistently compete against the nation’s top programs–will prepare the youthful Card to vie for its conference title.
Additionally, Stanford is still playing without the talented offensive duo of sophomores Anna Kim and Rachel Ozer. Kim, who scored eight goals in only four games, has not played since injuring herself on the game-winning shot against James Madison on Feb. 25. However, these injuries have allowed freshmen to gain experience on the field.
After a frustrating two months, everything finally appeared to come together for the Cardinal, as it picked up a win in its first conference game of the season–as well as its first road win of the year–at Fresno State on Tuesday night. In contrast to its last few losses, it was Stanford that jumped out to an early lead over the Bulldogs, scoring the first seven goals en route to a 20-3 victory. Seniors Anna Boeri and Catherine Swanson led the way with four goals apiece, and 11 Stanford players found the back of the net.
Although the first half of the season has been disappointing, it is still too early to write off the team that just a year ago went 16-3. If the Cardinal wins the remainder of its games, it will finish with a 9-7 record before the MPSF Tournament.
This Saturday, April 7, Stanford will travel to face Denver in its second conference game of the season, with first draw at noon.