The Stanford women’s lacrosse team will try to earn its first win of the 2013 season when it meets cross-country rival Harvard on Sunday.
In its opening game, the Cardinal (0-1) allowed No. 9 Notre Dame to come back from a 7-2 halftime deficit and steal a 12-10 win.
“After halftime, we just became a little more tentative — instead of playing to win, I think we became a little more careful,” said Stanford head coach Amy Bokker. “With a young team, that’s probably expected a little bit, but that’s definitely a big learning experience for us going forward.”
Redshirt junior Rachel Ozer, playing for the first time since suffering an injury early in the 2012 season, led Stanford with three goals and two assists. Freshman Lucy Dikeou also recorded three goals in her collegiate debut.
Bokker also noted that draw controls played a key role, with Stanford winn
ing nine of 10 faceoffs.
In the first 30 minutes of play, Stanford’s defense held Notre Dame to just two goals on four shots, but in the second half, the Fighting Irish pumped in 10 goals as the Card broke down on defense, drawing four yellow cards in the second half. The Card will look to maintain that first-half effort for a full 60 minutes when unranked Harvard comes to the Farm.
“We came out with a lot of great energy and had a lot of momentum on our side.” Bokker said. “A key [on Sunday] will be really staying disciplined on the defensive end, trying to limit our fouls and play good solid defense.”
Sunday’s matchup will be Harvard’s first of the season. Last year, the Crimson had a 9-7 overall record and finished fourth in the Ivy League. One of the wins came when the Cardinal visited Cambridge and Stanford was held scoreless in the first half while Harvard ran away with a 10-4 victory. According to Bokker, Harvard is usually well coached and well organized.
The Crimson’s lineup will look different in this weekend’s matchup due to graduation and withdrawals related to the Harvard cheating scandal. Just six of the Crimson’s 2012 starters return for 2013.
Three seniors return to lead a Harvard attack that averaged 8.62 goals on 22.3 shots per game last year. Midfielder Danielle Tetreault was Harvard’s leading scorer last season with 28 goals in 16 games. The senior, who was named to the Inside Lacrosse preseason All-America third team, dominated Stanford with six goals in last season’s game.
Harvard attacker Jenn Vandermeulen also recorded 26 goals and five assists in 2012, while midfielder Micaela Cyr added 17 goals. No other Crimson returners scored more than 10 goals last year.
At the other end of the field, Harvard is much more inexperienced. The Crimson returns just two players, juniors Lauren Tomkinson and Kasey Uhlenhuth, who started on defense in 2012.
Goalkeeping is a huge question mark for the Crimson as 2012 starter Kelly Weis — the only goalie on the 2012 roster — is no longer with the team. Harvard has brought in goalkeepers from other sports and is also exploring options among its field players.
However, Bokker is more concerned with her squad than the opponent’s.
“Our team really learned that we could play at a high level,” Bokker said. “[Now] we just have to keep our energy for the entire 60 minutes.”
The game will begin at 3 p.m. at Cagan Stadium this Sunday.