In its return to the West Coast after the conclusion of spring break, the No. 10 Stanford lacrosse team (7-2, 2-0 MPSF) pushed its winning streak to five by beating the Fresno State Bulldogs 21-8 on Tuesday afternoon at Cagan Stadium.
Early in the first half, it looked like Fresno State would be able to keep the game close. However, after the Bulldogs tied the game at 4-4 with 21:09 left in the first period, the Cardinal scored 10 of the next 11 goals to take a 14-5 lead into halftime. Fresno State never threatened again as Stanford coasted to victory in the second half.
Stanford’s attack saw goals from 10 different players, led by sophomore midfielder Hannah Farr (four goals, one assist), freshman attacking midfielder Julia Burns (three goals, two assists), sophomore midfielder Emily Newstrom (three goals) and junior attacker Rachel Ozer (three goals).
At the other end of the field, the Cardinal defense was rarely tested — Stanford’s high-octane press made it difficult for Bulldogs to cross midfield with the ball. Farr, Newstrom and junior defender Megan Lerner picked up four draw controls each as Stanford won 24 of 31 faceoffs.
Junior goalkeeper Lyndsey Munoz, who was named MPSF Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, tallied eight saves. Five of Fresno State’s goals came on free position opportunities in a closely called game.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring just a minute into the game, but sophomore attacker Kyle Fraser (two goals, one assist) responded on the next play to tie the game. The teams traded free position goals before sophomore midfielder Meredith Kalinowski gave the Card a 3-2 lead.
Fresno State scored while down a player, but freshman midfielder Adrienne Anderson (two goals) answered with a goal on the same man-up situation. The Bulldogs tied the game at four but from that point on it was all Card through halftime.
Burns wowed the crowd with a behind-the-back goal with 13:49 remaining to give Stanford an 8-4 lead.
After freshman midfielder Mackenzie Tesei (one goal, one assist) scored an unassisted tally with just under five minutes remaining, Farr exploded for three goals in a three-minute span that also included a second goal from Burns. All four of Farr’s goals came in the first half. The sophomore’s third goal of the game came after the Cardinal worked the ball all the way down the field following a Bulldog turnover.
The score could have been higher if not for the efforts of Fresno State senior goalkeeper Katie Wilbur. The senior made 12 saves on the day, including 11 in the first half as the Cardinal pelted her net with opportunities but was often slightly off-target.
“Our shooting was a big part of today — we definitely want to talk about putting more of those in the back of net,” said Stanford head coach Amy Bokker.
The Cardinal’s attack fired up again quickly after the halftime break as junior midfielder Anna Kim and Newstrom tallied immediately. Fresno State scored the next two goals before Ozer and Newstrom scored again to get the clock running.
Bokker began substituting liberally for the rest of the game. Cardinal freshman midfielder Cyerra Holmes (one goal, one assist) chipped in the first goal of her career late in the game to close the scoring for Stanford.
This game kicks off a streak of three straight conference matchups for the Card. Stanford’s next game will be against MPSF rival No. 20 Denver on April 5 in Denver.
However, Bokker said that the team’s focus doesn’t change at all reentering MPSF play.
“We set our sights high on a national level,” Bokker said. “With each opponent we’re preparing like we would for any opponent across the country.”
The Pioneers have won 11 of 12 games this season, with the lone loss coming in a tight game against Delaware on Feb. 24.
Bokker said the Cardinal defense will have to be very strong against the Denver attack, which is averaging 14.67 goals per game, the second-highest mark in the MPSF. Stanford comes in a close second with 14.33 goals per game.
Sophomore attacker Jill Remenapp (22 goals, 42 assists) is the focal point of the Pioneer offense while redshirt senior attacker Kara Secora (34 goals, 10 assists) is the leading scorer. Seven different players average a goal per game or more for the Pioneers.
Denver is also second in the conference in team defense, allowing a stingy 8.42 goals per game. Pioneer goalkeeper Hannah Hook leads the league with a .513 save percentage.
Both teams will enter the game looking to avoid their first MPSF loss.
“We have our sights set on our goals for the year, both within each individual game and for the season,” Bokker said. “Our players have been really focused and working hard in practice.”
Contact Jana Persky at jpersky ‘at’ stanford.edu.