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Lacrosse set to face powerful Ducks offense in key MPSF duel

As the No. 12 Stanford Cardinal prepare to take the field on the road this Friday against the unranked Oregon Ducks, Stanford will try to keep its grip in the top half of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) after having fared well this season, going 9-2 and 3-1 in MPSF play, with its only two losses each coming by only one goal.

(HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/stanfordphoto.com)

Junior midfielder Hannah Farr (above) leads the team offensively with 20 goals on the season. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/stanfordphoto.com)

The first was a close overtime 16-15 loss to Vanderbilt early in the season, while the second was a 13-12 squeaker to Denver last weekend that got away from the Cardinal despite jumping out to a 6-0 lead early in the match.

In their matchup against the Ducks, the Card will be looking for a sound victory that will help generate some momentum to carry them through the back half of their season and into the MPSF Championships, with the brunt of the difficulty in their schedule already having passed them by the form of Denver and No. 6 Notre Dame in the last few weeks.

A large contributor to the Cardinal’s success this season has been the offense, which has recorded double-digit goals in every match but one, an 8-7 overtime win against Towson. The scoring offense currently ranks 19th in the nation with 13.36 goals per game, second in the conference behind just Oregon.

Junior midfielder Hannah Farr has led the scoring for the Cardinal, with 20 goals to her name this season. In addition, the Stanford offense has been spreading out the scoring very efficiently this year, with five other players having scored double-digit goals this season as well.

The defense has been stellar as well, limiting opposing offenses to just 98 goals this season for a mark of 8.9 goals per game, while tallying 61 saves. This combination of well-rounded offense and solid defense has made the Cardinal a formidable team in the thick of the hunt for the MPSF championship.

The last time out on Sunday, the Cardinal overtook Colorado 13-5 thanks in part to Megan Lerner’s eight draw controls, three forced turnovers and three ground ball retrievals. With barely 23 minutes gone, the Card had already built a 5-0 lead on a Colorado team in its first season as a varsity lacrosse program. Stanford received contributions from all around the board, with nine different Cardinal scoring to contribute to the victory.

Taking down Oregon will be no easy task. The Ducks have posted impressive offensive numbers this year, having averaged 15.27 goals per game this season, good for seventh in the country. With an overall record of 7-4, the Ducks have shown that they do have some weaknesses, though they have been more formidable at home, where they have lost only once. They will enter the matchup against Stanford on a three-game winning streak, with their last loss this season having come against a top-25 opponent in No. 18 Ohio State.

A key for the Card will be handling Shannon Propst, the leading scorer for Oregon. With 22 goals this season, Propst has proven herself a dominant force in the attack. Not only is she strong in the attack, however, she also spreads the ball around well, chalking up 33 assists this season. It will be critical for junior Rachel Kalick and the rest of the Stanford defense to keep a lid on this explosive Oregon offense.

The Cardinal will take on the Ducks in Eugene, Ore. on Friday at 5 p.m.

Contact Carlie Tenenbaum at carliet ‘at’ stanford.edu.