Cardinal lacrosse looks to clinch MPSF tourney spot

The No. 12 Stanford women’s lacrosse team (11-2, 5-1 MPSF) will head to Southern California this weekend for a double-header against San Diego State (6-7, 3-3) on Friday and USC (7-6, 5-2) on Sunday. This will be the Cardinal’s final road stretch of the regular season, with Stanford needing one more victory in its final three games to clinch a spot in the six-team MPSF tournament after an 18-6 rout of UC-Davis on Tuesday. The Cardinal are currently in second place behind Denver (7-0 MPSF), which must lose its final two games for Stanford to have a chance at the No. 1 seed.

Goalie Lyndsey Muñoz (left) will aim to shut the door on San Diego State and USC this weekend as Stanford seeks a win to earn an MPSF tourney berth. (ALISA ROYER/The Stanford Daily)

Goalie Lyndsey Muñoz (left) will aim to shut the door on San Diego State and USC this weekend as Stanford seeks a win to earn an MPSF tourney berth. (ALISA ROYER/The Stanford Daily)

“I liked the way we’re sharing the ball on the offensive end. Everybody is getting their touches and we had a lot of goal scorers,” head coach Amy Bokker told GoStanford.com after the win. “From top to bottom, I felt everybody contributed and that’s something that’s really important going into these next three games.”

The Cardinal will travel to San Diego State to take on the Aztecs Friday afternoon. The Aztecs are coming off two close road losses over the weekend, falling to Denver on a last-second goal on Friday before losing in sudden-death overtime at Colorado on Sunday.

Despite her team’s defeats, San Diego State junior midfielder Christina Ricciardulli was named MPSF Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after two great performances over the weekend. She set a new program record by forcing 6 turnovers against Denver while also posting 2 goals and 2 assists. Ricciardulli followed up that performance with another 2-goal effort against Colorado, and she leads her team with 17 forced turnovers and 43 draw controls for the season.

Offensively, junior attacker Michaela Jarvis had three goals and two assists in last weekend’s games and leads the Aztecs with 34 points (18 goals, 16 assists) on the season. Senior attacker Meris Walsh is second on the team with 28 points and a team-high 27 goals.

On Sunday, the Cardinal will take on USC in Los Angeles to wrap up their last weekend of regular-season play.

In its inaugural season, USC had a rough set of road games this past week. The Trojans had a four-game winning streak snapped in a close 12-11 loss at Colorado, then couldn’t bounce back and fell to Denver 8-7.

Sophomore Caroline de Lyra leads the Trojans with 35 points this season on 21 goals and 14 assists. Three powerhouse freshmen lead USC: midfielder Alex Moore (31 points), attacker Annie Ruland (24 points) and midfielder Michaela Michael (25 points). Amanda Johansen tops all players with 40 draw controls along with 16 goals, 16 ground balls and 12 forced turnovers.

Stanford is looking to gain momentum as they end MPSF play. They will look to senior attacker Rachel Ozer (21 goals and 11 assists), sophomore midfielder Lucy Dikeou (21 goals) and junior midfielder Hannah Farr (a team-high 23 goals, 25 ground balls and 31 draw controls) to lead the offense.

Defensively, the Cardinal will lean on their experience and aggression to find success this weekend, led by the senior duo of defender Meg Lerner and goalie Lyndsey Muñoz.

The Cardinal take on San Diego State on Friday at 2 p.m. and USC on Sunday at 1 p.m. The showdown with the Trojans will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

Contact Kristina Bassi at kbassi ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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