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Lacrosse improves MPSF seeding by demolishing Cal

The No. 17 Stanford women’s lacrosse team (13-3, 7-2 MPSF) solidified at least the No. 3 seed and a possible first-round bye in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation by earning an 18-7 victory over the California Golden Bears (5-11, 3-6) on Thursday. The Cardinal can pick up a second seed — and the right to skip the first round — if Oregon loses one of its next two games.

Stanford had a powerful offense with nine different players scoring on a total of 35 shots. Senior midfielder Anna Kim, senior attacker Rachel Ozer, sophomore midfielder Meg Lentz, freshman attacker Kelsey Murray and sophomore midfielder Paige Southmayd each scored two goals, while junior midfielder Hannah Farr and sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Tesei added three apiece. With such offensive depth, the Cardinal were able to hold the lead for most of the game.

Using their aggressive style of play, Ozer tallied three ground balls and Farr and Tesei each had five draw controls. Tesei came off the bench to earn her first career hat trick and played a great overall game.

On the defensive end, senior goalie Lyndsey Munoz tallied seven saves, and led the defense along with senior defender Meg Lerner.

Cal looked like a real threat after three different Cal attackers scored to take a 3-1 lead early in the game. However, after seven straight goals from Stanford spanning the late first half into the early second half, the Bears began to fall behind, with the Cardinal piling on late in the 18-7 rout.

The Cardinal now go on to play in the MPSF Championships. The Cardinal will most likely be seeded No. 2 in the tournament because Oregon will be the underdog against Denver, the MPSF’s top team and the tournament favorite. Last year, however, Stanford knocked off the Pioneers to win its eighth MPSF title in nine years, and the preseason favorite Cardinal are looking to add to that streak.

Depending on the results of the MPSF Championships, Stanford may have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament starting on May 9. The Cardinal posted the first NCAA tournament victory in program history last year, defeating Notre Dame 8-7.

Stanford will look for its explosive and aggressive offense to lead the scoring drive in the MPSF Championships, and hopefully the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford has three players on the Tewaaraton watch list, which is collegiate lacrosse’s highest individual annual honor: Lucy Dikeou, Hannah Farr and Rachel Ozer. Dikeou in particular has impressed, as the sophomore has scored 16 goals in her last five games. The five finalists for the award will be announced May 8.

Defensively, Stanford will look to its senior leadership from Munoz, who has 80 saves this season and shares a team-best 30 ground balls with Lerner. With 37 draw controls, Lerner has a prominent presence and leads the Cardinal defense.

The Cardinal will be back in action in the MPSF Championships in Denver, Colorado starting next Thursday.

Contact Kristina Bassi at kbassi ‘at’

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