After a tough 15-7 loss against Cornell, No. 15 Stanford lacrosse won two conference games to improve to 7-2 overall and 3-0 in the MPSF.
The Cardinal traveled to Denver to start off the weekend, coming out with a 14-7 win against the defending MPSF champions and snapping the team’s two-game losing streak against the Pioneers.
“Denver and Stanford, we’ve gone back in forth over the past couple of years, so there’s a lot of motivation and excitement building up to that game,” said senior Rachel Ozer. “We really went into the Denver game really focused on ourselves, trusting each other on defense and doing what we know how to do on offense.”
Stanford scored 4 unanswered goals to start the game, while the Pioneers went scoreless for the first 11 minutes. After Denver notched its first goal, Stanford went on a 6-0 run capped by a goal with 1:39 left to play in the half, making the score 10-1. Kiki Boone scored off of a free-position shot to close the half, bringing the score to 10-2 at the break.
“It all just started clicking right at the beginning, and we just carried that momentum throughout the entire game,” Ozer said.
The Pioneers went scoreless until the 13:48 mark of the second half, a period during which the Cardinal scored their final 4 goals of the game. Although Denver would go on to score 4 more goals after this point, it would not be enough to come back and close the deficit.
Junior Mackenzie Tesei notched a career-high 4 goals during the match, while junior Lucy Dikeou also tallied a hat trick.
Stanford’s defense showed up: Stanford dominated ground balls, with Ozer coming up with 5 and juniors Adrienne Anderson and Alexandra Crerend each with 4. The goalies also thrived, only allowing 7 goals off of 23 shots. Freshman Allie DaCar had 7 saves, all but 2 of the team’s total.
While the Denver game was never really close, Stanford would find a more formidable opponent in Colorado. The tight game included 7 ties and 5 lead changes, and although Colorado led at halftime, Stanford would come back to win the game 16-14.
Colorado got off to a 2-0 lead before Stanford responded with 2 goals of its own from senior Hannah Farr. While the Cardinal gained a 3-4 advantage after sophomore Alex Poplawski’s first of 5 goals, the team would not regain the lead until the second half. Stanford kept the game within a few goals and were down by one, 9-8, at halftime.
The Cardinal scored 3 unanswered goals out of halftime, going up 11-9 before the game was later tied at 11, 12 and then 13 before Crerend scored 2 goals to put Stanford 15-13. Despite a Colorado goal, Poplawski’s goal with 9:52 remaining and Stanford’s solid defense for the rest of the game held the score to 16-14, giving the Cardinal the win.
Poplawski career-high 5 goals were complemented by 3 goals from Farr, freshman Kelly Myers and Crerend, while freshman Dillon Schoen had 2 as well.
Stanford outshot 36-23 and forced 20 Colorado turnovers. While DaCar struggled in the goal, allowing 9 goals and not earning any saves, junior Katie Wiseman, who played nearly 29 minutes, notched 3 saves and only allowed 5 goals.
“What we really showed in that game was, even though the ball wasn’t bouncing our way as much as it was with Denver, we really just stuck through our plan and grinded that game out and kept confidence throughout the entire time,” Ozer said. “We just really showed a lot of trust and faith that we would get it done in the end, and we did. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but we’re happy with it and we’re looking ahead now.”
Stanford will look to remain undefeated in conference play when it faces Oregon on Thursday, April 9 at 7 p.m. at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
Contact Alexa Philippou at aphil723 ‘at’ stanford.edu.