By Sydney Shaw
Many of No. 15 Stanford lacrosse’s (0-1) toughest contests come far away from The Farm due to the strength of many East Coast programs, and this past Saturday was no exception, as the team lost 13-9 to rival and perennial powerhouse No. 7 Notre Dame (2-0) to open its 2016 campaign.
While the Irish’s offense proved strong and dominated much of the second half, a bright spot for the Cardinal was junior standout Kelsey Murray, who finished the game with 5 goals.
Stanford started the game with excellent pace, opening the scoring in only the second minute of play with a powerful shot by Murray. While the Irish quickly tied the game at one goal apiece, excellent pressure and pass plays allowed Stanford to break ahead 4-1 with goals by Murray and seniors Mackenzie Tesei and Lucy Dikeou.
With about two minutes left in the first half, the Irish fought back to score two goals, but this still left the Cardinal leading 4-3 into halftime. The Cardinal showed resiliency on offense and strong transitions through the midfield during the first half.
Stanford came out strong in the beginning of the second half, scoring two goals to put itself ahead 6-3. But with 19 minutes left in the game, the team saw a drop in its intensity, allowing the Irish to capitalize on some sloppy plays. Notre Dame charged forward, scoring 8 unanswered goals, quickly changing the game’s momentum.
With 5 minutes left to play, Notre Dame was up 11-6 before the teams went on to trade goals. While Stanford scored three goals to Notre Dame’s two in the closing minutes, it was not enough to overcome the large point deficit. The game closed with a 13-9 win in favor of the Irish.
Stanford looks to come back strong in its home opener this Tuesday against conference opponent Saint Mary’s. The Cardinal have never lost to Saint Mary’s in regular or postseason play and controlled the matchup last season before emerging victorious in a 22-2 win.
A victory for the Cardinal would put them in good standing heading into conference play, in which Stanford has its eye on a 10th straight MPSF title.
Tuesday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at Stanford’s Cagan Stadium and will be broadcasted live on Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.