By Sydney Shaw
After a tough 13-9 loss on the road to rival No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 14 Stanford lacrosse (1-1, 1-0 MPSF) dominated its home opener Tuesday night against conference opponent Saint Mary’s (0-1, 0-1), in a 20-1 victory.
Stanford asserted itself on offense right away with a goal in the first minute of the game scored by sophomore Sandy Smith. Smith went on to have a career-best night with 3 goals and 1 assist. In all, Stanford’s attack was incredibly deep, as 13 different players found the back of the net.
Another player who led Stanford’s offensive showcase was senior Mackenzie Tesei, who netted 3 goals. Tesei emerged as an offensive threat last year, scoring 23 goals on a 55-percent shooting.
Stanford built up a 15-0 lead by the half, passing with patience on offense and in the midfield. Stanford’s defense was quiet in the first period, as the Cardinal picked up 14 of the 16 draw controls and did not allow a single shot by the Gaels.
In the second half, Saint Mary’s notched its only goal of the game, scored by Jocelyn Lubert.
“We had a focus coming into the game,” said head coach Amy Bokker. “It was all about valuing possession. During the Notre Dame game we had a lot of turnovers, so that was one area of focus that we wanted to improve on.”
When Stanford did commit a turnover, the team reacted with immediate defensive pressure on the Saint Mary’s players. At the end of the game, the Cardinal had only 8 turnovers and had scooped up 5 ground balls.
The victory marked Stanford’s 29th straight win over Saint Mary’s. Twenty-six of the Cardinal’s players saw the field and the team led in every stat in the scorebook.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the Cardinal hosts No. 16 Ohio State (1-0) on Sunday. Like Notre Dame, the Buckeyes are a top non-conference opponent with a powerful and resilient offense. Ohio State opened at home this past week, with a blowout 22-8 win against Detroit.
Last year, Stanford, then ranked 15th in the nation, upset No. 10 Ohio State 12-10 in the Cardinal’s third game of the season. OSU enters this year’s matchup as the slight underdog, ranked two places behind the Cardinal. Before Sunday, the Buckeyes make a stop at Cal on Friday to play the Bears.
“Ohio State has been a great game the past couple of years we have played them,” Bokker said. “Their team is athletic and scrappy and they play a very fast and aggressive style.
“I love matching up with them because it’s a persistent battle. I am hoping we can execute and value the ball like we did in the game against Saint Mary’s.”
The game will begin this Sunday at noon at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.