By Andrew Tan
The Stanford women’s lacrosse team will host the U.S. women’s national team from Friday to Sunday for the U.S. Spring Lacrosse Premiere, facing off against the U.S. women on Saturday at 5 p.m. The event will feature four other teams besides the Cardinal and U.S. team, including the English national team, the Japanese developmental team, Fresno State and the U.S. U19 women.
The Cardinal return as reigning Pac-12 champions and are currently the highest ranked West Coast team at No. 15 according to the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Women’s Preseason Top 20. The event and games against the U.S. national team will serve as a useful tuneup for Stanford as the team prepares to defend its conference title and do battle against legions of East Coast powerhouses whose stranglehold on the world of lacrosse has gone on for far too long.
Though Stanford is overmatched across the board against the U.S. national team, the game Saturday night will be a good opportunity to get some reps in and maybe to practice playing from behind. But who knows? Maybe the national team’s visit to Palo Alto represents a changing of the guard and Stanford’s dynasty begins this year.
Leading the charge for the Cardinal this year are sophomores Ali Baiocco and Galen Lew who were second and third on the team respectively in combined goals and assists last year–Baiocco had 48 goals and 14 assists, Lew 33 goals and 20 assists. Senior Julia Massaro anchors the defense, fresh off a season with 86 draw controls and 39 groundballs. Stanford returns a solid unit all around and hopes to get off to a flying start against the U.S.
This U.S. national team is fresh off of the most recent Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) championship in 2017 and appears poised to run a clinic on the Cardinal. Stanford has a few connections with the national team including head coach Amy Bokker who served as defensive coordinator for the team in 2013 and assistant Kristen Carr, who helped lead the team to an FIL title as a defender.
The three-day event includes several games between the six attending teams but the main event is Stanford vs. the U.S. national team at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Look for the Cardinal to try to settle into a rhythm and test out different lineups against a superior preseason opponent.
Contact Andrew Tan at tandrew ‘at’ stanford.edu.