By Andrew Tan
Two weeks after a brutal defeat to Denver, No. 21 Stanford women’s lacrosse (0-1, 0-0 PAC-12) looks to rebound from its initial loss with a win against Fresno State (3-0, 0-0 MPSF) in tonight’s Pink Game. The Cardinal will wear pink socks, laces and warmup shirts, while the sidelines at Cagan Field will be painted pink to raise awareness for breast cancer. Kellee Noonan, breast cancer survivor and loyal supporter of the program, will serve as honorary team captain.
Stanford enters this year’s bout with Fresno State with an 11-0 all-time record against the Bulldogs. Most recently, last year’s Cardinal sent Fresno State to the doghouse in an 18-2 pounding at home. Stanford will be favored to win this matchup once again considering its past dominance and the strength of its roster. Yet, the Cardinal must still be wary of their underdog opponents considering their own winless record and Fresno State’s early undefeated run. To allow this team, which has already tasted victory in three consecutive games, albeit against weaker competition, to hang around instead of putting the game away early would be an error akin to Tom from “Tom and Jerry” goading a chained hound until the hound breaks its shackles and swallows Tom whole.
If Stanford can channel some of the spirit and urgency with which it played the whole second half against Denver, head coach Amy Bokker and her players should be up to the task. Unlike with morning lecture classes, the Cardinal cannot sleep through the first half this time around. There will be no videos posted to Canvas that allow them to make up a poor starting performance.
Some positives from Stanford’s previous loss include seniors Genesis Lucero and Julia Massaro nearing the school’s all-time record for draw controls. Lucero added three to her total in the game to move into third with 124 draw controls, while Massaro had two to tie Kelly Meyers (2015-18) for fourth place with 123. Kelsey Twist (2002-05) holds the program record with 161 draw controls.
Besides Lucero and Massaro, the Cardinal will hope to get strong performances out of junior captains Daniella McMahon and Mikaela Watson, who both played critical roles in Stanford’s near-comeback last time. First draw control is slated for 6 p.m. at Cagan Field.
Contact Andrew Tan at tandrew ‘at’ stanford.edu.